Welllll, what a final weekend and almost what a season that was. Going into the season i didn't fancy us to win either cup so the main focus was on the league. A 2nd title in a row seemed like a big ask but we were amoungst the favourites and had good depth across the squad so it seemed possible. We went all out to win the 4 pre-cup league games and were slightly unlucky to come away with only 2 wins and draw and loss. In what became out speciality, we lost a coin flip to MVV in the 3rd game and could only draw away to IAC in a game that we dominated.
The Origin cup was a complete disaster....all of my own making. As always we used the 1st cup ties to train up our age 0 players and after the 1st 4 games we sat top with 8 points and only an unlikely set of results could mean we wouldn't go through. If i remember rightly Dynamo's had some low EL players (including their main GK) so we fully expected them to stall. We should really have just went with normal but around an hour before kick off i changed it and went for press. Of course Dynamo didn't stall and we shot ourselved in the foot. The worst part is if we had played the exact same team with normal then we would have been the better statistical team, and with a 24SL keeper vs their 11SL keeper we would likely have gotten the draw that we needed. Silly.
Looking back we had almost identical results in the league against each team home and away. SIT 2 wins, CPR 2 wins, MVV 2 losses, IAC 1 win 1 draw, IBA 1 draw 1 loss, USL 1 draw 1 loss, ORP 1 win 1 loss, OLD 1 loss 1 draw, BAL 2 wins, TOR 2 wins, THA 2 wins. The results against MVV and IBA were particulary damaging as we were the better team in all 4 games and picked up 0 points.
The manager cup was always lowest on the priority list. By the mid point of the season USL had spent big and TED and themselves had a 4SL per player advantage over us. I knew that as soon as we met one it was over so the game against Spartak (knowing that we had TED next) was used to rest a few players and we subsequently lost it.
The overall feeling from the season is happiness. We were very close to achieving all of our goals for the year. We have trained up 3 age 0's to level 14 and they will become a big part of the squad next year. We may reach the 4000k mark after prizes etc although likely to end up just short. We created 260 chances in the league and only conceded 175 chances, no other team in div 1 can touch this (BAL are the closest with 243 vs 179). That mark would put us right in line with 2 teams who dominated their divisions in TED and INB.
Next season looks to be another close one. I fully expect IAC to remain in div 1 and challenge next year, along with ourselves, div 2 champs INB and a few others. I suspect we will all be chasing USL again next year. They don't have much youth so i would expect David to throw everything at going back and back and then consolidating the year after.