Season 7 – Heracles Almelo, Eerste Divisie
Media expectation: 10th from 18
Board expectation: Safe Midtable
The new season started with attempting to build up a solid team, with a strong foundation for years to come. 6 players came on on frees, including another Slovenian talent whom ended up to be our top goalscorer, and 4 players joined us on loan. In return we sold 11 players for a cool 210k.
During the mid-season window 2 of the talents got sold (one of them being the great prospect bought for 110k last season) for 300k each, with a 25% future profit fee. This made me VERY unpopular with the fans. Bollocks.
The competition started off very well, with us already winning the 2nd Period title which ensured us of promotional playoffs at the end of the season. The team resembled nothing like the anxious and demotivated bunch that finished 15th last season.
We took 1st place during the 9th game in the season and did not lose a game until round 18. We continued to stun our opponents and did not give up the 1st place once during the season. Although the title did come as a surprise to me as well, it was the way that we got it that amazed me the most.
Weirdly enough, we conceded only 2 goals less than previous season. However a record breaking amount of yellow cards and goals scored ensured that we took the title with relative ease.
Final Position: 1st
Games: 34 (18|12|4)
Goals: +28 (63|35)
Another surprise title and one with a club that seems to have potential for the future. The board agreed to upgrade the youth facilities at the end of the season, although I really hoped that they could fix up the stadium since Health & Safety keeps closing down a part of my west stand every home match.
Luckily the chairman is looking to sell the club to a hopefully more ambitious individual.
Next season will be a real challenge and success will all depend on the growth of some of the younger players. We currently have 10 very promising individuals (3 GKs and 4 loanees..) whom will get the chance to prove themselves in pre-season.
I hope that we can fix the defensive problems, since we have not improved that much from last season.
OPS-jp failed to consolidate their title. However the new manager seemed to have brought financial stability to the team. They ended up 9th in the Veikkausliiga in 2016 but did manage to win the Veikkauscup, the only Finnish title I had not won yet.