Season 11 – Knockbreda FC, NIFL Championship
Board Expectations: Top half finish
Players In: 9 + 3 @ $0
Players Out: 5 + 3 @ $0, heaps released
Glentoran approached the board early in the season and proposed we be a feeder club; the board accepted and we did at least get some payments coming in from a parent club to help the bank balance a bit – most of their players for loan were pish, mind.
Premier team Institute decided that they wanted to be a parent club as well, just without paying, and promptly hoovered up three of my players from last season.
I landed two new wingers and an AMC who would reinforce the team and add some quality; I also got two new CBs (though one was on short term loan) who would help make up for the loss of Happy.
The season started well, but a third of the way in we were sitting in ninth and I was a little concerned the board might get an itchy trigger finger.
What turned the season around though was a mighty run in the Irish Cup; first we had a 3-1 win at Warrenpoint Town (Premiership) and then we drew our parent club at our own patch.
We sold out the ground and proceeded to draw 1-1, somehow going through on penalties. Our reward was a quarter final draw at Linfield, who required extra time to dunk us out 3-1.
Our league form improved greatly and we sat easily in the top half; by the end of the season we secured fourth, but we were only two points from second.
The board wants a playoff place next year, so we’re going to need to improve by at least one place as a result.
This said, it should be pointed out we lost the least games of any team this season, and had the best defence – the late season addition of an ex-Crusaders CB looks to be the Happy replacement we needed.
NIFL Championship: 4th (13-13-6)
Northern Irish Cup: Quarter Final (out to Linfield 1-3 aet)
League Cup: Quarter Final (out to Linfield 0-2)
County Antrim Shield: Semi Final (out to Ballymena United 1-2 aet)
Player of the Season: Our AMC Sink remains an evergreen attacking threat, despite a younger player taking time off of him throughout the season.