Season 5 – Pirin (Blogoevgrad) – Bulgarian Western B Group

An up-and-down season saw us swinging between top and 10th, and finally settling for 5th. The main difference was AMR – 21 goals last season, 6 this (with 2 in the last game).

We also had to play Bdin which made me feel a bit queasy actually. We beat them 4-0 at home but of their 2 victories all season who do you think they beat 5-1 at their place? Us, going through a GK-injury-fest (we also managed to fit in a 4-8 loss to Yantra in that time).

Still on the positive side we had one former and one current player make their first appearances for the national U-21 – very proud.
And the financials are getting better – a profit of about $1m on the year with no cup run. Still no improvement to the training ground allowed by the board. Maybe next year. I signed a new contract.

Players in: 5 for $42k
Players out: 7 for $850k

League Position – 5th from 14

P26 W11 D6 L9 +1

In group A the relegatees will be Pirin-Blagoevgrad (the battle of the punctuation is on!) and Vidima-Rakovski

Season 6 – Pirin (Blogoevgrad) – Bulgarian Western B Group

Another middling season, beating the teams below us and losing to the good sides above us. The brightest spots were taking 4points (including winning 3-0 at their place) from Pirin-Blagoevgrad.

Those points dropped kept them in the B Group. We lost 1-9 aggregate over the two legs to Keefa’s Vidima-Rakovski (though they also missed out on promotion) and had our highest attendance of almost 12000 at home to Loko (Sofia) of the A Group in a cup game.

Sold our best players of course but the scouts (and the U19 games) kept turning up decent replacements. The bank account keeps getting better (up from $200k to over $2m now), but the board still won’t fund any training ground improvements. Hopefully soon …

Players in: 4 for $29k
Players out: 5 for $800k

League Position – 5th from 14

P26 W11 D7 L8 +2 5/14

Not pushing for promotion until the facilities are better – the reserves coming through are too far from good enough yet. A consistent 5th or so would be perfect!

Season 7 – Pirin (Blogoevgrad) – Bulgarian Western B Group

The lesson of the day is: “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it”

A low-key season was expected (media prediction: 6th), but the ST the AssMan found in an U-19 game turned out to be great (well, for this league). He wasn’t league top scorer – quite – but he kept us humming along nicely, and got a national U-19 callup along the way. I also drafted in decent DC in the January window and we were top with 6games to go.

Then the wheels fell off.

We lost to Hebar, Botev 21 (relegation candidates), Keefa’s erstwhile Vidima-Rokovski and relegation-threatened Berlite orli before scraping a win at relegated and last-placed Gigant.

We finished:

5th.

The main highlights though were taking all 6points from the Hyphens (bitter local rivals Pirin-Blagoevgrad) and STs callup. Still no expansion of the training facilities.

Players in: 5 for $13
Players out: 7 for $200k

League Position – 5th from 14

P26 W12 D7 L7 +6

Season 8 – Pirin (Blagoevgrad) – Bulgarian Western B Group

This was the season that I started to move towards the model I set out at the start.

Even though the facilities haven’t been improved at all, and the reserves’ standard isn’t great, I started working some of the reserves into first team games. And they did OK; not great, but OK.

What nearly ended the experiment early was the fact that we scored an amazing amount of goals that were pulled back for offsides. With a slightly thinner squad than we’ve had before (because of sales) we conceded more, too, and some of those were late winners/equalizers that cost us a better finish.

In a mirror image of last season, with 5games to go we were 13th and in the second relegation spot. But we went unbeaten from then, ending up a comfortable but disappointing 10th. We drew both games with the Hyphens, but lost both to Vidima-Rakovski.

Overall some progress towards the main end, but a little backsliding on actual performance.

Players in: 2 for $17k (in the January window)
Players out: 11 for $250k (9 frees)

League Position – 10th from 14

P26 W6 D12 L8 +3

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