Finishing 10th in our first La Liga campaign was more that I could have dreamed of given the scant resources at Alcoyano. As I alluded to in the last post, we would have settled for fourth bottom but instead thrived amongst the big boys.
Rather than resting on our laurels I immediately set about making changes that could help continue our progress. With some money in the bank and my achievements setting me in good stead I approached the board to ask for investment in both the training and youth facilities. Whilst I was happy being a wheeler dealer I always like the academy to through a decent player my way every now and then. Unfortunately in this save I haven’t had anyone of sufficient quality to challenge for a place in the first team, even lower down the leagues.
David Torres was finally put out to pasture after plundering 85 goals in five seasons. I was confident Nicolas Schiappacasse could fill the void left by Torres so I opted against strengthening the CF position. I did invest in Javi Noblejas as we were in dire need of a better quality LB. Salva Ruiz was the lowest rated player from the previous season and hadn’t improved over the year. Nobeljas brought La Liga experience and seemed a solid option within the budget confines we were still in.
Other additions were Alessane Plea on a Bosman free to offer some competition for the stagnating Javi Rudi on the right wing.
The final two additions were Anderson Michael for £100k and Moussa Aboua for £90k.
The season started off well as we adjudted to our new surroundings at Hercules. Sadly not many fans made the 75 mile round trip from Alcoi to Alicante and we were playing in front of sparse crowds at the bigger venue. That said, we did manage to scalp one of the big boys in our temporary home.
Just before Christmas we moved back in the refurbed El Collao. Whilst it wasn’t the most spectacular, I was happy with our new home and the crowds swelled to the new capacity of 15,000.
With a few games to go we had the frankly ludicrous spectre of qualifying for the Champions League. We had been unspectacular yet solid throughout the season and had turned defeats in to draws and draws in to wins.
The up side was we were in the driving seat. The down side was the last three games were Celta, Real Madrid and Villarreal. I didn’t expect to hang on to fourth spot as Real and Celta were both in good form. The good news was we were guaranteed European football which was further progress. Well, winning at home to Barca might just be exceeded by winning away to Real Madrid to qualify for the Champions League ahead of them.
This review is deliberately short as I am racing ahead in the game and don’t want to fall in to the trap of behind three seasons behind.
One last bit of news was the welcome news of a potential new ground. Things are getting interesting in the Valencian hills.
Six season completed means four more to try and win the league and match my ten season mark at Amiens (FM13) and Hansa Rostock (FM14).