I’d advise any new readers NOT to read this episode as it contains major plot spoilers!
What a year. That’s right, it’s only been a year. Well, less than a year, I started my journey at the end of July and it’s only May. It feels like it’s been a lot longer.
Let’s just catch our breath and take a look back on how this year has gone.
11/08/2016 – 22/10/2016
Club: FC Höllviken
Final Position: 13th
Record: W3 D0 L5
Key Player(s): Niklas “The” Hammer, “Big” Simon Henningsson, Joakim “Joakim” Nilsson Ingves
Highlight: Our Penalty Shootout cup win over Hammarby IF
Lowlight: Losing our crucial last match against Husqvarna FF, which lead to relegation and the termination of my contract
I was hired by Alexander Lundgren of FC Höllviken with the brief “Save us, Franjo”, and I failed. I had 8 matches to save a club that seemed doomed and I genuinely fancied my chances. We put together a squad that should have been good enough and I still believe that with that squad and a full season I would have laughed at the thought of relegation, but in our situation it just wasn’t enough.
Incidentally, Höllviken’s choice of Manager to replace me was Stefan Lundqvist, who somehow lead the club to prop up the 4th tier of Swedish Football by a distance. I was very sad to see that happen as I had hoped for more from the squad following our relegation. Höllviken duely sacked Lundqvist and are currently being lead by a caretaker manager: One Joakim Nilsson Ingves.
28/01/2017 – Present
Club: SC Angrense
Final Position: 2nd
Record: W8 D3 L3
Key Player(s): Gonçalo Valadão, Benjamim, Gonçalo “Hurley” Reyes, Jordanes Medeiros, Pedro “Kevin” Aguiar, Cristiano Magina
Highlight: Benjamim’s last second winner at Torreense in our 2nd match
Lowlight: The 0-0 draw against Vit Sernache
Following my Höllviken dismissal I was employed to steady the ship at SC Angrense, who had dismissed my predecessor for failing to guide the club into the Promotion Stage of the Portuguese Championship. We had a rocky first half of our relegation stage campaign as I found my feet but we’ve finished the season strongly, winning 5 times in the second half of the stage.
Angrense have actually been named as the biggest overachievers in the Taça de Portugal, with our win over FC Porto named as the Best Match, but I can’t really take any pride in that because it wasn’t my Angrense.
Team of the Season is pretty much as you’d expect: Jaime Seidi makes it into central midfield at the cost of Hurley, but to be fair he played a lot more for us over the season, especially under Eduardo. The departing Aurélio makes the cut, presumably by virtue of having played for the vast majority of the season. The rest I think speak for themselves.
Cristiano Magina has been voted player of the season by a comfortable margin by the Angrense fans. It’s unsurprising as he has been consistently good, and towards the end of the season he’s absolutely caught fire.
Speaking of Magina, obviously he is SC Angrense’s top scorer and he has accumulated the most player of the match awards for us this season. He’s finished as the 2nd top scorer in the Portuguese Championship, racking up 21 goals in 30 appearances: just shy of Sousense’s Nenê Apeú and his 23 goals in 32 appearances, although in terms of minutes per goal Magina is top of the league.
The goal of the season award goes to Gonçalo Valadão for his free kick against Torreense in April, and young player of the season is the lesser spotted but undoubtably promising Rúben “Rúby” Miranda.
The other Miranda, Vitor, was rated our best player for the season. Apart from the attempted murder of Sadio Samba towards the end of the season he has been exactly what I expected: A solid, no nonsense, no trouble full back. The kind of player that the media and I will rarely mention because there’s no need to. He does his job and that’s that.
Kevin racked up the most assists with, but in terms of overall contribution to the build up to our goals I’d say he’s been the most influential. As I’ve said before if we get a good chance in the area I’ll be shocked if he hasn’t played a part in creating it.
Rúby was our tidiest player, completing 83% of his passes and further reinforcing that he’s one to watch.
Jaime Seidi picked up 8 yellow cards, the most in the team, but in the role he plays I’m fine with that tally, and Vitor Miranda was the only player to pick up 2 red cards, the less said about that side of his game the better.
We’ve also had the highest percentage of headers won out of the 80 teams in the Division, which I am impressed by. One of the first things that I noticed upon arriving in Hero Creek was that the spine of our team is full of big, physically imposing players: the centre backs, Seidi in the holding role, Benjamim in the middle, Magina up front. So it makes sense, but I’m impressed nevertheless.
Overall I am very very pleased. About my time with Angrense, not Höllviken. I inherited a better group of players than I expected and on the whole they’ve been brilliant. Certain players that I consider deadwood will be leaving very soon, and certain players will come in to bolster the squad. That is if I stay. But barring a noticeably bigger club coming in for me I think I will stay for a bit. I’m happy here and I think we could have a fair crack at reaching the promotion stage next Season. I’ll see you then.
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