Welcome back to the blog, ladies and gentlemen. It’s the first blog post of 2017. Happy New Year. Hopefully it won’t be so crappy as last year, with the deaths of Bowie, Prince, Nancy Reagan, Mohammed Ali, Alan Rickman, Brexit, POTUS, I need to stop, before I depress myself.
Anyway, it’s time for season four! Last season we won Division Nine, and we’ve gotten started on the Division Eight season. Let’s get to the new changes that have gone on behind the scenes and recap the start of the season.
First thing’s first, we have a new kit design to unveil for the next two years. As I said a couple of weeks ago at the start of season two, I would make a new kit every time we had a new sponsorship, and out deal with The Laptop Workshop for the current kit has expired. We now have another two year deal that will run us from 2017-19, and these two kits, sponsored by Carpetright, will be worn for all of our matches for the next two years.
I really like these kits. The designs of the old ones looked pretty cool, but I realised shortly after I started using them that I just didn’t care for the fact that the colors were so dull and muted. The texture and blend effects have dulled the color just slightly while making the kit have layers, but the base color is the original green and orange from the first season’s kit, so it looks a lot more traditional, for lack of a better word.
I think these things look great, myself. As a reminder, you can go to the kit history page to see the evolution of the AFC Bolnore kit over the years.
Here are teh season expectations for the year. In Division Eight, we’re expected to take home the title, and as usual I’m aiming for nothing less. The Tester Challenge Cup has been replaced by the Mains Challenge Cup in this division, and we’re expected to win it, as well as the Parsons Challenge Cup and the Mid-Sussex Junior Cup.
Hopefully the fourth time will be lucky with the Junior Cup, which we’ve come close to winning, and hopefully we can take the other ones as well.
The first preseason friendly was against Wodson Park, a semi-professional side, and we took a 4-3 home victory, from a hat-trick from Talisman Terry , with the aid of an own goal from the opposition. Overall, it was a pleasing result, considering the opposition.
The next match was a close 4-4 draw, with a debut brace from new signing Aaron Ward-Baptiste, who moved from Bristol into the lower leagues and now to me, where he’s going to be a regular asset to the first team.
The next result was a 4-1 win against semi-pro Newhaven in which we saw another hat-trick from the Talisman, as well as a goal from CM and vice-captain Craig Loxton. Very pleasing stuff considering how tight the match itself was.
Our next match was a 3-1 victory against Fareham, to end our preseason friendlies undefeated against these lower-end semi-professional teams. It gives me a lot of optimism, considering the quality of the players we’ve been attracting and the ever increasing quality of the backroom.
We continue our run of form by debuting in Division Eight with a 9-1 smashing of Ifield III. Talisman Terry was sent off on the last match of last season, so he was suspended for this first competitive match of the 2017/18 season, but his absence wasn’t an issue this time around. 17 year old Paul Fowler from our academy made a debut in the team and secured a hat-trick, as did Craig Loxton.
After that match we received our draw for the Junior Cup First Round, ad we’re going to welcome Fairfield back to our ground from Division Nine.
The next match was a 3-5 away victory in the league where we saw a second-half drop in form with two goals coming from the keeper Bonar and Wordsworth deciding to be bizarrely out of position in the usual odd Football Manager circumstances. We were otherwise in control of the match all the way through to the end.
The next match was our Junior Cup home tie against Fairfield from Division Nine, and we took it in a 3-0 win to move to the next round.
The second round for the Junior Cup will be against East Grinstead III from Division Seven and will be a home match, set to be played on 14 October. It should be a good match, because while I’m too lazy to go back and look, I’m certain we’ve met them before.
At this time, we’re first in the league with two matches played and a game in hand. We’re tied for points with Ridgewood.
This is our schedule so far. The next couple of matches shouldn’t be too difficult. I’m tied for points with 2nd place Ridgewood with a game in hand, so considering the quality of opposition, it shouldn’t be too hard of a time.
I didn’t give out the usual transfer news because I’m still interested in a couple of players and making deals, but I’ll have some roster updates in the next post.
As usual, you can follow me on Twitter @EricSnowmane or follow the blog for updates on my progress with AFC Bolnore. If you want to review any posts from the last three seasons, check out the season-by-seasons page on the AFC Bolnore drop-menu.
I know it’s getting a bit spammy at this point, but if you use Reddit and want to see more Football Manager blogs or YouTube series, check out /r/TheManagersCorner, a new spin-off subreddit from the main /r/footballmanagergames that’s dedicated to sharing with others your blogs, video series, or other creative writing related to the Football Manager series. Why not give it a look?