After two incredibly different campaigns, we found ourselves right back at square one. The shock of relegation in our opening season could have been a real end of the line moment so early in this save but we got on with it and reaped the rewards.
We went away, rebuilt and surged back into the third tier at the first time of asking. Now with a stronger squad and a better style of play we hoped we wouldn’t come up short this time around.
Not wanting to rock the boat and very happy with the balance of the squad we added just one first team player. Colombian midfielder Juan Mosquera joined after a strong showing on trial.
We managed to extend the loan deals of three of the four players from last season, they had been invaluable and would be needed again if we were to have a succesful campaign.
The league consists of just twelve teams. Due to restructuring, four of those sides will be relegated, one will move to a promotion group and four will be placed into a play-off competition. I couldn’t work this out until I actually played through the season.
We opened up the season with a 6-0 mauling of Fatima and kicked on from there. The front four who performed so well last season, more than held their own this time around too. Always been a big believer in having four solid striking options if you are to have a succesful season.
For a long time I thought we might actually have an unbeaten season, I think my first ever. It wasn’t to be though as from nowhere, we threw away our final two games of the season. The eight group winners of which we were one, were then split into two leagues of four where you play everyone twice.
Although the results say otherwise these games were close and actually the most enjoyable of the season. We came through them really well and erased the memories of our previous ‘Campeonato Nacional’ nightmare.
With minimal changes to the squad we have achieved back to back promotions. The time we took two summers ago to do our research and recruitment has really paid dividends. It is something we will take into the next window. I don’t want wholesale changes and will only enter the market for the right player. In past versions I have found it far too easy to be scattergun and take risks on players that are not good enough, we are trying to change that strategy.
I am a slow learner with the new features. However after some chats with FM Stag about the xG stats and how to use them to identify players you may normally skip past, I have to say I’m enjoying recruitment a lot more this time around. Well it could be that, or it could be the fact I don’t have Mike force feeding me goalkeepers every six months.
We have used a few younger players this year, these two in particular got a good amount of game time and will do so again next season. Velasco will go into the season as first choice keeper which for a 16 year old is a lot of pressure on his shoulders.
Next season will see us compete in the ‘Liga Portugal 2 SABSEG’ and against the islands biggest side CS Maritimo. The self proclaimed ‘Islands greatest’ suffered a shock relegation out of the Liga NOS.
Having had a look around, the aforementioned side along with both the Porto and Benfica B teams will be very hard to get near. It is an eighteen league division with only two sides going down, hopefully we have enough not to be in that conversation.
Financially we lost £500k in year one but have slowly clawed that back and now sit just £200k in the red. With an average of 95 spectators I need that number to grow if we are to be able to ever grow the club in the way I want to.
It has been an enjoyable if short season but now all eyes are on next year and the challenge of staying in Portugals second division.
Black Crow Ushuaia had a very good year under Dmitri Alenichev, falling short at the final hurdle as Boca Juniors lifted the Primera title. That is a better finish than I ever had in Ushuaia so a bit of a kick in the balls 😂.
We will possibly look at some of their youth prospects who fancy a year in Portugal as potential loanees this season. They have to be interested and they have to be good enough.
I didn’t mention it above but we did bring in Emiliano Ursino on loan in January from BCU. Narrative wise for people who have followed across from FM20, Ursino was a 17 year old substitute on the day Madeira manager Jorge Rojas played his final game for Ushuaia, he also spent 18 months on loan at FC Pripyat under the feared Ruslan Chepiga.
Thanks for taking the time to read, keep well, C.
Also if you aren’t on Slack, join up. Not only for my ramblings in #fm-blackcrow but there are so many incredible content creators on there with terrible banter that you really are missing out.