Today we do the whole end-of-season round-up malarkey, lots of little bits of admin, some stats and setting up for our play-off challenge (That’s what the boys want!!)
So the Best Overall Eleven relates to these last 2 season for Berwick, of which I’ve been a part of it for half a season. 8 of the first eleven are first team regulars and 3 of the subs are part of the first team squad. The players that aren’t with the club/not part of the first team squad are (first team) Robert Wilson (DC, 25, Peterhead), Euan Valentine (WBL, 19, Raith) and Michael O’Brien (AML, 16(!), Motherwell) & (subs) Craig Hume (DC, 33, Berwick Res – being released), Declan O’Kane (MC, 25, Peterhead), Matthew Knox (AMC, 20, Livingston) & Ahmed Aloulou (Unknown as unclickable, think I looked before and he had gone back to Tunisia)
Job security is at 57% so pretty stable, we report back for training before the Betfred cup on 29th June, and initial budgets are set at £2.9k & £10.4k transfer budget (Which I doubt we will use TBH)
Finances are currently at £50k in the black, And we’ve got another £25k to come from our Dundee affiliation.
Some decent attribute changes since I took over – Tom Sutherland the stand-out
For the attribute falls Martin McNiff is the only worry – at 28 he shouldn’t be dropping off like this – it makes finding a quality CB important now as I see him as backup.
Next up are the stats for the season for the players we still have in the first team.
Passing, Crossing & Heading – I’d like Tom Sutherland to complete more, and have > 2 key passes per game, that’s my KPI for playmakers. Lewis Barr shows how important he is for us in this respect as a standard CM. Our Wingers have done OK, 3 over 20% cross completion, and Lewis Allan completes 62.6% of his headers, but either not in scoring positions, the delivery isn’t sufficient to get enough power on his headers to finish them or his 15 heading is a bit misleading. He scored 1 goal and made no assists since his signing, I need to find a way of getting him into better positions so he can either assist the other forward with a nod-down or score himself.
Tackles, Interceptions, Fouls, Mistakes & Offsides – We have some good tacklers (Both CB’s and MR Conor McLaughlin) at over 90% completion, and both CB’s intercept well (over 3 a game). We don’t concede many fouls, make many mistyakes (Nobody over 2 mistakes per game) nor really concede many offsides, so that is all positive.
Goals Scored, Assists, Chances & Dribbling – Here are the problems – Nobody scoring better than 1 in 2, Nobody better than 1 in 2 for Assists, nobody better than 1 in 2 for chance creation. We’ve scored 27 in 16 since I took over, with a good few scorers 1 or 2 goals. Lewis Allan is the biggest disappointment here.
So my shopping list is – 1st team CB, 1st Team WBR, Cover for CM, Star ST…..
My last player contract extension – Jordan Orru (22, DM/WB/MRLC) – £5 less per month than his last contract, a very useful backup to have as he plays well in so many positions.
Niall Foy renews his Reserves Manager contract for another year.
2 players in the final Team of the Week for the season – Jay Campbell and Conor McLaughlin.
Peter Webb renews his U18 Manager contract for another year.
Martin Paterson signs for another year as U18 Coach.
It’s Queen’s Park v East Fife in the Relegation Playoff Final over 2 legs after they beat Lossiemouth 4-3 on penalties after Lossiemouth won the second leg 3-1, making it 3-3 on aggregate. Last year Buckie Thistle relegated Queen’s Park, can they do the same to East Fife?
And its Stranraer v Buckie Thistle in the Promotion Playoff Final over 2 legs – Stranraer beating Elgin City 2-1 on aggregate, Buckie Thistle beating Cowdenbeath by the same. 9th in League 1 plays 2nd in League 2 for a place in the 3rd tier.
The 1st legs are done – East Fife winning 1-0 at Hampden v Queen’s Park, Buckie drawing 1-1 at Stranraer in what would be one of the longest journeys possible in Scottish League football (288 miles)
And we have our opposition for next year. East Fife stay in League 2 after a 1-1 draw with Queen’s Park in the 2nd leg gave them a 2-1 aggregate win. And we will be playing Stranraer next season – Buckie Thistle beating them 5-4 on penalties after the tie finished 1-1 on aggregate (0-0 on the night). Back to back promotions for Buckie Thistle!!!!
£10.5k bonuses have been paid out to the squad after our 6th place finish and 6 sponsorship deals worth £18k/year have been signed.
Albion Rovers are apparently interested in Conor McLaughlin – Asking price now set at £5k. To be fair he doesn’t really fit the 4-4-2 but we will be re-assessing tactics and formations from next month, and if we play AMR/L he’s one of the first on the teamsheet.
Coach John Brogan (66) has retired. He had some solid coaching attributes but shouldn’t be too difficult to replace.
Shaun Harrad (35) joins us as the U18 Assistant manager – I’m really trying to push our youth development as we have gotten a real couple of diamonds (Chris Barras & Tom Sutherland) plus a good youth intake crop this year, and I really want to develop them. This is his first coaching role, but he has a wealth of experience from the 3rd tier down in England and some really decent attributes. At £50/wk he’s a bargain.
And a bit of a coup – we have Stephen Warnock (38) replacing John Brogan. Stephen started at Liverpool and played 456 league games across the top 3 tiers in England, and has 2 international caps. This is his first coaching job but he does have some lovely attributes (Loving the 13 defending) though he may not be with us very long as he is fairly ambitious 🙂
Financially we aren’t doing too bad – We only made a loss of £1144 last season – with a trimming of the budget, judicious use of youth players, a few cheeky cup runs, increased attendances and the Dundee affiliation I hope to turn a profit this season.
Only the Spanish 2nd division and the Ukrainian top league haven’t finished as of 31st May – positions above. Liverpool make it 2 titles in a row, as do Real Madrid, Paris St. Germain, Club Brugge, Galatasary, Red Bull Salzburg & Ajax. Bayer Leverkusen overturn Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, AC Milan top of the pile in Italy, Spartak Moscow in Russia and Benfica topple FC Porto in Portugal. Atletico Madrid win the Chamions League, beating Arsenal(!), Benfica win the Europa League v Hoffenheim, the standout for me. Brazilian dominance in South America, Deportivo Cali being the only non-Brazilian finalist in the last 2 seasons.
Lastly we have release Ass Man David Lees (£220/wk, wanted £275!!) and Chief Scout Ben Toulson (£75/wk, wanted £110) on the staff side – I’ll begin recruiting now – and we release 7 players (DRC Craig Reid (34), GK Sean Brennan (22), WR Ross Lyon (22), CM Jack Ogilvie (20), ST Cameron Dawson (21), ST Calum Adamson (28) & DC Craig Hume, 33). That leaves us with 13 first teamers, 3 reserves (one with 2* ability) and 20 in the U18’s (Four with 2* Current or above).
Next time we will have a look at what June 2020 brings us – see you soon.