March 2018 – Playoffs
a string of mixed results after the break concluded by a disappointing defeat at the hands of Botoșani hand us a 13th placed finish at the end of the regular division fixtures
Now here comes the interesting part, the Romanian Liga I has a structure similar to the Ekstraklasa, in Poland, where after the 14 teams in the league play each other twice over the total of 26 matches, the league is split into two sections:
Champions playoff – top 6 teams / Relegation Group – bottom 8 teams
From here on, teams start with 50% of the points they accumulated over the course of the season and the results they obtain in the two groups will be the final result determining the clubs’ continental qualification/title winning positions as well as relegation.
the Playoffs unfold between the 10th of March and the 3rd of June in which each club will play a total of 14 matches
with some pretty strong teams in this years’ relegation group we’re going to have to play really well to avoid going down….
I have no words for this…. this is appaling! even for our facilities and standards this is ridiculous. The stars ratings can be confusing sometimes, so I’ll give you some reasons for my rage:
If this is a a player with a current ability of 3 stars, you can imagine just how good even the best of these youngsters will get in their peak
And when it comes to judging ability and potential I have a highly qualified member of staff in that area on whose opinion I can rely on. And by the way, I can only blame the quality of this year’s intake on this very man and his ability of ‘working with youngsters’. New HOYD on his way as soon as possible.
So… here’s the best player of this year’s intake:
With no spare cash to waste on potential back-up players (at best) I have released ALL the youth candidates of this year. Absolute p***take
Or… do they?
The Lancers seal survival in biggest ever win
woah… I’m goig to pour myself a drink after this one….
June 2018 -Season review
League table after playoffs
crazy, right? only thanks to the format of the playoffs a 5th placed Viitorul ended up as champions and an 11th placed Olimpia ended up relegated. This makes it all much more exciting, though, and it definitely favors teams like us, who, at this point don’t really have anything to lose.
a really, really tough season which could have so easily ended in disaster for us, however we managed to stay up and defy the odds, while considerably increasing our reputation, which went up one star over the course of two years, as well as our finances and appeal:
really encouraging figures for attendance there, which went up 3 times compared to last season, so it looks like we’re fishing some fans in Bucharest
Sparta Team of the Year
No surprises here, really, as Casap, Ciobanu and Băluță were the spine of the team throughout the season. Ironically, the first two are leaving on a free in a couple of days, and the third one has one year left on his contract and it doesn’t look likely he’ll renew his current deal.
Revelation of the season
Liviu Ciocănaru (youth 2017)
Liviu has been immensely impressive in his first senior season for the club. As the star of last year’s youth intake he didn’t disappoint, as he made a total of 41 appearances for the club this season, chipping in with three assists and averaging a respectable 6.84 overall. Match experience and training saw Liviu greatly improve his tactical understanding of the game, as well as his physique, bot of which are absolutely crucial for the role he plays in. With the departure of the above mentioned key members, Liviu will undoubtedly be our key player next season and one whose future looks increasingly brighter, as he’s still just 17 years of age
we get two messages from the board:
encouraging stuff at first
and some less exciting stuff after…
I’m still happy with this, as our finances aren’t particularly amazing, and the youth facilities expansion is still on track to be completed by October…
So the day has come for Casap…. he’s gone at the end of the season as he’s agreed a free transfer to the Portuguese giants 😦
quite happy for him, actually, a move to Benfica is a massive jump up his career ladder and the wages they’re offering him are what we’re paying half our squad with at the moment
Next season is going to be tough… tough without our two leaders, Casap and Ciobanu. Tactically speaking, we’ll have to grind out results more as a team rather than relying on the latter’s individual brilliance and adjustment will be made in that sense. Additionally, we’re a very young team which is still improving, particularly from a physical point of view, so even without these two, we’ve improved a great deal over the past few years. These are early times in this club’s existence but things are already looking tremendously well and we’ll hope we can build on this year’s success and frustrate the odds again next season 🙂
June 2018 – Final day drama
A very congested two months of football see us snatch some very important wins along the way to place us in a very tight situation
with one match to go against Poli Iași, who are 2 points below us, this match will decide our fate
meanwhile, some interesting news in the other half of the table, as Gheorghe Hagi’s youth academy team wins the league! This is very interesting news for Romanian football – providing we cement our status as a Liga I team in the future, Romania will have two top-division teams which only rely on players produced by their respective academies.
so, here we are… the final match of the season, deciding whether we stay up or get relegated: the match odds tell the story…..