after six years of fighting for either survival in the Liga I or promotion from Liga II and always in the grey zone of the underdog we finally make a step up this season to finish mid-table. An 8th placed finish in the final league table is a reason to be proud and optimistic for the years to come.
End of season league table
we were really close to making the Championship Playoffs for the first time in the club’s history (which is achieved by finishing 6th or above in the table before playoffs begin) however a few unlucky results have stolen away that privilege right at the death of standard league fixtures. We entered the relegation group placed first and disappointingly slipped to 5th after a really bad run of form, however we still managed to finish 8th overall and having had the worst survival odds in the league at the start of the season, that is a massive achievement for the club. Our cup performance hasn’t been stellar either, as we were knocked out by a second league team in the Romanian Cup, and that counts as the only downside of an otherwise great season.
The stats say it all… One of the few occasions our Nica-Chipirliu striking partnership managed to stay fit for the majority of the duration of the season and they showed just why they’ve got that place in the ‘club legends’ section cemented in gold. With 40 goals and 20 assists between them, there’s no doubt the club would be much worse without them two. The biggest surprise of the season was Penescu, who put in some pretty amazing outings at right wing-back, as his great physique overshadowed the lack of technical ability and propelled him into our top four of the season. Roșca completes the podium as the clubs best midfielder of the season, and even though it doesn’t look like he’ll get much better from now on, he’s a key player for this team and will probably confirm this status over the next few years as well.
Youth Prospects (u18)
Andone and Vlădilă are the two stars of last years’ intake and they’re already impressing in the first team, despite their tender age. Andone is undoubtedly ‘the man’, however the other two are also really exciting players for a squad of our level. It’s going to be a bit of a headache trying to get the best out of Vlădilă, as he doesn’t fit into our current system, so he’ll probably be re-trained as a MC, as skeptical as I am about that making the best use of his abilities. Our system is working really well at the moment so there’s no point changing it all for the sake of one player so I suppose he’ll have to adapt for the time being. Buștei will probably be our starting GK for next season, although I really hate eccentric goalkeepers so we’ll see how he fares on the pitch in our pre-season friendlies.
great stuff, we get two players rated 5* in two positions that are fairly problematic for the club: left wb/fb and cm/am. Also, both have decent physical stats for their age and that should facilitate their introduction in the first team. What is definitely worrying is the personalities we’ve got this year, as our best three prospects have some appalling traits there. We don’t have great tutoring options in the squad, so we’ll see how they develop, but I don’t like that our overall determination in the squad keeps getting lower and lower because of stuff like this.
these were some of the first messages that greeted me in the inbox at the start of the season
the Nation’s progress in the last few years has been absolutely sensational. Liga I has jumped up the rankings and is now placed 12th in the European Rankings, just above the Scottish Ladbrokes Championship and the Austrian Premier division. Hopefully we can keep going this way
we’ve made a big step up in our finances this year. some new sponsorship deals and a really good TV deal pushed our balance to 1.2 M, almost twice higher than it’s ever been before.
Overall, a great season. We did slip up a few disappointing performances here and there, but that is only normal, due to the average age of the squad we have at the moment. We have some great prospects maturing well and the addition of some better coaching staff should further increase that. I’ll probably stick to our trademark 3-5-2 for the next season as well, as there’s no reason to change yet, even though I have to admit, I’m craving for some new tactical experiments I’m tempted to be optimistic enough to hope for a top half of the table finish next year, however I will keep that thought hidden deep and quiet from the incisive eyes of karma