Previously on Canvey Island: Flight Of The Concords: Part 3
What a year! At best I thought we’d be in the six team play-off battle. To win the league and secure the only automatic promotion spot, was a genuine surprise.
The policy of having a relatively large squad of players was, I think, integral to our success, allowing us to field a capable, fully fit team at all times, despite injuries and fixture congestion. These are the players that remain come seasons end:
Louis Wells was solid if unspectacular in our goal, but having seen other ‘keepers at this level, that’s been more than satisfactory. He’s been replaced by Chris Lewington now, and with his contract up, Wells will be leaving. We’ll miss his influence on the group.
There was a very obvious first choice back four, that performed well together, particularly in the second half of the season. Perry Cotton at right back was the best of the bunch, and until the late season arrival of loanee Sam Warde, didn’t get much rest.
Our central defensive partnership of choice was Ian Miller and Billy Roast. Perfect for grinding out clean sheets and preventing opposition attackers from carving us up… Club captain Steve King played a fair bit too and was essential behind the scenes in keeping under-utilised back up players from rebelling.
Left back was our weakest position, with Jordan Brown’s inconsistency being slightly superior to Lee Hills’.
Our central midfield duo endured most rotation, due largely to fitness concerns. Early on, Kyron Farrell usurped Harry Lee as our ball winning midfielder, providing offensive impetus, as well as breaking up opposition moves. Next to him, playing as a central midfielder with a defensive role, was Max Makaka, who did the simple things well, passing accurately and shielding the defence.
Our wing play was probably the best facet of our play over the season. Ben Greenhalgh was rightly voted our Fans Player of the Season. 7 goals, 13 assists, 7 man of the match awards and an average rating of 7.24.
On the right, Lewis Taafe was also excellent, particularly in the second half of the season. He eventually racked up 18 assists, and kept us on track when the form of many others had deserted them. They both formed successful partnerships with our first choice full backs.
The battle to secure a spot in our front two was eventually won by Femi Akinwande and Jordan Cox. They developed a good understanding together, finishing with 17 and 16 goals respectively. Admittedly, by no means prolific, and towards the end of the season their goal droughts were a key reason for our poorer form. It was up front where we struggled to keep back up players happy too, with both Danny Parrish and Michael Cregan being shown the door, to prevent dressing room disquiet.
Mostly off of the bench, Stephen Cawley, playing in a variety of positions across midfield and up front, contributed eight goals and 4 assists. Michael Cregan bagged ten goals (four penalties) and six assists, before complaining led to his move to our promotion rivals Bath, where his effect was greatly diminished.
Financially, we’re not doing quite as well.
Our paltry attendances aren’t enough to cover even our modest wage bill. A cup run and/or player sales will be required to help the club attain a financial status quo.
On a personal note, this will likely be my only FM18 save, due to time constraints. As a result, there’s a part of me that is itching to lead a bigger club. Youth development is something I really enjoy, and opportunities to explore that part of the game at this level are limited to say the least. Our youth intake yielded no players that I’m optimistic about. The majority of the intake has traits such as “low determination” and “unambitious”, and no-one is rated above a three star potential. I’m tutoring the best of them, but they’re not up to much.
Into the summer we go!