Good evening all and welcome back to the latest update in my quest to get all 6 Hero Achievements available on Steam.
So I am now starting my 4th season with Lealtad, last season we managed, at the 3rd time of asking to win promotion out the Spanish 3rd Tier, we had an amazing season, our third 2nd place in a row but this time we managed to get through all 3 play off rounds to secure promotion to Liga Adelante, only 1 more promotion to secure that illusive first hero achievement!
To be honest that is going to take a good couple of seasons, our squad, funding and overall club stature is nowhere near good enough to be challenging for promotion. To gain promotion you either need to end in the top 2, which means you go up automatically, or end 3rd to 6th which means a play off spot. Another word of note is that there are a few “B” teams in this division, if their “A” team is in the league above they are not allowed to go up which means you could end lower than 6th but still get a play off spot
You will have seen from my last update that the board had backed me with some pretty decent budgets, out transfer budget stood at £180k and our wage budget had doubled from £7.5k to £15k. This is great as I really need to strengthen and also increase my squad. We are losing my 2nd choice striker Beda as he is bored with not playing and won’t sign a new contract, we are also losing 3 loan players so need to replace them. We need to strengthen all over and I did just that, we made 6 signings and 2 loan signings, and here they are:
Signing 1 – Penaranda was signed on a season long loan from Granada, he can play all over the attacking midfield and also an emergency striker if needed. He has all the attributes I wanted, pace, stamina, good set piece taking and a bit of flair as well
Signing 2 – Cifu was signed on a free transfer, he will challenge another signing below for that 2nd striker spot
Signing 3 – Luis is the guy to be challenging Cifu, signed on a season long loan from Racing Santander. He has good physicals and brilliant finishing for this level
Signing 4 – Itxaso was signed to challenge Parron in goal and over the season he stole that spot from him, so much so that Parron left in January. Signed on a free transfer
Signing 5 – Vivancos offers something different for me in midfield from the players I already have, good technique and pace and can pick a pass when needed. Another free transfer signing
Signing 6 – Deived was signed as my back-up left winger, he has good pace and good crossing and will be a nifty player throughout the season. Another free transfer signing
Signing 7 – Soto is really good at both Right back and Centre back, he has fantastic physicals and will add depth to our defence. Yes, a free transfer!
And finally! Signing 8 – Diarra can play in a few positions and will provide decent back up to the squad. Like everyone else he was signed on a free
So signings complete and my squad is looking healthy, we are overwhelming favourites to get relegated but I feel we can give a few teams a good challenge.
Board expectations are for us to attempt to avoid relegation and I’d be more than happy with that. I expect around 45 points will keep us up.
So to the season and it started terribly, we were knocked out in the 2nd round of the Copa del Rey to Osasuna 3-1 and after 8 league games we had 6 points and were already in that dreaded bottom 4. We did start to pick up but struggled to keep a run going, we never really stayed in the bottom 4 but lingered there or thereabouts. What became evident as the season progressed was 45 points wasn’t going to be enough, the mid-bottom of the table was really close and with 10 games to go we sat 17th out of 22 with 41 points, only 3 points off the relegation zone.
We then slowly started to grind out results, we started to beat teams that on paper looked better than us, but we also were easily beating the team in and around us. In the last 10 games we gained 17 points, winning 5, drawing 2 and losing 3.
We secured safety with 2 games to go which shows you how competitive the league was, and in the final few games we climbed up the league. It looks respectable and it definitely was but it doesn’t show the true extent of how tough it was to survive
A very good 10th place in the end and by far our highest position of the season. You can see how tight it was with only 3 points separating 10th and 16th. What a great season, one I never expected. We can now build on this next season and hope to push ourselves even higher.
The board again have given us some very good budgets. Our wages have gone from £15k to £40.5k and our transfer budget is healthy too
With that we can definitely improve, I won’t want to change the squad too much but we will lose a couple of players that were on loan and a couple of players who are out of contract.
Another piece of good news is the board are expanding the stadium, bit worried about getting loans for it but its going to give us a lot of new income. Our current capacity is 1,700 so it will more than triple. And while the work going on we will play in a 25,000 seater stadium!
So what a great season and it looks like the board are believing in this journey too, but for me its all about the players, so how performed well? Here are the end of season stats and review
New signing Vivancos with the highest average rating was fantastic and he had a very good season. It was also nice to see Striker Nierga banging a few in, Comochu has definitely been forgotten now!
So there you have it, what a brilliant season, lets hope the next one will be even better and we can try and get ourselves into La Liga, if we do I may stick around for an extra season just to see how we do against the proper big boys!
I really hope you are enjoying the ride with me, views seem a little bit down but I’m putting it down to it being the Beta version and it just being slow to pick up. Id really appreciate as much feedback as possible and as much promotion of this blog as you can give me.
Thanks for reading!