Welcome back! Here’s part 2 of our first season here at SC Verl. Let’s take a look at how our preseason and first half of the season has gone so far.
With only £99k in the bank at the start of the game, I decided to take a look at the league rules and of course I had rude awakening, there’s no price money for winning 3. Liga. Knowing this, I don’t see how we are going to be able to stay in the green this season and possibly next season depending on how things go. Especially since the club was only able to sell a whopping 580 season tickets for the season and the only sponsorship money we’re receiving is from a 4 year deal worth a total of £175k.
I can see why the bookies have no faith in us staying up this season. Along with our financial difficulties and having the lowest wage budget in 3. Liga.
My focus during the preseason is always to get the players used to our tactic regardless of results. I typically rotate the team during half time so that every player has a chance to play in every game. Not only do I rotate players, I switch the tactics as well.
Because of the virus, we had a short preseason of 4 games. After two back-to-back home defeats against Sassuolo and Groningen, the team began to pick up form with back-to-back wins against lower league teams Bonn & Aachen.
First Half of the Season
Ties against 7th place favorite Wiesbaden proved that we could go head to head against some of the bigger teams. The win against Bayern II came from 91′ minute winner banger from veteran defender Julian Stöckner, so much for 9 long shots and 4 finishing.
As mentioned in Part 1, we were short on natural midfielders. I sent my two scouts on a hunt all of the summer all the way through the end of the transfer market in September. After going through 10’s of options, I gave the instruction to our DoF Raimund Bertels to sign the following young midfielders.
Both midfielders join us on a 1-year contract with a 1-year option to extend at the end of the season. Samuel Lengle will come in straight to first team, although not a natural midfielder, he can do the job as our DLP or BBM when asked. He was the best option that the scouts could find (well… the only one that wanted to join us). Patrick Finger will play for the second team, Verl II. I will keep track on Finger’s development and see if he’s able to join the first team later on in the season.
During the month of October the team started to gel really well. With great performances from Nico Hecker, Matthias Haeder, and Justin Eilers, we were able to take 15/18 points. The defeat against promotion candidates Ingolstadt was disappointing since we dominated most of the game.
November saw us carry on some of the work that we did in previous month but no thanks to my stubbornness, I thought to continue developing our 4-3-3 tactic instead of following my gut and switch tactics depending on what formation we faced. We finished the month with back-to-back defeats agains 1860 München & Uerdingen.
In December, we turned things around and managed to finish the month undefeated. Eilers, Haeder, and Hecker continued their fine form. These three have truly carried the team so far this season. In the process, Matthias Haeder became our all time leading scorer with 55 league goals to his name.
League Table & Thoughts
12 wins, 2 draws, and only 3 loses. We find ourselves top of the league midway through the season. Only 4 points separate us from 3. Liga favorites Kaiserslautern and 6 points from Ingolstadt.
The team has finally gotten used to our three tactics and I’m confident on how the rest of the season will play out. With no depth in the team, I’ve decided to rotate constantly to avoid any serious injuries. Moral is high, with most players in favor of the coach. A couple of players are moaning for playing time, I might look to either loan or sell whoever doesn’t want to be here. Our finances have only gotten worse and we’re getting closer to -£500k in debt, so selling a player or two may come in handy.
We’re still short in two key positions, midfield and left wing. I will dive into loan market to find some cover during the January window. Wish me luck!
Once again, thank you for coming by! I hope that you’re enjoying the save so far. Feel free to reach if you have any questions or just want to say hi.