The backroom staff set up a wide range of competition to face during our preseason. We dominated a couple of clubs from the 3rd division and lost to one of our affiliates in the 2nd division. Our last friendly was against Jose Mourinho’s Roma, another affiliate, us winning the match (4-2) with Alfredo Donnarumma helping us two goals.
The Coppa Italia was next. Since we were in the Serie B, we needed a preliminary round to make into the cup. We faced Serie C side Avellino winning the match (3-0). Unfortunately, our time in the Coppa Italia would be short as we were drawn against Serie A side Cagliari, we went on to lose the match (2-2) on penalties. With the Coppa Italia behind us, we could now focus on the league.
The media predicting a 15th place finish. I personally believed that the team had the chance to finish in the playoff places, but with the first transfer window disabled there was no chance of us improving the prediction. The first match of the season was an unexpected (7-0) win against Pisa, an Alfredo Donnarumma hat-trick was the start of the best goalscoring season of his career. That win was followed by two (1-1) draws against Cremonese and promotion candidates, SPAL.
After those draws, something clicked. Teams such as Brescia, Crotone and Benevento were brushed aside along thirteen more teams. At the half way point of the season we sat in 1st place, 16 points ahead of 2nd place Benevento. We went on a 21-Match winning streak, scoring 50 goals to our opponents’ 7 and at one point we even maintained 6 clean sheets in a row (all Ternana & Serie B records).
The last fourteen matches of the season went as expected. Although our winning streak would be broken, we would maintain our unbeaten streak all the way through the end of the season. If you couldn’t guess by now, we would go on to win the league comfortably. Benevento were the closest team to us but with a 41 point gap between us there was no way they could catch up.
Serie A here we come!
Player of the Year
Alfredo Donnarumma was outstanding through out the entire season. He finished the season with 48 goals and 7 assists in 40 matches, along with 12 Player of the Match to average a 7.94 rating. I wish that I could make a compilation of all of his goals, they were fantastic. Alfredo also won goal, forward and player of the year awards.
He will be joining us next season as he already had a permanent move sealed before taking over. The Serie A will be a tougher challenge for our superstar striker but if he’s able to continue his fine form then we definitely have a chance of staying up next season.
The team’s output this season was incredible. We topped the league with 100 goals scored. Set-pieces were pivotal this season, from the 100 goals scored, 23 came from set-pieces – 16 goals from corners and 7 goals from indirect free-kicks, both 1st place in the league. We also created the most chances (178), shots (846) and shots-on-target (339).
It wasn’t just Alfredo Donnarumma who had a fantastic season. Our two other strikers had a great season as well. Simone Mazzocchi (on loan from Atalanta) scored 14 goals and 5 assists. Stefano Pettinari scored 10 goals and 4 assists. Our center backs also joined the party, Frederick Sorensen scored 6 and Ivan Kontek scored 4 -All of their goals coming corners.
In terms of creativity, we had three players have 10+ assists. Luca Ghiringhelli (Serie B – Defender of the Year) contributed 17 assists, all coming from the right flank, gotta love a CWB(A). Loanee Ilias Koutsoupias (Serie B – Young Player of the Year)was second in assists with 13. Lastly, Terni’s golden boy, Antonio Palumbo (Serie B -Midfielder of the Year) assisted a further 10.
On the other end, our defense was rock solid with 25 clean sheets. The backline conceded 15 goals and only 1 coming from set-pieces. We were also the best in shots allowed (305) and shots-on-target allowed (134). Our mid-block did as intended by regaining most of our possession in between our box and the halfway line.
We can’t talk about clean sheets without the man between the post, Titas Krapikas. The now Lithuanian international was outstanding all season. He had the highest save percentage with 90% as well as the highest expected goals prevented at 12.97. He was an absolute beast, thanks Titas!
Our first intake at Ternana looks to be a decent one. I’m looking forward to the next intake as we’ve invested a bit of money into our Youth Recruitment, which is now viewed as “adequate.”
Three players were highlighted by the DoF:
- Matteo De Rossi was the standout of the three. The 15 y/o is a BEAST standing at 6’6″ and weighting 174 lbs, what a specimen. He will be trained as Target Forward for the next year. He will also work on his pace and acceleration. Matteo made his debut in the last match of the season and scoring his first goal!
- Dani Esposti and Giuseppe Paderno will be working hard in the next couple of years to make it to the team. Let’s hope they’re at least squad players.
- Leonardo Mazza played 11 (6) matches providing 1 assist. He averaged a 6.99 rating. He will be our second choice DM next season.
- Ilias Koutsoupias was one of our standout players this season. He was second in assists with 13 and also scored 4 goals. He finished with a 7.21 average rating in.
- Gian Marco Nesta played 7 (9) matches. He had 6 assists to finish the season with a 7.18 average rating.
U18s & U20s:
Both youth teams won their respective leagues but did not make it too far in their cups. Although the teams didn’t really have that much quality I believe the Godzilla 2.0 tactic was the key factor on winning their leagues.
I gave a couple of the youth players their debuts towards the end of the season but no one worth mentioning just yet. I have a lot of work to do this summer to sell or release most of our youth players so that I can properly create a pathway for the players that have potential.
Finances & Infrastructure
Aside from the above income, we received £2.13m for winning the league and made £1.3m in sales during the January transfer window. None of this income helped us in the bank as we were left with almost (£1m) in debt. Nothing to worry as we will be in a good shape by the time the season kicks off.
We’ve not made enough money to invest in any of our infrastructure. All of our facilities have remained the same. I can’t wait for the Serie A TV money.
Okayyy friends, I’ve ran out of things to write about. I had a ton of fun this season. Our playing style and goals were quite entertaining. Let’s see if we can carry this on next season. Now it’s time for us to prepare for a ton of business this summer.
Lastly, our friends St. Pauli finished 14th in 2. Bundesliga and Atalanta qualified to the Champions League by finishing 4th in the Serie A.
Feel free send a message on Twitter or Slack.
Until next time!
I sold 28 players during January for a total of £1.3m.