Season 3- Greek Superleague - 2018/19
I knew the aim would be for this year to bring in more players so I was very busy in the transfer market. I had a bit of cash to spend as well which made a nice change. This along with the wage budget being under control meant that it gave us a good chance at bringing in some quality for us.
Firstly dealing with the outs. Dario Fernandez retires, he was one of my first ever signings but just didnt make the grade so I was not sad to see him go. Lottas, had played games for us but the Defender was so far down the depth chart I didnt see the point in keeping him. Kravaritis was first choice keeper for my last couple of years but with the quality I had brought in he would not have a place so I let him go.
Tsiloulis comes in as a rotational midfielder just to add some more cover for us. Lagos is a decent young keeper who may or may not make into the first team but he has potential so I brought him in.
Magas is a superb defender and once who ended up playing most of our games. He was a bit of a boss in the middle of the back three. Chrusciel is a very good Defender with bags of potential who will add something to us now and in the future. Much the same can be said for young midfielder Lazaridis.
Oller is a top player and instantly becomes one of the best players at the club. Gianniotis now is the number one keeper and is a much needed upgrade on the last couple of years. Stamatopoulos is a young keeper who comes in as a number 2 who can potentially challenge for number 1 in the future.
Savvidis a decent midfielder who comes in to help us in the Defensive midfield role. He is decent enough but one that is merely a stop gap for us. Gekas another young keeper, again unsure if he will make it to the first team but he has potential. Pavlidis loan signing for us. He is brilliant and wasnt getting a game in Germany so comes to us on loan.
Fazos Defender comes into the first team straight away and really helps us in a weak spot. Finally Erivanio comes in as a bit of a panic buy, I am still not wholly sold on him but he has done a job and may stick around for another year or two for us.
Its not an easy thing to repeat the success of a good initial season. I felt that most teams would have worked out the way play, you see a lot of times teams suffering from the dreaded second season syndrome.
This added with the fact that we had been very busy in both transfer markets, as settling new players in becomes very difficult. We felt this as we struggled with consistency at times. Both times the markets closed we struggled to get anything decent put together.
I would say that once again consistency was the key word, we just could not seem to go on a run, this put pay to our chances of any league title. I found that we did very well against the teams in and around us but we did not do well against the lower teams. We are very much the Liverpool of this league.
That being said when the league splits into the European stage it means we play teams in and around us and we do well. Once again we won the mini league and this means that once again we will play European football in the Champions League again.
Rafael Oller - I brought him in during the summer, and he made an immediate impact for us. He quickly became one of the better players in the team. He is very well rounded and has scored his fair share of goals and helped with assists as well. If I could have one slight criticism it would be that he does get injured a lot and this means he cant play as many as I would like him to.
James Cowburn - He joined 18 months ago as being number two right wing back but he quickly moved into the first team. He has really done well since he joined and has been one of the most consistent performers for us. He can certainly do it at this level, I would not be surprised to see him get a call up to the full International Team and possibly bigger teams coming into have a look at him if he keeps improving.
Kostas Plegas - The man the myth the legend. He smashed the goal scoring record for us this year and during it became the greatest ever goalscorer at our club. He just continues to bag goals in and continues to improve. I really like him, he is now captain of our club and can do no wrong in my eyes.
Firstly the Greek Cup, it was a little bit of a disappointment for us this year. We were knocked early on against Atomitos, at the time they were in great form but I felt we could have done better in this competition it was really one that I wanted to win.
Champions League, the first European conquest of this little clubs history. In the first qualifier we met PSV, we managed to bring a win to the table which was fantastic. Our first leg performance meant that in the away leg we could hold on to record a massive result. Porto were next up, in two close games we just could not manage to win and thus we went into the Europa League Groups. We beat FC Midtjylland twice and recorded a huge win over Valencia this was enough to put us through. We were outclassed by a very good Schalke side.
All in all it was a very enjoyable experience for us this year in Europe and one we would like to repeat again.
Next Year - The aim is to keep getting closer to Olympiakos we know have a reasonable budget of over 2million pounds and with some wage budget to spare I think I could bring in some players of real quality. In fairness we are not a million miles away we just need to add some consistency into our performances and we will get there. Next year I think I would like to see a really good challenge for the title and if possible a Greek Cup as that is something we could win with a bit of a luck.