Fresh off of the back of a hugely successful season last year we head into 2017/2018 season with high hopes. The bookies have us down as one of the favourites to go back down to League Two but I feel as if the team we have, coupled with a few new additions to the squad which I have my eye on, we should be finishing in the top half of the table at least. This season I also have hopes we can have a decent cup run in at least either of the FA Cup or the EFL Cup.
Before we get our season underway, we firstly look at strengthening the squad. Being honest, we could do with strengthening all positions, and luckily we do manage pick up some great players! Firstly we pick up the experienced talisman Darren Bent on a free transfer. Bent has proven himself year on year as a top goalscorer and himself and last year’s top goalscorer Dayle Southwell up front we would be a force to be reckoned with!
Next we focus on strengthening the midfield and we manage to secure Dominic Gape on a permanent deal. Last year we had him on loan from Southampton and he played a key role in the midfield so I could not let him slip from our grasp! Our next big signing of the summer transfer window is ex Manchester United winger Larnell Cole. Cole, was playing for Fulham last season before being released in the summer and I have no doubt that he will be an instrumental player for us this season and in seasons to come. We also manage to secure a backup keeper who also plays at international level and also a youth striker who we will look at getting out on loan or putting him into the reserves.
Our season gets off to a flyer with us going on a great run of form and causing a few upsets. Despite the great start to the season, disaster strikes as golden boy Dayle Southwell damages his cruciate ligaments and looks set to be out for 8-10 months. To make matters worse the injury crisis continues as Dominic Gape suffers a short term injury and Southwell’s stand in replacement Paul Hayes suffers a broken ankle putting him out til late in the season. My management skills do not go unnoticed either as Leeds United come in for me offering me the job in November. I can’t quit now though, I am leading Wycombe to greatness!
Whilst the injuries may have hampered our squad, they definitely did not hamper our form! Amazingly we are somehow top of the league come Christmas Day! This is a remarkable achievement from the team, especially with the injuries we have had. The league appears to be turning into a 3 horse race between ourselves, Derby and Sheffield Wednesday with a slight gap between Wednesday and the chasing pack. Our cup campaign is fairly disappointing in the EFL cup though, but we should at least beat York in the FA cup to progress further.
As the January transfer window rolls round, I set the main focus of the window on securing the players I currently have, making sure we do not lose anyone to any bigger clubs. We manage to secure contract extensions for most of our key players and the only player we actually bring in is 17 year old youth player, Scott Campbell from Celtic, for the fee of £100K. Campbell looks like a fantastic prospect and I decide to keep him in the reserves rather than sending him out on loan as I would like to potentially give him a few games in the first team.
With it heating up at the top of the table and us in a prime position to achieve back to back promotions it is hugely important that we maintain performances to the same standard as we have been. Whilst Dayle Southwell’s long term injury seemed like the end of the world at the time, Darren Bent’s free-scoring form has lead him to become one of the most feared strikers in the league.
Magically, in a thrilling end to the season, we actually manage to achieve back to back promotions! We didn’t make it easy for ourselves though – stumbling against teams right at the end when we should have easily been beating them considering our form throughout the campaign. In fact it went down to the final game of the season which meant we just about clinched promotion over Derby County! On top of a fantastic league run we also have a great run in the FA Cup as we managed to reach the fifth round before being knocked out by Leicester City.
The performances again do not go unnoticed as Wycombe are hailed as the biggest overachievers and I win Manager of the Year for the second year in a row! Yet again this is a remarkable achievement for the club and I dream of one day taking them on to win the Champions League!