There is a famous expression in American sport for a second campaign – the “sophomore slump”. It describes the regular occurrence of a difficult season, following an impressive debut, as the opposition begin to prepare better against your particular skill set.
As I begin my second Football Manager project at the helm of BSC Glasgow, our gaffer Stephen Swift has made the possibility of failure even more likely by leading the boys on a 16 game unbeaten run… cheers for that by the way! (You love it – Ed.)
To keep things nice and simple, I’ll stick to the same rules as before: we’ll use the squad that was in the game for its release, which looks quite different to what it is now; I am only allowed to add loanees and free transfers to bolster the squad; Tam Orr is to remain on fire; January brings the transfer window, which gives free reign to do whatever I deem necessary as we push for the title.
The challenge is to emulate Swifty, which makes a top three finishing berth essential.
Let’s go back to the summer of 2018, when every team had hope as preseason came to a close and a fresh-faced Michael Park decided to entrust yours truly with the Lowland League podcast (thank the lord for Rampant’s editing prowess…) – here is the squad that presents itself as I get things underway.
My immediate temptation is to chase loan deals for all of St Johnstone’s talented youngsters that have since arrived at the Indodrill, but I’ll be keeping a keen eye on the full loan list.
It won’t be a surprise to know my three key players, running through the spine of this team: Ross McMillan, Declan Hughes and the often ignited Tam Orr. For BSC to have a successful season, these three guys need to stay fit and in form, supported by a cast of talented youngsters.
Elsewhere in the dressing room, I’m fortunate to have a fit Adam Strachan to call on which will be a great help. There is a solitary loan spot available to use at the moment… I’ll likely hold on to this until preseason ends.
Next time, I’ll fill you in on how preseason goes, and guide you all through our league opener versus Whitehill Welfare (word has it there’s a Irn Bru Cup playoff to play as well, but it might be forgotten about depending on the result…) – until then, thank you for reading and here’s to another mammoth challenge!