Welcome back to The Surprise Shirt Challenge. If you are new to this series you can catch up from the beginning Here.
When we left the end of the last episode we had made it to the half way stage of the season and we found ourselves exceeding expectations and instead of fighting a relegation battle we sit on the periphery of the European places.
With the chance to strengthen the squad in January we are in with a brilliant chance of achieving our goals and more for the season.
Lets start the episode with our transfer dealings.
January Transfer Window
With very little in the form of budget left and not wanting to sell to raise any funds I decided to dip into the free transfer market and add some experience to the squad.
Branco Van den Boomen joins on a free transfer and will add some real backbone to the midfield.
With a great pedigree in the Eredivisie its the perfect signing for a newly promoted club.
A more household name, Marco Van Ginkel joins on another free transfer.
With a wealth of experience this signing really adds some quality to the midfield.
We will look to Van Ginkel heavily to link play and create chances going forward.
After a short winter break we return with a tough run of fixtures, all of which we will do well to get anything from.
As predicted its a pointless month as we fall to three straight defeats.
Its a reality check and one that we need to bounce back from before we start to see a slide down the league!
We were brought down to earth with a bump during January. February is a longer month with 5 games and some winnable ones at that. A chance to get back on track.
Nice to see some green on the board. A brilliant win away at AZ Alkmaar, with two wins against teams we were predicted to be struggling along with.
Great to see Ngom keeping up his decent scoring form with 5 in 5 through the month.
Youth Intake 2024
March brings around the annual youth intake, a time of year that we all love!
There are clearly a couple of key talents, so lets take a closer look at the pick of the bunch.
David Spruit was the one member list in the intake as elite, and we can see why.
Good with both feet and and some great technical abilities. He will definitely be one to keep an eye on.
We roll into March having recovered from a poor start to the year, if we really want to hang on to the coat tails of the teams in the top half we need another good month.
Its a disappointing month as we fall to three defeats in a row for the second time this year.
Only an easy win against FC Volendam who are destined for the drop brightened the mood around the place.
April & May 2024
Going into April we had all but secured our survival in our first season back in the Eredivisie with 6 games left of the season, which really shows how well we started the season especially with the form being so up and down since the turn of the year.
Lets see if we can finish the season on a high.
Well we didn't end with much of a bang, but we cruised through the last two months of the season with out much of a hitch.
We managed to get some first team experience in for some younger players also.
Final League Table
So the end of the season sees us finish in midtable. A fantastic result for our first season back at the top table, especially with our tiny budget also.
Its a good building block to work off of.
We were relative outsiders in the one Domestic Cup. Lets check out how we got on.
We had a cracking run to the Semi Finals before being well beaten by Heerenven at home.
Its a fantastic second season in charge and with all of the things going against us. To finish in mid table and reach the Semi finals of the cup is a huge achievement.
Now to improve on it next season!
As always I will leave you with the season review.
Why not check out our first save of FM23 as we take over at Crystal Palace. We have concluded this save but you can start from the beginning here.