South American Journeyman Recap #8

What’s up guys? Welcome to a brand new monday recap on the #SouthAmericanJourneyman and boy has it been a good week. I hope you’re all doing well, staying home, playing some FM and keeping you, your loved ones and everyone around you safe! Let’s get to it!

Minnows? Where we’re going we are not “minnows”…

Last episode I talked about how switching from the Sergipano to the Serie C and Copa do Nordeste was going to be a tough as we went from being arguably the top side in the championship to a minnow looking for a midtable finish. At least that’s what the season preview said…

The journey began with us FINALLY spending money on a player!

Young Maktom joined us from Ferroviaria (SP) in a deal worth 22k overall. We got a dynamic box-to-box mid with lots of upside who can also step into the team.

So we began the second half of our campaign with a solid run of results, only Imperatriz catching us on the backfoot for a steal of a win (probably deserved a draw there). Closing our May commitments back on the green side put us in a great position to keep progressing.

The emperor’s new position

It was at this point I started doing some tactical experimenting

The set up was working wonders, but I noticed the WBs, the BBM, and some times the CM-A finished matches exhausted, with the harshness of the calendar taking a toll on our guys. These positions were in dire need of reinforments in order to face the remainder of the season, with Maktom being part of this effort. However, this lit a light bulb in my head. More than once I had wondered at how much of Maicon’s quality gave us, regardless of his ever waning physicals. So, if he would no longer we able to serve us on the wings, what if we moved him to the centre? It had been a regular ocurrance that without playmaker Danilo Pires on the field the team lacked sometimes the man to take the line breaking pass.

The experiment, I’d say, was successful. The big man showed a lot more regularity on the centre of pitch, sending long balls to his wingbacks and being always in the right place at the right time, showing off his intact mentals, and even paying us with his first goal with the Dragao‘s shirt. Then tragedy struck…

I’d say at this stage in his career, it’s a hard injury to come back from. He still got another year on his contract, due tu an extension clause he wouldn’t sign without when a number of matches (he has already played) was met. We could sure use the 43k p/a he gets, but it’s not a dealbreaker, and he would not take a Mutual Termination. Hopefully there’ll be some football left in his legs when he comes back.

As a replacement we got 27yo Filippe Forminga. Hardly on the same level, but with starting man Thiago Ennes flying high and the team already struggling economically, there was no need for a top notch sub.

Good times ain’t gonna roll forever

June started well but soon it looked like the good times were over. Moto Club absolutely stole a win they had no business getting and quickly after a battering of then group leaders Remo, we got to be on the other side of the result with Vitória absolutely killing us.

Some absolute heroics by the lads grabbed us another 3 points and the third win of the month at Sampaio Correa’s ground after going 2 – 0 down with 10 men after 23 minutes.

The win came of an absolute bomb from Maktom that won him some praise.

So with less than 3 months to finish the “regular season”, we are looking strong. A win vs Botafogo da Paraíba in the July opener can grant us a top 3 finish in the Copa do Nordeste group stage, while halfway done with the Serie C season we’re in control of our group.

It’s looking like a great season so far. The board offered a new contract but I don’t feel like having talks just yet. Come the end of the season there’ll be a lot of planning to do and a lot of how we’re gonna set up next season will depend on how we perform, particularly on the Serie C. If a promotion is on the cards then we can think about next season, if not…well, this is a journeyman save, right?

As always, thanks for reading!

Take care!

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