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[FM13]I Like The Way You Work It - A Bromley Story


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Bromley – Preview 2012/13

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General InformationDomestic League History

Outlook

It was news that really was not news at all – Kafra Jnoubi, a twenty-nine year old Lebanese/Ghanaian businessman with a life-long obsession with the game, acquired the London based club Bromley in July 2012 for an estimated £275k. Bromley was a struggling club stuck in the lower ends of English football (the BSS, to be exact), and had little going for it in terms of infrastructure and a bank balance, which had exactly £15,687 deposited the day after the acquisition by the new owner in to its account. Jnoubi’s first order was to install himself as manager of the club, committing himself full-time to the job and running his other businesses in his spare time.

Throughout the rest of the summer, Bromley participated in some friendly matches while Jnoubi tried to figure out how to improve on the team. He started out with the coaching staff – namely, adding numbers to his only coach, assistant manager Neil Smith. In fact, the club had a total of three employees: Smith, head physio Matthew Ring, and chief scout Jamie Titford. Shortly after taking over the club, Jnoubi brought in coach Iwan Roberts, who specialized in attack training, and scout Claus Lundekvam to help out his over-worked staff.

As the season opener against Staines in the Blue Square South drew closer, the squad began to take shape. Despite getting rid of some of the larger contracts, Bromley was paying £3,580 per week in wages, much higher than the allocated wage budget of £2,470 per week. There was no money in the coffers for any type of transfer that involved money, so Jnoubi was hoping that his current crop would be able to at least mount a respectable campaign. The media expectation was for the club to finish around 16th place – Jnoubi was hoping for single digit spot.

A few days before the season commenced, it was confirmed that the club had sold 110 season tickets, a low number considering Hayes Lane could fit 5,000 people. It was obvious that the club had not enamored itself to the local population in recent years, but for it to survive and improve, it needed their backing – for that to happen, it needed to get results. (For more information on the club’s facilities, click here.)

Having let the former captain of the club go because of high wages, Jnoubi named central midfielder Danny Waldren and defender Moses Swaibu as the temporary captains of the team, for lack of better candidates. It was decided that a wide 4-4-2 variation would be the formation of choice, and with that, the team was ready to embark on its first ever season under Kafra Jnoubi’s leadership.

Transfers In

Romone McCrae: Formerly of Sutton United, the central midfielder was brought on a £350 p/week contract as a free transfer. He was expected to start alongside Waldren in the center of the pitch.

Ryan Limb: Striker who came in on a Non-Contract agreement, he was to be paid £85 each appearance.

Conor Okus: Nigerian central midfielder, came in on £300 p/week contract as a free transfer. Although not expected to start, he was assured he would be the first name of the bench.

Shaun Goodhall: Another to come in on a Non-Contract agreement, his pace and speed was enough to convince Jnoubi that he could contribute upfront.

Transfers Out

Pierre Joseph-Dubois: The midfielder was sold to remove £300 p/week off of the wage budget. Sold for £0 to Gateshead, he was the first sale under new ownership.

Ali Fuseini: Former Bromley captain before the takeover, he was sold to remove £475 from the wage bill. Sold for £0 to Morecambe.

Key Players

Albert Jarrett: Although not crazy about the Sierra Leonean’s £550 p/week wage (making him the club’s highest paid player), Jnoubi also understood that he was unlikely to find a better left winger at this level than the 27 year old. Still, with his high wages eating up roughly 20% of the club’s entire wage budget, there were certain expectations Jarrett would have to live up to.

Danny Waldren: After the departure of Fuseini, the 23 year old English central midfielder was named temporary captain of the squad. Although not especially talented with his feet, he certainly had the drive and attitude to lead, along with decent athletic and physical abilities.

Joe Welch: To some, Welch was the most talented player at the club, and one would have been hard pressed to find a better GK than the 23 year old in the Blue Square South. Standing at 6’6, his size alone intimidated opponents and was expected to keep out a good amount of goals in the upcoming season.

Moses Swaibu: The 23 year old central defender was named vice-captain of the squad prior to the first game, and by all means, he was the club’s finest defender. Good in the air and solid on the ground, he was expected to marshal Bromley’s back four throughout the season.

Youth to Watch

Rufus Brown: The 17 year old right back, despite never having played a professional game in his career, was given a place in the starting eleven before the season started. Jnoubi informed the youngster that his role as starter would be his to lose, and hoped that he would improve and impress as the season progressed.

Jay Baldwin: Only 16 years old, Baldwin was a local lad plucked up by Jnoubi after being impressed with his talents while watching a weekend match by the area’s youngsters. He was promised a good share of playing time by his manager, who hoped that Baldwin would show him he had what it took to play professional football before his 17th birthday in May of 2013.

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Sounds like an excellent way to start.

Indeed it was - I was very surprised as I dont have any standouts, but the team has done great!

Best of luck and it seems you've made a great start to the season.

It has lasted all the way to Christmas - mid-season update will be coming soon :)

Good luck with this fella.

Thanks!

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Bromley – Midseason Update 2012/13

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League Overview - Squad Overview - Fixtures

The season started out at home in Hayes Lane, and a crowd of 559 turned out to watch Bromley surprisingly take a 3-1 victory over Staines in convincing fashion. Sanchez Ming, who played down the right wing, scored a brace and captured the MotM, leading the way to a successful debut for Kafra Jnoubi. The manager’s attacking style of football impressed not only the opposing team, but also the fans in attendance, which rose to a thunderous applause to salute their heroes after the match was done. The winning continued in the second game, with a 3-2 victory away from home to Eastbourne Borough thanks to a brace from Anthony Finn, another winger who put in a fantastic performance. Two games in, and Bromley were sitting top of the BSS table, a perfect start to what was promising to be a great season for the club.

Bromley ended the month of August having won all four of their matches, scoring twelve goals and conceding four along the way. Kafra Jnoubi was in dreamland – the start to the season had gone better than he could have ever expected. Financially, the club was struggling, and was not able to generate enough income to cover its expenses, but the fact the players were putting together such fantastic performances was encouraging. As mid-September rolled around, Bromley had won seven straight matches and had yet to drop a point in the league, and they were met with more good news – they had finally found a taker for their highest earner, Albert Jarrett. While the Sierra Leonean had skills, he simply had not contributed enough to justify his £550 p/week wages, recording a mediocre 6.70 AR through the first month and a half of the season. After being offered to several clubs to be signed on Free, it was Ebbsfleet who came forward and successfully negotiated a contract with him. On January 1st, 2013, Jarrett would become an Ebbsfleet player. Just two days later, Kafra Jnoubi’s men traveled to Truro and dominated their opponents, defeating them 5-0 to record Bromley’s biggest ever win. The MotM was 30 year old Lebanese striker Ali Chaaban, who scored a brace and brought his total league goals for the season up to a team leading 5 goals. As September came to a close, Jnoubi increased the size of his backroom staff, adding defensive specialist Warren Evans to the coaching staff. If there was any doubt that Jnoubi was serious about building this team up, it was quickly dashed by the sense of professionalism that had seemingly encompassed the club.

On October 24th, 2013, Bromley traveled to Dorchester for a league match. Prior to the game, Jnoubi’s club had won all eleven of their BSS matches thus far, and one more win would see them break the BSS’s record for both most games won in a row and most games without losing in a row. As it would have it, Bromley got the job done, defeating their opponents 3-1 thanks to an Elliot Buchanan brace. The 23 year old had was Bromley’s top goalscorer, eclipsing Chaaban and scoring 9 league goals in 10 appearances while recording a very respectable 7.51 AR. After the match, Bromley were ten points clear of their nearest competition (Weston-super-Mare), and had the best offense (33 goals) and defense (9 goals conceded) in the league.

After defeating Hastings United, Leatherhead, and Hitchin in the FA Cup preliminary rounds, Bromley were drawn up against Doncaster of the npower League One. The match was played at Hayes Lane on November 3rd, where a total of 2,787 people turned out to see their team give it everything they had against a much superior opponent. At the end, they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat, but for long periods of the match, they were Doncaster’s equals. For the first time in eighteen games – and in Kafra Jnoubi’s young managerial career – Bromley tasted defeat. The winning streak had ended with the home loss to Doncaster, but the club still maintained a fourteen game winning streak in the Blue Square Bet South, having gather 42 points and given themselves a huge cushion of 15 points between themselves and 2nd place Weston-super-Mare.

It took sixteen games before Bromley finally gave up points, losing away to Hayes and Yeading on November 28th in a lackluster performance that infuriated their manager. Kafra Jnoubi was irate after the match, giving his team a real berating for a good twenty minutes in the locker room. He understood that the winning streak would not last forever, but he was particularly upset with the effort the players had given that night, and made sure to let them know about it. The game was also the first for Vincent Pericard, a 30 year old Cameroonian striker who was plucked up as a Free Transfer. Formerly a npower League Two with Swindon, he had spent the majority of his career between the Premier League and the npower Championship, and was viewed as Jnoubi as a critical signing. He had agreed to a £275 p/week basic salary, and the hope was he would be able to contribute immediately.

One of the club’s most important players during their fantastic first few months was their starting GK, Joe Welch. After recording 6 Clean Sheets and only conceding 16 goals, averaging 7.03 AR, Welch was rewarded with a new contract that extended his stay at the club until June 2014. He received a £25 increase in his weekly wage, taking it up to £275 p/week, along with a substantially increase payoff for each appearance and clean sheet. Having just turned 24 years old at the end of November, Welch had proven to Jnoubi that he was reliable and solid, someone who could do the job in the Blue Square Bet South and the Blue Square Bet Premier, if they ended up getting promoted this year. A couple of weeks later, vice-captain Moses Swaibu and his partner in the center of the back four, Liam Harwood, both put their signatures to new contracts that also had them staying at the club till June 2014.

The year came to a close with a 2-2 draw away to Tonbridge, but Bromley could not have been more impressive under their new owner and manager, Kafra Jnoubi. In 23 games, they had won 19 of them and only lost once, and while defensively they began to falter in November and December, their 64 goals were the highest in the Blue Square South. The stars of the campaign thus far were Elliot Buchanan (league leading 15 goals and 7.57 AR), Ali Chaaban (13 league goals), and left back Marlon Patterson (second in the BSS with 9 assists). Buchanan had surprised many with his play, and through the first few months of the season, he was the best player in the league. Overall, Bromley were by far and wide the best team in the BSS thus far, and unless some major slip ups happened, they were going to finish the season as champions.

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Top Leagues Midseason Review

English Premier League

Tottenham (1st), who had finished 4th place in 2011/12 under Harry Redknapp, surprised many with their performances under new manager Andre Villas-Boas, and going into 2013, they were on top of the Premier League, two points ahead of defending champions Manchester City (2nd). The latter and Arsenal (3rd) were the biggest spenders during the off-season, and realistically, they were the only two teams that could replace Tottenham at the top. Manchester United (4th) were 15 points behind the league leaders, having only won 7 of their 20 games, and rumors about manager Alex Ferguson finally calling it quits were only growing with each passing day. The surprise of the season was Norwich, led by Chris Hughton, while the biggest disappointments were Chelsea (10th) and Liverpool (11th).

Martin O’Neill was the first managerial casualty of the season, sacked in late October after Sunderland (19th) fell to 20th place. He had been the manager of the club for past ten months. Sunderland had lost their last five games, and a 2-0 away loss to West Bromwich proved to be the end of the line. O’Neill was promptly sacked the next day amidst protests for him to go from the fans, and a few days later, Gerard Houllier was hired as his successor. Unfortunately, Houllier did not bring it in much of an improvement the first two months of his tenure, and Sunderland were still languishing in the relegation zone at the end of December. Martin Jol was sacked by Fulham (17th), while Sam Allardyce was sacked by West Ham (20th) in late November after finding themselves in 19th place.

O’Neill would not stay long without a job, however, as Fulham quickly jumped at the chance to hire him. He took over the club in early December, with the London club in 17th place in the Premier League. Just one week later, in what could only be considered a managerial merry-go-round, Jol was hired as West Ham United manager, staying in London to help his new club survive the drop. None of them, however, found instant success at their new clubs, as both Fulham and West Ham continued to struggle through to the end of the year.

Although Stoke (15th) was not doing so well, their star striker Peter Crouch was having a fantastic season, leading all goalscorers with 15 goals. The best player in the Premier League, however, was Chelsea’s 21 year old winger Eden Hazard – simply, the £31m prodigy was proving it was money well spent, recording 5 goals, and leading the league with 10 assists and an 8.47 AR. Despite his brilliance, the Champions League winners were struggling, and a lot of the blame was being placed on their £28m signing, Jesus Navas. Much was expected from the former Sevilla man, but he simply failed to deliver on his potential in the first few months of the season. Man City looked to have found the bargain of the season with their £3m capture of Brazilian right back Maicon- the 31 year old was second in the league with 9 assists and fourth with a 7.62 AR.

Although Lyon (3rd) and defending champions Montpelier (4th) both started out the season strong, by the end of December, only two teams were competing for the French League One title, and it was neither of the mentioned teams. Tied at 44 points, Marseille (1st) and Paris Saint-Germain (2nd) were 13 points ahead of Lyon and realistically too far in front to be caught, leaving the battle of for the title just between them. Marseille was the more impressive of the two teams, however, leading the league with 40 goals and 13 goals conceded. They also had played only 17 games compared to PSG’s 19 games, and so were in a better position than their rivals from the capital.

Bordeaux (13th) and Toulouse (15th) were hugely disappointing, and both hired big name managers in hopes of turning their fortunes around. Bordeaux named Claudio Ranieri their new manager, while Toulouse went with former France manager Laurent Blanc. Although it was still too early to tell the results, both clubs were already looking forward to the 2013/14 season as all hope was lost in the current one.

Nice (14th), who had finished 13th in 2011/12, were still struggling but had found a gem in Dario Cvinatich, who had a league leading 11 goals and had cost them a measly £350k in the offseason. Newly promoted Troyes (7th) were the surprise of the season thus far, and a major part of that was 35 year old Benjamin Nivet. The French central midfielder, who had joined the club on Free from Caen in the offseason, had a league leading 7.65 AR to go along with his 4 goals, 6 assists, and 7 PoMs. Also playing some great football was £36.5m PSG signing Thiago Silva, who was averaging 5.06 TpG and a 7.64 AR.

After seventeen games played, Bayern Munich (1st) had left little doubt in anyone’s mind over who was going to win the Bundesliga title this season. While the two time defending champions Dortmund (9th) were struggling, Bayern managed to only lose once and win 15 of their matches. They were twelve points ahead of both Wolfsburg (2nd) and Leverkusen (3rd), who in turn also had a sizable lead on Werder Bremen (4th). The top three looked already decided, but the battle for the final Champions League spot was intense, with just four points separating Bremen from Shalke (8th).

Bayern Munich’s stars were shining bright this season, but none more so than their captain, Philipp Lahm. He had played in all of Bayern’s games thus far in the season, and had put up a league leading 7.92 AR to go along with his 5 PoMs. Of their 17 games, 10 of them resulted in Clean Sheets, and the man responsible was Manuel Neuer, who was named substitute in the 2012 World Team of the Year. For Wolfsburg, they had the league’s leading scorer with 10 goals in Ivica Olic, while Leverkusen’s Lars Bender led the league with 6 assists and 7 PoMs.

No one could have predicted that halfway through the season, Fiorentina (1st) would be topping the Seria A by a whopping 10 point margin, but that is exactly what happened. The fact that it was Parma (2nd) who were in second was also just as surprising, with the defending champions Juventus (4th) 13 points behind the leaders. They were not the only giant struggling, however – AC Milan (7th) were having a tough time coping with the sales of Ibrahimovic and Silva, while Inter Milan (12th) were in full on crisis mode. They sacked their manager Andrea Stramaccioni after just six months at the job, and as of the beginning of the year, they had not yet announced who the new manager would be. Roma (3rd) and Catania (5th) were both having good seasons, with the latter only one point off of Juventus for that coveted Champions League spot.

Fiorentina’s success was mostly because of two players – Stevan Jovetic and Luca Toni. Jovetic had a league leading 4 PoMs, and was third with a 7.65 AR. Toni, who many considered to be well past his prime, revived his career in a big way after joining Fiorentina on Free Transfer this season and scored a league leading 9 goals. While Inter Milan was going through its worst season in recent memory, they also had the best player in the Serie A this year in Wesley Sneijder, who led the league with 7.75 AR and 6 assists.

Despite some early season inconsistency, Barcelona (1st) got into their groove and found themselves 9 points clear of defending champions Real Madrid (2nd) and Atletico Madrid (3rd) as 2013 came around. Rafa Benitez made his return to Valencia (8th) on December 6th, his first role back in Spain since leaving the club in 2004 for Liverpool. His last managerial job was with Inter Milan, where he unceremoniously was given the boot just six months into his tenure there in 2010, and he had been out of the game for the past two years. He replaced Mauricio Pellegrini, who was sacked a week before after Valencia fell to 12th place in the La Liga. Elsewhere, Sevilla (4th) had a three point cushion on suddenly rich Malaga (5th) for that final Champions League spot, while Valladolid (20th) and Betis (19th) looked like the most likely candidates for relegation.

To the surprise of no-one, Lionel Messi captured the World Golden Ball for the fourth straight time and World Player of the Year for the second time in his career. In the La Liga, he had no equal, leading the league with an 8.49 AR while recording 9 goals, 7 assists, and 5 PoMs. His teammate Andres Iniesta was no slouch, either – the Spanish midfielder was second in the league with an 8.15 AR. Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo led all goalscorers with 13 goals, while Real Madrid’s best player through the first half of the season was Argentine Angel Di Maria, who led the league with 9 assists and was third with an 8.13 AR.

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Great first half to the season,lets hope it can carry on like this and you have promotion wrapped up by April.

Seems like there are some surprises in the top flight divisions,Chelsea 10th in England,Fiorentina and Parma leading Serie A.

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African Nations Cup 2013 – South Africa

Overview - Group Stages - Knockout Rounds - Dream Team

Review

It took Ivory Coast twenty-one years to recapture the African Nations Cup, winning the tournament for the second time in their history. The hosts, South Africa, advanced to their third ever Finals, but after a very strong showing in the previous rounds, were decimated 4-0 by the Didier Drogba led team. West Africa certainly proved it was the powerhouse region on the continent, with three of the four Semi-Finalists spots going to nations from there. With the exception of Egypt, who crashed out in the Group Stages, there were no real surprises or shocks, a stark contrast to the 2012 version of the tournament when Zambia ran out as one of the most surprising winners in the tournament’s history.

Didier Drogba – Ivory Coast: Despite his 34 years of age, Drogba was simply unstoppable throughout the tournament, scoring 4 goals and delivering 3 assists while captaining the Ivory Coast to their second ever ANC victory. That included a fantastic performance in the Finals against South Africa, scoring a goal and picking up the PoM, as well. He became the first Ivory Coast player in the history of the competition to pick up the award.

Copa – Ivory Coast: The 33 year old Lokeren goalkeeper conceded only 2 goals the entire tournament, including a great display and a clean sheet in the Finals. His 7.38 AR was by the far the highest of an GK in the tournament, consistently delivering solid performances in every round.

Other Stars

Yannick N’Djeng – Cameroon: The 22 year old Sion striker won the Top Goalscorer award with 5 goals – although tied with Doumbia, he did so in only 4 games. Cameroon exited the tournament in the Quarter-Finals at the hands of Nigeria, but up to that point, N’Djeng was the best player in the tournament.

Lossemy Karaboue – Ivory Coast: The 24 year old Nancy right winger led the tournament with 5 assists, and was a crucial part of the champions’ midfield line. He recorded a 7.83 AR throughout the tournament, which showcased just how high a level his play was.

Kwadwo Asamoah – Ghana: Perhaps the player that meant the most to his team, Asamoah dominated every game he played in, finishing with the tournament with 4 goals and an 8.03 AR. Without him, Ghana would surely not have made the Semi-Finals, but the 24 year old Juventus midfielder was simply outstanding.

Seydou Doumbia – Ivory Coast: The joint top scorer in the tournament with 5 goals, the 25 year old CSKA Moscow formed a deadly partnership with Drogba which culminated in the African Nations Cup title. He recorded a 7.80 AR and played consistently well in every game he was involved in.

Siphewe Tshabalala – South Africa: The best player on the hosts and beaten Finalists team, the 28 year old Kaizer Chiefs left winger, Tshabalala finished the tournament with 3 goals, 3 assists, and a 7.30 AR. Although they failed to lift the trophy, the South African team played some great football throughout, but the South African captain was disappointed with his performance in the Finals, where he failed to make any imprint on the game finished with a 5.6 AR.

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Great first half to the season,lets hope it can carry on like this and you have promotion wrapped up by April.

Seems like there are some surprises in the top flight divisions,Chelsea 10th in England,Fiorentina and Parma leading Serie A.

The lead has only grown as the season slowly comes to a close :)

The Premier League has been surprising, and Brendan Rodgers just got the sack!

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Congratulations on winning Blue Square Bet South,Flenley looks brilliant,hope you are able to keep him for a while.
Well done going up as champions.

Thanks! I must say, I find it relatively easy to win the Blue Square leagues, but not complaining! Flenley looks like pure class :)

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Bromley – Review 2012/13

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FixturesSquad StatisticsTransfersBest Eleven

Season Review

Blue Square South: Champions – FA Cup: First Round – FA Trophy: Semi-Finals

Kafra Jnoubi could not believe it – Bromley, the club that no one believed in, had won the Blue Square South championship in his first year since acquiring the club. It was a fantastic achievement, one that he thought would take at least a few years before happening. Honestly, he had begun secretly hoping around Christmas for the form of his squad to continue, and although they suffered a few defeats here and there, their position at the top of the league was never threatened. That incredible run at the beginning of the season was what set the tone for the rest of the year, and by the end of April, Bromley had won its promotion to the Blue Square Premier.

The FA Cup also proved to be a pleasant surprise, as the club made it all the way to the First Round before being knocked out by npower League One outfit Doncaster. That was not the case in the FA Trophy, however – a Semi-Finals exit to a very beatable Barrow team had Jnoubi thinking about what could have been. Still, it was very hard to be disappointed with the season overall, despite the financial hardships. Another issue was the attendance – it seemed that even with the successful campaign, the locals still needed to be won over. On the bright side, 2,273 people showed up for Bromley’s final match of the season against Dover, which was nearly four times the usual crowd.

When Kafra Jnoubi bought the club for £275k in July 2012, this type of season was what he hoped one day he could accomplish – he never thought it would happen so soon. As the players went off on their month long holiday break, Jnoubi sat in his office, planning the next season, and Bromley’s first in the Blue Square Premier.

Squad

New Signings

Vincent PericardFree Transfer: 30 years old…The Cameroonian striker was a great pickup during the January window, and went on to record 9 goals and 8 assists…Spent a few years in the Premier League with Portsmouth then Stoke, although he never found the net during his time at that level…Good threat in the air with good ability at his feet, although his finishing could be better…Talent-wise, the best striker the squad had this season, and he finished with a 7.18 AR.

Romone McCraeFree Transfer: 22 years old…The English central midfielder was formerly with rivals Sutton United…Signed at the beginning of the season, he recorded 4 goals, 5 assists, and a 7.05 AR...Was a successful signing despite his £350 p/week wages, which were a little on the high side…Suffered a twisted knee that ruled him out for the last month of the season, ending up with 30 appearances…Solid midfielder whose main trait was his consistency.

Conor OkusFree Transfer: 21 years old…The Nigerian was signed alongside McCrae with hopes that they would form a successful partnership in the middle of the pitch…His play was slightly disappointing, however, and he never asserted himself in the starting eleven…A damaged achilles tendon ruled him out for three months and limited him to only 20 appearances, but he only contributed a single goal and recorded a 6.82 AR during that time…Doesn’t look to have much of a future at the club with the emergence of Flenley.

Shaun GoodhallFree Transfer: 22 years old…The striker featured sparingly, but played well when he did get some playing time…In 9 appearances, scored 5 goals and recorded a 7.30 AR…Unfortunately, the talent up front meant that he could not get on the pitch regularly enough…Does not look to have a future at the club.

Faisal HematiFree Transfer: 20 years old…The Afghani central defender was signed in the middle of the season, and went on to make 16 appearances…Was inconsistent, as his 6.78 AR suggests…Still young, and has good defensive skills and ability…Could develop into a decent backup for the club.

Fungandel MokeFree Transfer: 21 years old…The Congolese defender was signed on as relief late in the season…Good aerial ability, and a decent defender on the ground. Played sparingly, only starting once.

Ryan LimbFree Transfer: 21 years old…Signed in the off-season, but failed to make an appearance for the club before getting let go.

Goalkeepers

Joe Welch: 24 years old…One of Bromley’s most important players this season…Giant of a man, standing at 6’6…Recorded 16 clean sheets in 41 appearances, and was tied for most clean sheets in the BSS…His 7.08 AR was the highest in the league for a GK…Has weak judgment when the ball is in his hands, but his aerial ability is excellent…

Bentley Dalton: 16 years old…Called up from the Youth Academy towards the end of the season at the age of 15…Slightly eccentric GK whose main strength is his aerial ability…Probably will not see much playing time in the near future, and is viewed by the Bromley staff as a third choice backup at best.

Defenders

Moses Swaibu: 24 years old…The central defender was one of the best players at the club this season…Was named Vice-Captain at the beginning of the season, and fared reasonably well as a leader…His 0.97 TpG was very low, but made up for it with 5 goals…Recorded a 7.19 AR, third best amongst defenders, and was a pillar of consistency in the back…Solid defensive abilities, his strength is his aerial ability whether as a defender or on the offensive end…Has decent passing ability, rarely making a mistake while disposing of the ball from the back third.

Marlon Patterson: 29 years old…Fantastic season from the left back, who completed his third with the club…His 13 assists were tied for fourth best in the league, and first amongst defenders, and his 7.16 AR fourth best amongst defenders…Also contributed a decent, if unspectacular, 1.77 TpG…Fitness was a concern, however, as he found himself in need of rest at several points during the season…Still, his crosses were hugely vital in the club’s campaign.

Liam Harwood: 24 years old…Swaibu’s partner in central defense, improved his ability a lot as the season progressed…Strong in the air, but slow on the ground…Finished the season with 3 goals and a 7.07 AR in 38 appearances…Averaged 0.61 TpG, so tackling was not his strong suit…Still, delivered a relatively consistent season…Tough to imagine him as a starter in the Blue Square Premier, however.

Rufus Brown: 18 years old…As promised by Jnoubi at the beginning of the season, Brown was given the starting role at right back, and lived up to expectations…Improved immensely during the season, especially at his core defensive abilities…Like any youngster, was prone to inconsistency, but still ended up with a 7.00 AR…His 4 assists came as a result of a reasonable 77% Pass Completion ratio…Although weak in the air, scouting reports suggest he has more than enough ability to shine in the BSP.

Midfielders

Sanchez Ming: 28 years old…The right winger started the season with a bang and never let up…He finished with 9 goals and 7 assists, while his 7.13 AR was one of the highest on the team…Although his technical ability is lacking, his quickness and speed found him plenty of scoring opportunities throughout the season…Is comfortable playing as a right back, as well.

James Woods: 18 years old…Was plucked up from the U18 team early in the season by Jnoubi and never looked back…Finished the year as the starting left winger for the club…In 30 appearances, he recorded 3 goals, 11 assists, and a 7.14 AR…His 11 assists were tied for fourth best in the BSS…Has good technical ability and speed, which led him to be one of the hottest young prospects in the lower leagues…His improvement throughout the season was remarkable, and more of the same is expected next season.

Danny Waldren: 24 years old…The central midfielder was named captain of the squad at the beginning of the season, replacing the out-going Fuseini…Had a decent year, scoring 6 goals and recording 8 assists…His biggest statistic was his 2.88 TpG, which was second only to Ibrahima on the squad...Also recorded a 7.07 AR…Unlikely to remain as captain past this season, but could still see a place in the squad as a third or fourth option in the midfield.

Victor Flenley: 16 years old…Was called up from the Bromley Youth Academy in March…Immediately started seeing playing time, although was relatively inconsistent…Has been called the finest prospect Bromley has ever produced…He already on the radar for some bigger clubs…In his 7 appearances, he recorded a very respectable 2.42 TpG, showing that while his strength is his playmaking ability, he still had good defensive awareness…There has been suggestions that Jnoubi is considering starting him in the BSP next season – that is how highly he is rated.

Anthony Finn: 30 years old…Was used mainly as relief for both wings…Still contributed 4 goals and 5 assists…Relatively creative player who got the job done when he was called upon.

Salifou Ibrahima: 32 years old…His fourth year with the club was most likely his last…Did lead the team with 3.53 TpG in 16 appearances, though…Was used mostly in emergency situations in the center of the pitch.

Forwards

Elliot Buchanan: 23 years old…Bromley’s Player of the Year for 2012/13…Until late in the season, had led the BSS in both goals scored and AR…Ended up with 22 goals, good enough for fourth best, but his 7.34 AR remained top of the league…Also had 7 assists to round up what was an incredibly productive season…One of the quicker players in the BSS, he managed to always find himself in the right place to poach a goal…Given his brilliance, he must be considered as one of the main players Bromley will rely upon next year in the BSP.

Ali Chaaban: 31 years old…The starter alongside Buchanan for the first half of the season, the Lebanese striker ended up making way for Pericard and was relegated to the bench after January…Still finished the season with 14 goals and a 7.14 AR…Brought consistency and maturity to the team...It is still unclear if he remains in Jnoubi’s plans, but he certainly contributed to their title winning campaign this season.

Jay Baldwin: 17 years old…Played sparingly, but showed enough promise in his performances to generate excitement for his future…Good attacking ability, but his technical skills leave a lot to be desired.

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English Premier League 2012/13

Overview - Transfers - Team of the Year

Review

The balance of power officially shifted from the old guard to new money in 2012/13, as Roberto Mancini led his Manchester City to their second consecutive Premier League title victory, despite an inconsistent start. Tottenham, who were in 1st place in January, finished the season in 3rd place under Andres Villas Boas, his first in charge of the club. Speaking of charges, Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United stormed up the charts in the second half of the season, finishing in 2nd place, just beating out Tottenham on goal difference. It was a painful season for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, who were beaten by former Champions League champions Chelsea for 4th place, and that final Champions League spot, while Liverpool finished in 7th place, one spot below their bitter rivals Everton, who were perhaps the most surprising team in the league this season.

Liverpool sunk as far down as 11th place under Brendan Rodgers, but he was sacked on February 17th, with former Athletic Bilbao man Marcelo Bisela coming on to replace him. He pushed Liverpool back up the table, but it was too late for a continental place push. At the other end of the table, as Martin O’Neill could not save Fulham from relegation, and neither could Martin Jol save West Ham United. Gerard Houllier, who was hired by Sunderland to replace O’Neill, was able to save the club from going down, however, pushing them back up to 16th place.

Manchester City were the best team in the league by a comfortable margin this season, as the twelve point difference between them and Manchester United proved. They were also, by far, the best offensive team in the league, scoring 88 goals – by comparison, Chelsea had the second best offense in the league and they only scored 72 goals. Defensively, there was not a single impressive team, with Manchester City conceded the least goals with 33 goals, which is not an impressive number.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea: A few eyebrows were raised when Chelsea spent £31m on the Belgian winger during the summer of 2012, but in his first season in the Premier League, the 22 year old was simply flawless. While his club faltered and only finished in 4th place, Hazard recorded 11 goals, 16 assists, 11 PoMs, and an 8.03 AR, leading the league in the last three categories listed. Who knows where Chelsea would have been without him, and because of his brilliance, they ended up sealing the last Champions League spot. Those kind of statistics are stuff legends are made of, and the fact that he is only 22 years old is frightening. Was one of the finest players on the planet this season, bar none, and was named to the 2012 World Team of the Year.

David Silva – Manchester City: In his third year with the club, the Spanish midfielder delivered the finest season of his career, recording 11 goals, 10 assists, and a 7.61 AR (fifth best in the league) as Manchester City won their second consecutive Premier League title. The 27 year old was the club’s most potent force going forward, and was its most important player overall. Now in the prime of his career, Roberto Mancini gave him a free pass to be as creative as he wanted, and he was repaid with an exceptional season for an exceptionally gifted player.

Joe Hart – Manchester City: His club might have had all the talent in the world in front of him, but Hart was perhaps Manchester City’s most indispensable player. In other positions, the club had depth and numerous world-class players – at GK, however, they only had one. Luckily for them, Hart remains one of the finest GKs in the world at 26 years old. He won the Premier League Golden Glove award for the third consecutive year, playing in all 38 matches while conceding 33 goals and recording a league-leading 20 clean sheets. His 7.28 AR was the best amongst GKs in the Premier League.

Sergio Aguero – Manchester City: An odd choice for Young Player of the Year considering he is 24 years old, the Argentine striker nonetheless had a good season. While some might suggest he took a step back from his first season as a Manchester City player, the £38.5m man remained one of the club’s most important players, scoring 13 goals and recording a 7.48 AR. In the two years he has been in England, he has won the Premier League title both times, and was one goal away from lifting the Champions League trophy this season, as well.

Peter Crouch – Stoke: Absolutely no one could have predicted that the 32 year old English striker would be the top goalscorer in the Premier League this season. His 25 goals more than doubled his previous best, and although Stoke was strictly a middle of the table club, finishing in 10th place, Crouch captivated the nation with his scoring exploits. He ended the season with a 7.13 AR, and while there were a few games he did not quite shine, his talents were enough to score five more goals than the second best goalscorer in the league this season, Robin Van Persie.

Roberto Mancini – Manchester City: Although he won the Premier League title in his second full year with Manchester City last season, he was not voted as Manager of the Year for 2012. There was no such injustice this year, as the Italian led his club to a second consecutive championship in convincing fashion, finishing a full twelve points ahead of second place. He managed the exceptional talent under his disposal as well as one could have hoped for, and has elevated himself to one of the elite managers in the world today. He also led his team to the Champions League Finals for the first time in their history, only to be defeated by Bayern Munich.

Other Stars

Carlos Tevez – Manchester City: With the drama squarely behind, the 29 year Argentine was Manchester City’s top goalscorer with 16 goals, which helped win the club’s second consecutive Premier League title. His fourth year at the club, he recorded a 7.40 AR, and while he might not have been as spectacular as in his first year, his contributions were vital to the club’s success.

Maicon – Manchester City: The 31 year old Brazilian was the bargain of the season, costing the Premier League champions just £3m from Inter Milan. He rewarded them with 15 assists a 7.76 AR, second in both categories to only Eden Hazard. He also averaged 3.91 TpG – as a right back, he had no equal. His fantastic season had him named as a substitute in the 2012 World Team of the Year, although if he keeps up this standard of play next season, there can be no better candidate for the starting right back position on that team.

Robin Van Persie – Manchester United: His first season as a Manchester United player was, in all aspects, a success. Signed from Arsenal for £24m, the injuries which had plagued him previously in his career stayed away, and he ended up with 32 appearances. He recorded 20 goals and 5 assists, scoring the second most goals in the Premier League after Peter Crouch, while his 7.59 AR was good enough for sixth best in the league. The 29 year old Dutch striker partnered well up front with Wayne Rooney, and led Manchester United to 2nd place in the league.

Juan Mata - Chelsea: The 25 year old Spanish winger flourished alongside Eden Hazard in his second season with the club, recording 9 goals, 12 assists, and a 7.58 AR. He was tied for fifth best in assists, but his main attribute was his strong all-around play. Despite being an offensive minded player, he still averaged 0.95 TpG, showing his willingness to hustle.

Wayne Rooney – Manchester United: For the first time since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, the 27 year old English striker was no longer considered the best player on the Manchester United squad. That being said, he was still named to the 2012 World Team of the Year, and one would be hard pressed to find a better all-around attacking player than Rooney. He recorded 14 goals, 11 assists, and a 7.57 AR this season, taking a back role in the frontline to Robin Van Persie but shoring up his contributions in other ways. While the days of scoring 20+ goals might very well be behind him, he remains one of the best players in the Premier League.

Steven Gerrard - Liverpool: At 33 years old, the English midfielder is beginning to enter the twilight of his career, but his play remained at an elite level in 2012/13. Liverpool struggled this season, but Gerrard remained one of the best players in the Premier League, finishing with 8 goals, 6 assists, and a 7.43 AR. He was named to the 2012 Team of the Year, the oldest player to be given that honor this year. This was his best season in recent years, despite his club’s disappointments.

Gareth Bale - Tottenham: The 23 year old Welsh left winger was the tied as the highest scoring midfielder in the Premier League this year with 11 goals, along with David Silva and Eden Hazard, which was also a career-high for him. Tottenham spent much of the first half of the season in 1st place, and Bale was the primary reason for that. The club ended up in 3rd place in manager’s Villas-Boas’ first season, and it is going to be imperative for him to make sure the club retain the services of Bale in the upcoming season.

Leighton Baines - Everton: Everton surprised many people this season as they finished in 6th place, and Baines was undoubtedly the club’s finest player. The 28 year old English left back had the third highest AR, and highest amongst defenders, in the league, recording a 7.63 AR. He also recorded 9 assists and won 8 PoMs, which was tied for third most in the league with Peter Crouch and Lucas Leiva. Whether as defending or going forward, Baines was a threat – he averaged 3.53 TpG and 2.03 DpG, while also recording an outstanding 80% Pass Ratio. In other words, he was the finest left back in the Premier League this season.

Lucas Leiva - Liverpool: Leiva was Liverpool’s leader with 7.63 AR this season, which was good enough for third best in the Premier League, and the 28 year old Brazilian was arguably the club’s most important player this season. He provided 8 assists and won 8 PoMs, but his two most spectacular statistics were his 89% Pass Ratio and his 6.20 TpG – he was first in the former and third in the latter in the Premier League. His all-around play elevated him to be considered one of the best central midfielders in the league today.

Papisse Cisse - Newcastle: Tied for second most goals in the Premier League with 20 goals, the 28 year old Senegalese striker was Newcastle’s most important player this season. While his club finished in 14th place, Cisse was a threat in nearly every game he played, with his finishing ability being as good as anyone else’s in the league.

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French Ligue One 2012/13

Overview - Transfers - Team of the Year

Review

Paris Saint-Germain spent big with the hopes of returning the French Ligue One title back to the capital city, but for a while during the first few months of the season, it did not look like it was going to happen. After spending over £100m, however, one of the most expensive teams ever assembled began to gel around January, and they did not look back after that. Initially, it looked like Marseille was going to win the league, but a shocking meltdown coupled with a resurgent Lyon side saw them finish in 3rd place, while Lyon finished as Runners-Up, just one point back from PSG.

The surprise of the season was Evian, who finished in 4th place, ahead of the 2011 winners Montpelier and 2010 winners Lille, surprising the France with their feisty play. After hiring Claudio Ranieri after a miserable start to the season, Bordeaux got significantly better, finishing in 7th place. Laurent Blanc, who was hired around the same time as Ranieri by Toulouse, did not have the same effect on his team, however, as they finished in a lowly 16th place. Ajaccio finishing last and Stade de Reims finishing in 19th place was no surprise, but it was a shock to see Rennes get relegated alongside them.

Marvin Martin – Lille: The 25 year old French midfielder was a slightly controversial choice for the award – by all means, he had a good season, but many thought that perhaps a few other players deserved it more. Nonetheless, Martin recorded 11 goals and 12 assists for fifth place Lille, and was, without a doubt, their most important player. His assists tally was the third highest in the league, and he also ranked as one of the highest scoring midfielders, as well. He recorded a 7.36 AR

Thiago Silva – Paris Saint-Germain: Out of all of Paris Saint-Germain’s expensive signings this season, the 28 year old Brazilian was the one who mattered most. He had an outstanding season, marshaling PSG’s defense and playing some exceptional football. While injuries limited him to only 29 appearances, he did average 4.88 TpG and record a 7.40 AR, proving himself to be one of the best defenders on the planet.

Steve Mandanda – Marseille: The 28 year old French international won the award for the third time in his career this season, recording a 7.08 AR for third place Marseille. His 40 goals conceded were a bit on the high side, but he was tied for fourth place with 13 clean sheets. The sputtering Marseille defense was plain horrible at times, but Madanda remained a rock in the back.

Lucas Mendes – Marseille: After being acquired for just £1.7m at the beginning of the season, the 22 year old Brazilian left back went out to become the unquestionable starter for the club at the position. He finished the season with 6 assists and a 7.08 AR, and much is expected of him next season.

Alexandre Lacazette – Lyon: One of the most surprising players in the league this season, the 21 year old French striker seemingly exploded out of nowhere to lead the league with 18 goals scored. The Lyon striker took over the starting reigns early in the season and never looked back, finishing with a 7.21 AR. Although he does not possess outstanding finishing ability, his speed and quickness made him virtually un-markable, and by the end of the season, his official worth had shot up to £15m.

Pascal Dupraz – Evian: Having led the club to a 4th place finish in 2012/13, there was little doubt who the winner of this award was going to be. The 50 year old Frenchman has been at the club since 1991, when he was a player, and he officially took over as Manager while still playing in 1994. The club has gone through some changes since then, but Dupraz has always been at the helm, and now, they have become one of the most exciting teams in France.

Other Stars

Yohan Cabaye – Paris Saint-Germain: Although he only joined the club during the January transfer, he was arguably the catalyst that ended up giving Paris Saint-Germain the title. The 27 year old midfielder made the £18m move from Newcastle after having an outstanding first few months there, and ended the season with 19 appearances, 8 assists, and a 7.64 AR for PSG, leading the league in the last statistic. He was flawless in the middle of the park, rarely having a game which he was not one of the best players on the pitch.

Michael Bastos - Lyon: The league leader with 17 assists, the 29 year old Brazilian left winger was one of Lyon’s most important players this season. It was his fourth with the club, and arguably, the best of his career, also finishing with 4 goals and a 7.26 AR, which was second best on the team behind Lisandro Lopez. Initially bought for £14.25m from Lille, it is safe to say he has been a good return on investment.

Benjamin Nivet - Troyes:The 36 year old midfielder was the feel good story of the year, having led the French Ligue One in AR for most of the season. He ended up with the third best AR, but it did not diminish the outstanding season he had, many of which considered it to have been Star of the Season material. Troyes were predicted to finish in 20th place by the media, but instead, found themselves in 11th place as the season came to a close, and Nivet was the primary reason. Just look at the stats: 37 appearances, 6 goals, 8 assists, 10 PoM (which led the league), and a 7.43 AR. To put that in perspective, only one other player on the squad had over a 7.00 AR, and that was the GK. At his age, Nivet was not supposed to dominate matches the way he did, and Troyes were not supposed to be as good as they were. That is a direct testament to Nivet, who, in the eyes of many, was the season’s finest player.

Etienne Capoue - Toulouse: Toulouse finished in 16th place this season, a huge disappointment for a club predicted to compete for a European spot, but who knows what would have happened if Capoue had not been there. The 24 year old French midfielder, who earned his first cap for France late in the season, scored 8 goals and had 8 PoMs as he fought tooth and nail to keep the club from disaster. His 7.44 AR was second best in the league, and by the end of the season, had become one of the hottest young prospects in France.

Gregory Van Der Wiel – Paris Saint-Germain: You don’t become champions without someone doing the dirty work, and that is exactly what the 25 year old Dutch right back’s job description was. He had his injury problems, with a strained ankle and torn groin muscles keeping him out for a total of ten weeks, but when he did play, he was the best right back in the league. He finished with 3.84 TpG and a 7.43 AR, good enough for fourth best in the league. This was his first season with the club after coming in a £5.25m move from the only club he had ever known, Ajax.

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German Bundesliga 2012/13

Overview - Transfers - Team of the Year

Review

Although they pulled their foot of the gas a little towards the end of the season, there was no doubting that Bayern Munich was by far the most impressive team in Germany this season. Recapturing the title of two years of seeing Dortmund lift it, Bayern also lifted the Champions League trophy to culminate what was a perfect season. The former champions struggled through much of the season, but a late surge saw them win 4th place, good enough to see them back in the Champions League next season. Leverkusen were head to head with Wolfsburg for much of the season, but proved they were the second best team in Germany and pulled away, finishing a full thirteen points ahead of their rivals, who finished in 3rd place.

Gladbach surprised many as they finished in 5th place, while Werder Bremen (7th), Shalke (8th), and Stuttgart (10th) all were disappointments this season. The biggest failure, however, was HSV, which was predicted to capture a European spot but instead ended up finishing in a dismal 13th place. Freiburg and and Augsburg were, predictably, relegated as Mainz and Hoffenheim just survived to live another day in the Bundesliga.

Thomas Muller – Bayern Munich: It is hard to believe that Muller is only 23 years old, as it seems he has been around for a decade. The Bayern midfielder has become possibly the most important player for his club, scoring 9 goals and recording 11 assists, which was tied for best in the Bundesliga, this season as the club captured both the Bundesliga and the Champions League titles. Muller was solid in both, and although his 7.27 AR in the Bundesliga was not mind-blowing, the truth was there rarely was a meaningful Bayern play that did not involve him. Some of his other teammates might have had more eye catching seasons, but Muller was the glue that brought it all together.

Ron-Robert Zieler – Hannover: Considered to be one of Germany’s hottest young prospects, the 24 year old GK won the award for the first time in his career after a solid season with Hannover, who ended up finishing above all expectations in 6th place. In 32 appearances, he conceded 33 goals and kept 12 clean sheets, which was good enough for third best in the league. A no-nonsense type of GK, he has no glaring weakness and may very well be Germany’s No.1 sooner before later.

David Alaba – Bayern Munich: Just 20 years old, the Austrian left back had an outstanding season, and has already established himself as the best left back in the Bundesliga. In 30 appearances, he recorded 6 assists, 3.21 TpG, 81% Pass Ratio, 1.77 DpG, and a 7.67 AR, second only to teammate Philipp Lahm in the league. In other words, whether defending or going forward, Alaba was brilliant, and the fact that he is so young makes him a tantalizing prospect. He has the ability to become one of the best in the world at his position, while some might say that he is already there.

Bastian Schweinsteiger – Bayern Munich: 34 appearances, 3 goals, 6 assists, 3.26 TpG, 83% Pass Ratio, and a 7.61 AR – those were the 28 year old German midfielder’s stats this season. Perhaps the most efficient player in the league, his AR was fourth best in the Bundesliga, but the stats don’t tell the whole story. He was the rock behind Bayern’s talented and creative offensive force, anchoring the midfield with poise and finesse, as well as strength, allowing the likes of Robben and Ribery the freedom to get at their opponents with full force. Indispensable for both club and country.

Mario Mandzukic – Bayern Munich: No one scored more important goals for their team than the 27 year old Croatian – whether it was in the Bundesliga or the Champions League, Mandzukic found the goal when his club needed it the most. He finished the season with a team-leading 13 goals and a 7.37 AR, but his greatest contribution was the way he put his team on his back when the stakes were highest. He scored their winning goal in the Champions League Finals at Wembley.

Klaas Jan-Huntelaar – Shalke: His club were disappointing this season, but that did not stop the 29 year old Dutch striker from leading the Bundesliga in goals scored for a second straight season. Considered to be one of the best poachers in the game, he ended the year with 20 goals to his name, made all the more impressive given how inconsistent his club’s midfield and their delivery was. While he may not be the fastest player on the pitch, his finishing ability and his off the ball movement are second to none.

Jepp Heynckes – Bayern Munich: Could it be anyone else? In his second season with the club, he brought home the Bundesliga and Champions League titles, all while having his club play some brilliant, beautiful, free flowing football. The 68 year old German, who won the award for the first time in his career, captured the Bundesliga title for the third time in his managerial career, with the first two also coming while managing Bayern Munich in his first stint with the club in 1989 and 1990.

Other Stars

Philipp Lahm – Bayern Munich:The captain and probably Bayern Munich’s most important player, the 29 year old German right back was indisputably the finest at his position this season in the world. He was selected to the 2012 World Team of the Year, and culminated the 2012/13 season by capturing the Bundesliga and Champions League. His statistics were phenomenal: 28 appearances, 4.41 TpG, 84% Pass Ratio, 2.18 DpG, and a league leading 7.73 AR. Lahm simply does not make mistakes, and is exactly what you want from your full back – an exceptional defender who creates dangerous chances going forward - never caught out of position on defense, always with the right outlet pass or cross on offense.

Arjen Robben – Bayern Munich: The 29 year old winger has always been prone to injuries, and this season was no different – he only appeared in 21 games thanks to first a broken cheekbone, and then a broken collarbone. When he did play, however, he was fantastic, recording 6 goals, 5 assists, and a 7.67 AR that was third best in the league. The problem is that since he joined the club four years ago, he has never appeared in more than 24 games in a season, and this year was the first in a Bayern jersey he failed to record at least 12 goals. Nonetheless, he adds so much danger to the Bayern attack when the ball is at his feet, and remains one of the top threats in the league.

Manuel Neuer – Bayern Munich: So much was said about the Bayern Munich’s offense and their fantastic full-backs, but nothing should be taken away from their 27 year old GK – in 31 appearances, he conceded only 25 goals, had 12 cleans sheets (second only to Dortmund’s Weindefeller), and a 7.31 AR, which was best amongst GKs in the league. Although he missed out on the Best Goalkeeper award, he is considered to be the best GK in Germany, and he only further backed up that claim in his second season with the club.

Lars Bender - Leverkusen: The MVP of the season in regards to which player meant the most to their team, it was the 24 year old German midfielder who put Leverkusen on his back and hauled them to a 2nd place finish this year. He did it all – 5 goals, 10 assists (fourth in the league), 8 PoMs, 6.18 TpG (second in the league), and a 7.53 AR (eight in the league). There was not a more complete player in Germany this season, and his 85% Pass Ratio pointed out to just how efficient he was. The way this season went, he certainly seems poised to be the German national team’s No.1 choice in the center of the pitch.

Ivica Olic - Wolfsburg: The 33 year old Croat led the Bundesliga in goals scored for most of the season before a late dip in form, and he finished tied for second with 18 goals. It was arguably the best season of his career, however, as he set a new personal record in the Bundesliga in goals scored, along with a 7.20 AR. Wolfsburg finished in 3rd place, and although he is starting to get up on age, he remains the club’s most viable threat.

Juan Arango - Gladbach: With 11 assists to his name, the 33 year old Venezuelan was tied for the most assists in the Bundesliga this season, leading a surprising Gladbach team to a 6th place finish. He also recorded a 7.32 AR and 6 PoMs, and was generally his club’s most talented player on the pitch. While he no longer found the net as frequently as in past seasons, he re-adjusted his game and found ways to contribute heavily to his club’s campaign.

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Italian Serie A 2012/13

Overview - Transfers - Team of the Year

Review

This was one of the most surprising Serie A years in recent history, as Fiorentina ran away with the title having wrapped it up by Christmas. Although they finished just seven points ahead of AC Milan, at one point, they were a full sixteen points ahead of their nearest competition, ending the season having won 23 of their 38 games. The former champions Juventus finished in 3rd place, while Roma rounded up the top four spots under their new manager Delio Rossi, who replaced Zdenek Zeman after he was sacked in February. Inter Milan were a shocking disappointment, and it was not until they hired Giuseppe Sannino to replace Andrea Stramaccioni did their fortunes improve, but it was too late. They ended up in 6th place, behind surprising Palermo.

Lazio and Udinese were also huge disappointments, finishing 16th and 15th, respectively, just beating out Bologna (18th) into safety. The latter was joined by Torino and Pescara in the relegation zone – Pescara was predictably bad, finishing a full eleven points behind Torino in last place. While many expected Sampdoria (10th) and Napoli (11th) to compete for a European spot, it did not end up happening, as both clubs saw mid-table finishes below their expectations.

Borja Valero – Fiorentina: It was the Spanish midfielder’s first season with Fiorentina, having come in a £6m move from Villareal, but he took no time adjusting to life in Italy, leading his club to their first Serie A title since 1969. His 11 assists were third most in the league, while his 7.41 AR ranked ninth. Nevertheless, considering how important he was for his team, he thoroughly deserved to win the Player of the Year, as he was the heartbeat that made Fiorentina tick.

Edinson Cavani – Napoli: The 26 year old Uruguayan striker has now made it three straight seasons with 20+ goals, finishing this season with 37 appearances, 20 goals, and a 7.18 AR. The Napoli fans love him, opposing fans adore him, and he has become one of the biggest and most sought after names in the league. Although his club was a huge disappointment this season, Cavani most certainly was not, as he was second only to Juventus striker Matri in goals scored.

Borja Valero – Fiorentina: See Player of the Year.

Emanuele Giaccherini – Juventus: In his second year with Juventus after moving from Cesena for £6.25m, the 28 year old Italian right winger shined to tune of 5 goals, 6 assists, and a 7.20 AR. He earned his place in the heart of the local fans, and earned himself 6 caps for his national side as well, thanks to his stellar play for the former champions. He showed vast improvements over his first season with the club, when he only scored a single goal the entire season.

Maarten Stekelenburg – Roma: The 30 year old Dutch international, who came to Roma from Ajax last year for £5.5m, had the second most clean sheets with 15 and his 7.26 AR was the highest by a GK in the Serie A. By form, he was the finest GK in the league, and was one of Roma’s most important players, giving them fantastic reliability between the posts and good season.

Frederico Balzaretti – Roma: The club’s leader with 7.57 AR, the 31 year old Italian left back was also ranked best amongst defenders in the category and third overall this season in the Serie A. It was the first time in his career he captured the award, and he did so for good reason – he had a great season. He averaged 3.53 TpG and 2.03 DpG, having been extremely solid in the back and dangerous going forward, as well.

Andrea Poli – Sampdoria: The 23 year old Italian central midfielder won the award based on a very solid season, recording 28 appearances, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 PoMs, and a 7.17 AR. He was Sampdoria’s best player, and by the end of the season, he was worth an estimated £10m. Widely tipped to be a future Italian international, if he continued to develop the way he did this season, he could very well see himself selected for the Brazil 2014 squad next year.

Alessandro Matri – Juventus: The 28 year old striker led the Serie A in scoring for the first time in his career, delivering 21 goals for his team. A fantastic poacher, he managed to keep Juventus competitive with his solid play, recording a 7.21 AR. This was exactly the type of performance that the club was looking for when they signed him from Cagliari for £13.25m in 2011, and after a mediocre first season, he came through in a big way this year.

Massimiliano Allegri – AC Milan:[/b] As the awards are voted for at the end of the year instead of the season, this award would certainly have went to Fiorentina’s manager, Vicenzo Montella, if the opposite was the case. As it would have, however, Allegri did a very good job, as well, leading AC Milan to 2nd place after a dismal start to the season. They only lost 5 times this season, but their 16 draws showed that they just did not know how to put teams away. Despite that, Allegri has put together a good team that should be competing, once again, for the Serie A title next year.

Other Stars

Stevan Jovetic - Fiorentina: At the age of 23, the Montenegrin striker finally made good on his potential, leading Fiorentina to the Serie A title as its best player. Despite injuries keeping him out of a good chunk of the season, he finished with 24 appearances, 13 goals, and a 7.64 AR, which was second in the league to only Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder. He propelled himself in the elite of the Serie A crop, and became a Fiorentina legend in the process.

Wesley Sneijder – Inter Milan: While the rest of his club was faltering, the 28 year old Dutch midfielder was quietly having one of the best years of any player this season. In 31 appearances, he recorded 7 goals, a league leading 14 assists, 6 PoMs, and a league leading 7.75 AR. In other words, he was the perfect creative force that any team could wish for. Unfortunately, the rest of his team did not play up to par, but it was through no fault of Sneijder’s, who was the best player in the Serie A this season. He was selected for the 2012 World Team of the Year.

Daniele De Rossi - Roma: He has become one of the top defensive midfielders in the world, and this season was no different. In 35 appearances, he scored 4 goals, recorded 9 assists, 7 PoMs, and a 7.53 AR good enough for fourth best in the Serie A. Additionally, he had 5.20 TpG (7th in Serie A) and an 85% Pass Ratio, rounding up a fantastic year as one of the best players in the league.

Alvaro Perreira – Inter Milan: The 27 year old left back’s contributions to his club’s campaign could not be found in statistics – all except one: his 7.43 AR showed just how good he was. He averaged 3.52 TpG, and defensively, he was very good. The Uruguayan might not have been the most flamboyant of players, but when it came to doing his job, he did it very well.

Arturo Vidal – Juventus: The 26 year old Chilean midfielder’s 7.51 AR was the highest on his team and sixth highest in the Serie A. He also averaged 3.59 TpG, but he was also just as able going forward, recording 8 assists. Although his goals scored went down from 7 to just 1 goal in his second season with the club, he was still one of Juventus’ most indispensable players, and its rock in the center of the pitch.

Freddy Guarin – Inter Milan: He came to Inter Milan at the beginning of the season for £9.5m from Porto, and the 26 year old Colombian became one of the best players in the Serie A over the course of the year. His 7.52 AR was the fifth highest in the league, and he also contributed 6 goals and 5 assists, playing anchor to Sneijder’s advanced midfield position. He averaged 3.27 TpG, as well, but his real improvement was on offense, as his goals scored was a new career high.

Marek Hamsik – Napoli: His club’s struggles had nothing to do with the 25 year old Slovakian, who once again delivered a great individual season amidst all the turmoil at Napoli. In his sixth season with the club, he appeared in all 38 games, recording 11 goals, 5 assists, 5 PoMs, and a 7.38 AR. He was the best scoring midfielder in the Serie A, and had the sixth highest AR amongst that group, as well. While rumors circulated about his imminent departure from the club he first gained his notoriety at, with teams such as Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain reportedly interested in him, he continued to stress that he was happy at the club. His rumored worth is thought to be around £20m.

Mirko Vucinic – Juventus: The former champions best player this season, the 29 year old Montenegrin striker’s 7.49 AR was the seventh highest in the Serie A this season. He contributed 10 goals and a team leading 9 assists, and although his play remained stellar, he still was not able to find the net enough in his second season at the club. While he is still in the prime of his career, the expectation had been that he would score more – however, his overall contributions reminded everyone why he was considered one of the best at his position in the Serie A.

Robinho – AC Milan: The 29 year old Brazilian quietly had his best season since coming to Europe in 2005, scoring 16 goals, recording 8 PoMs and a 7.36 AR. He has become one of AC Milan’s best players, and this season, there was no doubt that he was one of the best in the league itself. He was tied for fourth highest goalscorer in the Serie A and tied for most PoMs, leading his team in all three of the fore-mentioned categories. Genuinely an exciting player to watch, AC Milan hopes he can mentor Pato into being the world-class striker many predicted he would be.

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Spanish La Liga 2012/13

Overview - Transfers - Team of the Year

Review

Real Madrid’s reign as champions lasted only one year as Barcelona reclaimed the title in convincing manner – the table might suggest that there was only a two point difference between the two sides, but for most of the season, it was very clear who the better team was. Nineteen points behind Real Madrid were rivals Atletico Madrid, who were happy with their final position but disappointed with how they let the two Spanish giants get away from them after keeping pace for most of the season. Rounding up the final Champions League spot was a battle between Sevilla, Malaga, and Valencia – it was the former that ended up getting it, with Malaga finishing in 5th place and Valencia dropping to a disappointing 8th place.

Getafe were expected to be a middle of the pack team at best, but instead grabbed a Euro Cup spot by finishing in 6th place, and they were joined by Real Sociedad, who nicked 7th place from Valencia by just a single point. Mallorca, Valladolid, and Rayo were relegated unceremoniously in what was one of the closest relegation fights in recent years, with just three points separated Mallorca from Betis in 13th place.

Lionel Messi – Barcelona: Could it be anyone else? He might not have scored 50 goals like he did in 2011/12, but the 25 year old Argentine still delivered the finest football of anyone this season, in any league. The 2012 Golden Ball and World Footballer of the Year, he recorded 36 appearances, 26 goals, 12 assists, 13 PoMs, and a ridiculous 8.54 AR – just mind-boggling numbers. Simply put, there is no one better in the world today – actually, no one even comes close. At his tender age, he is already considered one of the best players of all-time, mentioned in the same breathe as Pele and Maradona, and his individual and club exploits can more than back up those claims. Simply flawless.

Victor Valdes – Barcelona: The 31 year old Spanish goalkeeper might play second fiddle to Iker Casillas in the Spanish national team, but it is Valdes who has captured the La Liga Goalkeeper of the Year award for the past five consecutive years. He played in 29 games this season, recording 11 clean sheets and conceding only 24 goals. While some might view him as a bit inconsistent, Barcelona has won numerous titles with him between the sticks, and there is no denying his world class talent.

Alvaro Negredo – Sevilla: The 27 year old Spanish striker had the best season of his career this year, scoring a league and career high of 27 goals while playing in every game. The club finished in 4th place behind his exploits, and he proved that he belonged on the Spanish national team alongside the greats from Real Madrid and Barcelona. He has been a great return on investment since Sevilla bought him from Real Madrid in 2009 for £12.5m.

Tito Vilanova – Barcelona: The 44 year old might have been on his first managerial job in his career, but he handled it with poise. Although many were worried that the departure of Pep Guardiola was the beginning of an imminent decline for what may be the greatest club side ever assembled, his former assistant manager made sure the transition was as seamless as possible. Vilanova brought the La Liga title back to Barcelona after a year’s departure to the capital, and proved he had the ability to lead Barcelona post Guardiola.

Other Stars

Andres Iniesta - Barcelona: Lionel Messi might have been the best player in the league this season, but his teammate was indisputably the second best player in the La Liga. The 29 year old midfielder has had some great seasons under his belt, but 2012/13 was arguably his best, so far. He scored a career high 10 goals, led the league with 14 assists, and was second only to Messi in the La with an 8.07 AR. The driving force in the most talented midfield in the world, Iniesta is a bona-fide star and will go down as one of the greatest to play his position ever by the time he is done with the game.

Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid: By anyone else’s standards, the 28 year old Portuguese’s season would have been an absolute stormer. For Ronaldo, however, it was a step back from the level of play the world had been used to seeing from him the past couple of seasons. He was third in the league with 23 goals, and he also had a 7.52 AR that was very low for him. More importantly, he could only enjoy being La Liga champion for one year before handing the title back to Barcelona, which was the most painful part of his season. He will surely be looking to bounce back from his “dip” in form and make another crack at unseating Barcelona in 2013/14.

Cesc Fabregas - Barcelona: The £29m man completed his second season with Barcelona this year, and truly cemented his position as one of the club’s most important players. With the decline of legend Xavi, it was Fabregas who stepped up, recording 8 goals, 7 assists, and a 7.58 AR, giving Barcelona exactly what they needed from the central midfield position. The 26 year old seemed to learn a lot of Iniesta, as his game began to mimic his, which is a good thing. Fabregas has now become one of the biggest names on the planet, and he deserves that high praise.

Gerard Pique - Barcelona: He was undoubtedly the best central defender in the La Liga this season, as the 26 year old recorded 4.28 TpG and 7.70 AR. Very rarely did one see Pique make a mistake in the back, and Barcelona’s defense was a rock thanks to his presence, and it was that ability that had him named to the 2012 World Team of the Year. He was leaps and bounds beyond any other player at his position, and has perhaps developed into the finest central defender in the world at this point.

Marcelo – Real Madrid: In a team filled to the brim with world-class stars, it was the left back who Real Madrid’s best player this season. The 25 year old Brazilian was third in the league, behind only Messi and Iniesta, with a 7.88 AR, and he averaged 3.56 TpG and 3.40 DpG. The fact that he averaged those numbers in the same season is ridiculous – it seemed no matter where the ball was, Marcelo was somehow involved. Needless to say, he is possibly the world’s finest left back, and as such was named in the 2012 World Team of the Year.

Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid: While his teammate was the best left back in the league, the 27 year old Spaniard was perhaps the best right back. Although not as adept at going forward as Marcelo, Ramos was a bigger presence defensively, averaging 4.71 TpG to go with his 7.71 AR, which was seventh best in the league. Although most would consider Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm and Barcelona’s Dani Alves as his superiors at the position, Ramos remains one of the best right backs in the world, and seems to only get better as each season passes.

Iker Casillas – Real Madrid: His 15 clean sheets were the most of any GK in the La Liga, and Casillas continues to be the most naturally gifted player at his position in the world. Although Victor Valdes has gotten the each in individual and club awards lately, it was Casillas was named in the 2012 World Team of the Year and who captains the Spanish national side. His 7.40 AR was, by quite a wide margin, the best of any GK in the La Liga this season, including Valdes.

Isco - Malaga: Talk about making an impact – the emergence of the 21 year old Spanish midfielder was unexpected and surprising, but by the end of the season, it was Isco who had the highest AR of any player outside of Real Madrid and Barcelona. He recorded 10 goals, 8 assists, 10 PoMs, and his 7.77 AR was the sixth highest in the league – additionally, he earned his first cap for Spain. If the La Liga had a Young Player award, he most certainly would have won it. Malaga finished 5th in the league, and he played the biggest part in keeping them competitive this season. He is a future star, and perhaps one of the successors to the greatest midfield in the world today.

Joaquin - Malaga: Isco was Malaga’s best player, but the 31 year old Spanish right winger was its leader. Bought in 2011 for £3.9m, he has turned out to be quite a bargain for the team, and finished the season with 10 goals, 9 assists, and a 7.30 AR. Although he was once in Isco’s shoes, being touted as the next big thing in Spain, he never lived up to that promise – however, he is now one of the club’s most important players, and his 10 goals were actually a career-high for him.

Roberto Soldado - Valencia: The 28 year old Spanish striker was fourth in the league with 21 goals this season, but like his club, failed to find consistency. His 7.05 AR proved that while he found the net quite often, it was usually followed by poor performances that kept his average low. Still, he was the best player on one of Spain’s largest clubs, if not its most disappointing this season.

Xabi Prieto - Sevilla: Negredo might have been Sevilla’s leading scorer, but Prieto was its best – the 29 year old Spanish right winger recorded 5 goals, 13 assists (second in the league), and a 7.36 AR that helped lead the club into a 4th place and a Champions League spot. The former Real Sociedad player, who came at the beginning of the season for £8.75m considered this season the best of his career, and will experience Champions League football for the first time in 2013/14.

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Champions League 2012/13

OverviewGroup Stages - Knockout Rounds - Dream Team - Best Player - Golden Boot

Review

This year, there was no doubt that the best team ended up winning, as Bayern Munich failed to lose a single game, winning 9 of their 13 games and drawing in the other 4 games. The conceded only one goals in the Group Stages, and defeated three of England’s top teams in Arsenal, Manchester United, and the Premier League champions Manchester City in the Knockout Rounds on their way to capturing their fifth title. Manchester City defeated Paris Saint-Germain in the Semi-Finals and Real Madrid in the Quarter-Finals, but the Germans just proved too efficient and difficult to break down. It was Man City’s first ever trip to the Champions League Finals.

The defending champions Chelsea impressed in their Second Round defeat of Malaga, but PSG proved too strong in the Quarter-Finals, beating the English side 6-4 on aggregate to set up the match-up against Man City. The most exciting matchup of the season happened in another Quarter-Finals draw, however – Barcelona vs. Manchester United. The Spanish club looked to have sealed their advancement in the first leg with a 5-2 victory, but Man United got revenge for all their defeats at the hands of Barcelona and came away with an incredible 4-1 victory at home, advancing on away goals. Lionel Messi, who had hat-trick after hat-trick, was named Best Player of the competition despite only advancing to the Quarter-Finals – such was his brilliance.

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Bromley – Preview 2013/14

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General InformationDomestic League History

Outlook

After living in the glory of having led his club to the Blue Square South championship and automatic promotion into the Blue Square Premier, Kafra Jnoubi got down to business in mid-June, thinking of ways he needed to tweak the team in order to remain competitive at a higher level. With the players on holiday, Jnoubi started looking around for potential staff members that could help with the coaching. A few days after going hunting for new coaches, Jnoubi had hired Jonathan Hunt as the club’s new fitness coach and Mark Bonner as the new ball control and technical skills coach. Jnoubi also wanted to put more focus on his youth squad and developing their ability, and after a few interviews, he decided to hire Richard Walker as the new Head of Youth Development. All of this had taken place before the beginning of July, so when the players got back, a much larger backroom staff was waiting for them to help them prepare for the new season.

Jnoubi had also made two Free Transfer signings during the month of June, bringing in Lewis Aird and Tom Paul, both young, defensive players who looked like they had the ability to contribute immediately. At the other end, there were some big departures, as Danny Waldren, Sanchez Ming, and Anthony Finn all accepted contracts by other teams, leaving the midfield sorely lacking in depth. As July rolled around the transfer windows opened up, Jnoubi had some big roles to fill, especially at the right wing position where Ming had been so effective the previous season. To cover Ming’s position, Jnoubi brought it Aryan Tajbakhsh, who spent 2012/13 playing with Maidenhead, during the first week of July. While he was not considered an improvement over Ming, the club was in desperate need for players who played the position. He had high hopes that he would be able to round up some signings from the Trial Day matches, but they came and went without any activity for Bromley, much to Jnoubi’s disappointment. Not sure if he would find anyone suitable for the team before the beginning of the season, the manager turned his focus onto making sure his most important players were resigned past this season, giving no less than eight new contracts before the end of July. After much anticipation, Jnoubi was disappointed in his anti-climactic offseason, having felt he did not tweak his squad enough. He hoped his team had enough talent in them to compete in the BSP, but he was secretly nervous. On the plus side, the club sold 270 season tickets, compared to only 110 last year, which was something Jnoubi was very excited about as the season began.

Transfers

Transfers In

Lewis Aird Free Transfer: The 18 year old left back comes in after being let go by Newcastle United, and will be Marlon Patterson’s understudy. Has exceptional quickness but is still very young and raw.

Tom Paul Free Transfer: Picked up after being let go by Blackburn, the 18 year old central defender looks to feature often in Bromley’s lineup this season. Despite his age, has good fundamental skills, and his speed will be very helpful to the club. Has reasonable strength, as well, for a player his age.

Aryan Tajbakhsh Free Transfer: Was signed from Maidenhead, the 22 year old right winger will start the season as the club’s main man down the right flank of the pitch. Will have his work cut out for him, however, as the man he is replacing (Sanchez Ming) had a fantastic season for the club last year.

Courtney Harris Free Transfer: A bit of a panic signing as Jnoubi realized he had no depth down the right wing, Harris will provide relief for Tajbakhsh, although he does seem to possess enough skills to fight him for that starting spot. Has good quickness, but his technical ability seems to be lacking.

Robbie Burns Free Transfer: Signed in mid-August to help give depth to the central midfield position, he accepted a Non-Contract agreement and joined Bromley from division rivals Braintree.

Transfers Out

Danny Waldren: The former captain of the club, played less and less as the season wore on last year. Will stay in the BSS with Tonbridge, having been let go for nothing.

Sanchez Ming: The club’s heaviest loss this pre-season, as Ming was the starting right winger for the club and one of its most important players last season. He chose to accept a contract offer by Maidenhead and remained in the BSS.

Anthony Finn: Provided good relief all across the midfield last season, but talent-wise, was probably a cut too low for the BSP. Decided to accept a contract offer from Brackley in the BSN.

Conor Okus: He came with high hopes at the beginning of last season, but never really impressed. With the emergence of youngster Flenley, was let go for nothing to save on wages. He joined Maidenhead in the BSS.

Christopher Conor: Youngster who featured only once for the club. Let go on Free Transfer.

Squad

Key Players

Vincent Pericard: In terms of accomplishment and talent, Pericard has no equal on the squad. His first season with the club was a bit plagued by injuries, but he still delivered 9 goals and 8 assists. This season, the former Premier League player will be relied upon to be the club’s main threat upfront. The 30 year old Cameroonian certainly has the ability to be one of the better strikers in the league at this level.

Elliot Buchanan: The club’s 2013 Player of the Year and leading goalscorer, the 24 year old striker chose to stay at the club this summer despite receiving several offers from different clubs. A repeat of his career season last year is unlikely, but he has been tested at this level, playing for Hayes & Yeading in 2010/11 and scoring 12 goals to boot. With Pericard as his striking partner, Buchanan should see quite a few opportunities, however, and he will have all the chances he needs to prove that he is not a one hit wonder.

Joe Welch: The 24 year old was the best GK in the BSS last year, and all scouting reports suggest he will be just as effective in the BSN this year. A rock between the sticks for the club, he was rewarded with a new contract in the off-season, and will be looked up to continue to marshal the defense in front of him. This will be his fourth season with the club.

Moses Swaibu: The vice-captain was the best central defender Bromley had last season, and the same applies for this upcoming year. At 24 years old, Swaibu has developed into a strong body that is capable of much damage up in the air. While his tackling needs work, he is expected to once again be one of the top players at his position in the BSP this year.

Marlon Patterson: To some, it was Patterson who was Bromley’s most important player last season, leading the BSS in assists despite playing at left back. Whether the 30 year old Englishman’s abilities will translate into another spectacular season at a higher level remains to be seen, but he goes into the 2013/14 season as one of the most important players at the club.

Youth to Watch

James Woods: In a surprising move, Jnoubi named 18 year old Woods as the new captain of the squad after the departure of Danny Waldren. He improved immensely over the course of last season, and was the undisputed starting left winger by the time it had come to an end. He will try topping the 10 assists he recorded last year, and he will also be expected to make use of his improving pace down the left flank of the pitch.

Rufus Brown: He was named as the starting right back for the club at the age of 17, and despite that controversial decision, he did not let Jnoubi down. His improvement over the course of the year was remarkable, and at the age of 18 years old, he has to rank as one of the better options at his position in the league already. Previous Years: 2012

Victor Flenley: He has been called the greatest prospect to ever come out of the Bromley Youth Academy, and the 16 year old has already been named in the Bromley’s starting lineup for the 2013/14 season. Obviously, he has a lot to prove, but from the little that we have seen from him thus far, he looks ready to make an impact.

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