Whilst Dave is on International duty, the keys have been left with MK of Seagull Shouts. Can he accelerate Brighton’s rise from Division 3 to the Premier League?
So the 97/98 season was 20 years ago. Where did that time go!?
My beloved Brighton were on the back of the last season at their spiritual home, The Goldstone Ground. They had managed to stay in the football league with a draw on the last day of the previous season.
The game starts with the club playing their home games at Gillingham, last season’s top scorer Craig Maskell has left the club and in reality it wasn’t a great season. The club finished 23rd again in the old division 3.
It would take exactly 20 years to turn the club’s fortunes around and get them to the Premier League for the start of the 2017/18 season with a 30,000 seater stadium back in Brighton and a state of the art training facility and academy. What a turn around!
This being a blog about cm97/98, let us see if we can get the club up there a little quicker shall we?
The squad at the start of the game is pretty bare bones and other than a handful of decent performers it’s some way off challenging at the top end of the table. Peter Smith always does well and usually wants out, but I’ll try and hang on to him.
Here are the players who could cut it in the formation I’m going for: 4-2-3-1. Not a common formation back in 97, but one we see often today and one which can bring results with the right attacking players and a solid defence. Someone strong tucked in with Smith will pull the strings and I know just the man if he’s available.
Time to draft in a few players to bolster the depleted squad!
So here is the squad for the start of the season. Bolstered by CM legend Bjorn Heidenstrom (I’d buy this guy for any team in the game even as a squad player) and Chelsea’s young goalkeeper Nick Colgan (who looks solid enough at this level). A few free transfers will have to bulk out the squad, so I’ve drafted in Matthew Bound, Barry Lakin, Andy Gregory and ex-Man Utd man Graeme Tomlinson. Also young goalkeeper Anthony Betterton arrived on a free as a 16 year old who usually has decent potential.
I’ve signed Bound before and know he is pretty consistent. I’m excited about unearthing Lakin and Gregory as they have the attributes to be great attacking players, but you never know with these free transfer players who’s attributes and even positions can vary highly from game to game. Only time will tell.
It’s game time and here are the first batch of fixtures. The one that jumps out is Leyton Orient. They always do well in the game. Hopefully this squad can deliver or these blog posts will make for grim reading, potentially in line with the reality for Brighton back in 97.
Let’s see how the new squad gel and whether the tactics are right. I’m aiming for automatic promotions, but what are your predictions?
MK will be here throughout the week bringing you Brighton’s 97/98 season. You can follow MK on Twitter @SeagullShouts