AFC United – Part 25: The Class of ’97 | @Matt_C_Wills

Good morning and happy Monday! It’s the same Matt but with a new forMatt. Enjoy…

Hello and welcome back to part 25 – just let that sink in for a moment – of AFC United. You know the story by now, a team of Alex Ferguson cast offs and future signings set about to rise from Division 3 to the peak and knock Fergie off the summit.

Over 8 seasons I think it’s fair to say we have done that, spearheaded by the goals of David brown and Erik Nevland, assisted by Notman, Blomqvist and Cooke, with Danny Hall and Andrew Duncan impervious in front of Peter Schemichel’s regen.

Last season we won the treble, emulating the Class of ’92. I wondered whether their story was done, but I was hooked – how many goals could David Brown get now he had reached the 250 mark. How long could Danny Hall carry on as my defensive rock?

I’ve decided there’s more of this story to tell, but the format will change. For 8 seasons I diligently took screenshots of every occurrence, but then just wanted to play, so the parts going forward now will be season recaps – so don’t look too closely at the dates in the top right corner – just trust me! Think of it like one of those season review videos you used to get in Birthdays….


For all my crowing over finishing above Fergie, he gets his revenge in the Charity Shield

The league campaign starts off well though

In fact, we go unbeaten in our first 7 games, with some high scoring wins

Until Michael Bridges swaps United for our old friends Villa and take 3 points from us


September sees the beginning of the Champions League campaign – could we win 3 in a row? Celtic set out to halt us

Liverpool look to stuff us in the league

As do Real Madrid in the Champions League, aided by Barnsley’s new manager


It’s all smiles in our first meeting with Fergie’s boys though. Brown is the man for the moment


That spring in our step means we brush aside Real Madrid in the return match up

Their capitulation sends them out, while Celtic come agonizingly close

The World Club Cup Final goes our way, thanks to Dwight ‘Yorke’ Guttierez

The FA Cup defense starts well, although for some reason it starts on New Years Eve.


The new year brings old scores to the boil, and Fergie doesn’t let us take anything from old Trafford apart from our tail between our legs

There’s more joy in the cup though as we advance in the League Cup

And the FA Cup

January closes out with the European Super Cup final against PSG and after a 3-0 win the first leg, we do enough in the return to take the trophy. Those two early early goals sealing it


We’re hitting the stage of the season where are fortunes are shaping up and we’re still fighting on 4 fronts. Michael Owen steers us past Ipswich in the FA Cup

While David Brown see’s us past Derby on the League Cup to get us to another final and a chance to avenge last seasons defeat by our old foes Villa

Talking of Villa, we are playing them less this season. Gary Neville puts past his own keeper to put us in front before Cammarata levels and David Brown pops up with a very timely winner after Scholes gets injured.


European adventures resume and last seasons finalists, Monaco, are brushed aside in the quarter finals, even a man named Cantona can’t stop us. A Nevland hat trick in the first leg made the second leg a formality, such is our new prowess.

We’re really going for it now, like a well oiled machine. Reaching the stage of a save where all you’re pieces are in order and you just send them out to win, win and win again

Diddy Dwight is the hero in the League Cup Final and we banish last seasons woes, and begin to dream big again about a potential quadruple


But just when you feel invincible, something comes along to sucker punch you and even Diddy Dwight can’t get us past Chelsea in the FA Cup – there’ll be no quadruple for us this time

Karel Pobosky and Morientes are no match for us in the Champions league semi-finals

The league campaign has been pretty straightforward this season, the odd hiccup here…

…and there


In the end though, it was never in doubt that we would reclaim the title

16 points clear, a healthy Goals For column and a respectable Goals Against. Villa still in the hunt but too many draws let them down this season.

Fergie’s United have faded badly

The form chart tells the story in one little blue line

With the league done and dusted, only the matter of the Champions League final and whilst not a classic, we claim our third title in a row to emulate Ajax and Bayern Munich. Amazing for a club only 9 seasons old!

And really it was all down to the goals of Nevland and Brown (Mark ‘Bowen’ Hughes was out on loan)

Goals are one thing though, but look at the form of our defensive line. I’ve been truly blessed in this save with the random stats generator!

We mustn’t forget to tidy up elsewhere as Chelsea clinch the FA Cup the second time around

Liverpool struggle against 9 men on home surroundings in the CWC Final

It’s a fairly pedestrian affair in the UEFA Cup, where ex-Boro man Jaime Moreno is on the winning side


It’s a world cup year and plenty of my lads are on the plane to, er, Wembley

England really didn’t have a very testing group, could this be their year?

Well, they get past Belgium and Italy in the second round and quarter finals respectively, only to get Champ Manned by China in the semi-final. I don’t know if that defensive line up is the best Glenn Hoddle had to choose from, but then, captain David Brown never rose to the biggest occasion since Euro 96…..

David makes amands late in the 3rd place play off to take bronze

However, the bigger shock is in the final where China go one better and defeat the mighty France in extra time. Absolute scenes at Wembley.

With that, time for the end of season awards and Nevland’s 44 goal haul earns him a string of plaudits on top of the 5 medals he and the team have collected

So, as the season ticked to an end, Edwin decided he’s had enough of playing second fiddle to Pete S jnr and has headed home to Holland – He wasn’t much cop to be fair, but my rules meant I couldn’t follow Dean’s example with Winston Bogarde

So, there we have it, a season in 1 part – not sure how I feel about the format – we’ll see how it sits. One thing I am sure about though, is I want to win more with this team so please join me again next Monday, cheers!

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