The transfer market was relatively quiet and with little expenditure due to minimal budgets. Just two loan deals and a free transfer were finalised pre-season to bolster the squad depth and add a little quality going into the campaign ahead.
Mason Bennett comes in on a two-year loan deal; his pace should come in useful and he bolsters our attacking numbers, which were considerably low. Our other loan signing was Maurice Multhaup, who gives us added options down the right. He can play as a right winger but we’ll likely utilise him in a wing back role as backup to our current first choice, Niklas Kreuzer.
Our final signing was left-winger Carlos de Pena, who joined on a free transfer. He comes in with good experience, having played for the likes of Middlesbrough and Oviedo. Still in his mid 20’s, he’s a very capable player with room to improve on our journey up to the Bundesliga.
We blew the board’s expectations of a mid-table finish out of the water by securing promotion to the Bundesliga, only losing the title on goal difference. My aim was to gain promotion within a couple of season so I’m naturally delighted to have achieved that at the first time of asking. We were perhaps a little fortunate that the points tally for promoted teams waslow, with 9 draws and 11 defeats we still managed a 2nd place finish.
The board expectations for the coming season are to avoid automatic relegation and reach the 2nd round of the German Cup. Clearly, next season is about avoiding relegation. We must retain our place in the Bundesliga for financial reasons, to meet targets, and to increase the quality of player available to us on the market in order to help us take the next step.
In the German Cup, we simply met expectations. Having knocked out Bundesliga side Stuttgart in the 1st round, but couldn’t repeat that feat against Hamburg who sent us out in the 2nd round on away goals.
On loan striker, Mason Bennet, justified his loan move by finishing the season as Dynamo’s top goalscorer with 16 league goals. Our free transfer, Carlos de Pena, had a memorable debut season also by contributing 10 goals and 11 assists. Our standout player though was Erich Berko, who cleaned up at the end of season awards:
During the season we used three different tactics with an attacking 4-2-3-1 as our primary formation. You can learn more about this tactic on the Time to Entertain (4-2-3-1) post.
The defensive 4-1-4-1 formation is based on a tactic I developed for an FM16 save with Wigan – Taking on the Premier League as Underdogs. This tactic is ideal for seeing out games and frustrating the overdogs.
The 4-5-1 counter attacking formation is loosely derived from Leicester City’s Premier League winning 4-2-2 counter attacking formation, and Diego Simeone’s 4-2-2 with Atletico Madrid. I’ll cover the evolution of this tactic in more detail in a future post, but it’s one that’s allowed us to tap into the German persona of hard work and team ethic.
Plans to upgrade the clubs youth facilities (£2M) and training facilities (£950K) have been set in motion. This is an important contribution towards our long term goal of developing young domestic players for the first team. We’ve also increased our coach allocation, allowing us to spread the training load with more focused specialisms.
Things couldn’t have gone much better for us this season. Whilst keeping a tight grip on the finances we were still able to beat expectations and earn promotion. I’d have been happy with a top half finish and time to develop the squad for a promotion push the following season. With promotion in the bag we’ve opened up a much improved player pool for transfers. We’ll need to improve the squad with some quality additions if we’re to be beat the drop next season.