Having decided to stay on with The Millers it was time to rebuild the squad. Given the precarious nature of our finances it was clear that there would be no money to spend. On top of this the wage budget was slashed from £41k to £33k a week so I was going to have to get rid of players as well. I decided that 7 players from the first team squad would be axed, 4 were out of contract anyway so that was pretty straight forward. However, I had also decided to get rid of striker, and fan favourite, Alessandro Marotta. Although he had decent stats I only play one striker and Mendicino has made that position his own. This would have meant Marotta warming the bench as the highest payed player at the club. I managed to get £240k for him Frosinone which pleased the board. Centre half Leonardo Terigi also brought in £90k as he joined Parma.
With the first team squad trimmed I now had to turn to recruitment. Indeed pre-season started with only 14 first team players. Time to get busy. Dario Saric joined on a free from Capri and Mattias Andersson, who had been released by Juventus, also signed on. 5 players came in on loan from Lazio, including star of last season Bezzy, with a goalkeeper and left back joining from Juventus. However, the biggest signing of the summer would be Alessandro Bastoni who came in on loan from Chelsea. I have no idea how I managed to get the Italian U21 international but I did. Along with a couple of promising promotions from the youth team the team is pretty much sorted now and I have managed to reduce the wage bill to only £24k,
With all that going on pre-season games were also coming thick and fast. As someone who doesn’t really tinker with his tactics I just let my assistant manager take the friendlies and the results were pretty good. Our only loss was a 3-0 defeat to Serie A Napoli and we won our other 6 scoring 23 goals and conceding only 2. It should be noted, however, that these were predominantly against Serie D sides so probably shouldn’t get carries away. In the middle of the pre-season games the Italian Cup also began with the qualifying rounds. Our expectation was to reach the 2nd qualifying round and we duly achieved this with a thumping 5-1 victory over Catanzaro that featured another Mendo hat-trick. However, we were knocked out in the next round 3-2 by Juve Stabia despite having 22 shots to their 7. A bit infuriating. I suppose now we can concentrate on the league where we are expected to make the playoffs again and the media thinks we’ll finish 3rd. BRING IT ON.
There’s not much change in my profile but apparently my media handling is very good. Which is nice. I’m also able to speak basic Italian but the board still won’t sanction a coaching course for me due to the shite finances. I think it might try and update every 10 league games.
Paul Ince is still at Grimsby.