By Isaac Barrington
With a new-look Birmingham squad ready for the campaign ahead, I review what was a disappointing 2017/18 season, and look ahead at what the fast-approaching new campaign has in store.
Truthfully speaking, last season won’t be regarded as one of Birmingham’s finest. Finishing a huge 24 points behind champions Reading Escolla and ending up in 4th place simply didn’t meet the targets set by the club at the start of the season. Birmingham were playing catch-up right from the opening few games; losing their first home fixture in agonising fashion and suffering a Helvecia thrashing just a few weeks later. But a good Christmas period lifted the mood within the club, and the possibility of carrying the momentum on from there was very real. However, then came four successive draws, each of which felt like 2 points dropped rather than 1 gained. Edu Valor was replaced by Moe Elmaghrbi in the managerial hot seat, but the reality that Birmingham would have to see out the season in mid-table soon became clear. The focus then switched to the FA Futsal Cup. Birmingham enjoyed a cup run to reach semi-finals of the competition, where they would face league champions Reading Escolla. Birmingham were narrowly beaten by Escolla, only for the league champions to go on and lose in the final. Apart from the cup run, the only other clear positive from the season was the revolutionary Ivan Albiol. Birmingham’s talisman bagged 27 league goals last season, finishing as the league’s third top scorer. Fortunately, the club have now confirmed that Ivan will remain at Birmingham this season, despite attracting interest from elsewhere over the summer period!
With all that said, the attention is now set fully on the fresh campaign. Birmingham will once again play at the highest level of English futsal, in the FA National Futsal Super League, having retained their status last season. We’ve been announcing our new squad on our social media channels over the last few weeks, with players being announced individually. We have new coaches in Spanish duo Ezequiel Pastor and Daniel Perez, as well as new faces on the court such as Miguel ‘Miky’ Angel, and Juanito, who have both also joined from Spanish sides. The pair are just two of the new men through the door at Birmingham, so make sure you check out the new player profiles which will be available in the near future under the ‘mens’ section of the website!
There’s hope and belief within the Birmingham camp that they could go all the way to the top this season, so with that said, let the season begin!