Konquering Kosovo with Ferronikeli: 2022/23 Season

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2093
Kosovo

I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the world I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home, I’m coming home
Tell the world that I’m coming

Yes, I’m quoting a Puff Daddy/P Diddy/Sean Combs/whatever he calls himself now song. What of it?!

After putting Kosovo on the footballing map but narrowly missing out on World Cup Qualification I took a few months out before deciding to return to football management. International Manager has taken over at Kosovan Superliga club KF Ferronikeli. The aim is simple: Konquer Kosovo.

Ferronikeli won back to back league titles in 2015 and 2016. Iconic manager Blerim Mula guided the side to a Kupa e Kosoves win last season before stepping down on a high to take up a Director of Football role at the club.

Squad

The squad was not in perfect shape but they obviously had something about them after winning the cup last season. The obvious strengths lie with winger Mentor Asllani and attacking midfielder Arber Kryeziu.

Transfers

Without the need to overhaul the squad I could take my time and pick out top quality transfer targets. Lorik Zeneli was a £2k signing in the summer window to provide options in attack. In January we strengthened in defence with the signings of experienced full backs Kaan Kanak and Ryo Kato alongside American youngster Ian Taylor, another American, Kevin Piers was brought in to beef up our midfield.

Over the season a number of players were moved on or released as we sought to trim the fat from the squad.

Pre-Season

The media predict a 4th place finish for us. The board expect a top half finish in the league and a semi-final in the cup.

Superkupa e Kosoves

Not an ideal start to life in Kosovo’s domestic game as we fall victim to a 3-1 defeat to league winners Besa (P) in the Supercup.

Kupa e Kosoves

Besa (P) were also the masters of our Cup demise as they scored an extra time victory over us in the Quarter Final despite an impressive second half revival in normal time.

Raiffeisen Superliga

There was no such luck for Besa (P) in the league as Ferronikeli strode home in style, losing only 3 of 33 matches.

Star Performers

Left winger Ilir Jareci scored the highest average rating with 7.58 across 32 appearances with 11 goals and 11 assists.

Petrit Nika finished the season as top goalscorer with 21 goals in 24 appearances – 19 of those coming in the league.

Midfielder Arber Kryeziu notched up the most assists by laying on 13 goals for his teammates while grabbing 10 for himself.

Young goalkeeper Enea Bajrami finished the season with 16 clean sheets in 30 appearances, a total of only 19 goals conceded.

Club Update

Finances

Balance at 1st June 2023: £85,729

Debt and Loans: £1.4m outstanding across two bank loans, repayments of £13.87k per month

Sponsor income: £100k Stadium (until June 2024) and £56.46k Main Kit (until June 2023)

Wage Total: £7,645 per week

Gate Receipts: £50,297 & Season Tickets: £8,899

Facilities

Below Average training facilities

Basic youth facilities (with upgrade works agreed, due for completion by 15/12/2023)

Basic junior coaching

Fairly Basic youth recruitment

Average attendance: 287

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