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Twenty-Sixteen - Seventeen

A somewhat interesting summer has seen a fair bit of change. McDermott replaced by Stam, the instrumental Norwood following the prodigal son in Tshibola out the door, and a not insignificant influx of talent under the guidance of the new boss and the sharply dressed Brian Tevreden.

And the new management structure is a good place to start. Reading Stam's and Tevreden's interviews there seems to be a fair bit of reason for optimism. By the sounds of it a great deal of the thinking behind Stam's appointment is his dedication to youth - and our transfer policy also reflects that. If we can take the DoF at his word then the reason to turn down signing Campi was because of our options within the academy. It's almost the actual dream. Not just that, we've been turning down signings based on the fact they don't fit the system. It's all very Barcelona.

With the departure of Norwood there's now a big chance for Liam Kelly in particular, who seems to be becoming a legitimate choice recently, to step up and make his mark. Equally there's not necessarily as much depth on the wings, with only McCleary and Beerens as our first choice options, so fingers crossed that there may also be chances for Fosu and Stacey.

Recruitment has been fairly solid. Beerens and Swift in particular are exciting signings that will hopefully be able to cut open defences - an area that we've often struggled in the past few seasons. We looked light up front last season, and although Méïte and Mendes may not be signings to set the world alight, they're more options. Rakels and Samuel also looked decent during pre-season, the former has really impressed me since he finally got his chance in the side.

I think there are still key weaknesses, Cooper still has a mistake in him and the full backs are not the best, and a 4-3-3 doesn't offer the same degree as cover as McDermott's preferred 4-2-3-1. And while the striking department may have had new faces brought in, its still not the most potent on paper.

My heart says on the fringes of the top 10, while my head is just hoping we avoid relegation. We shall see.

Also, I would implore anyone that hasn't to read Brian Tevreden's interview with Charles Watts.

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