Cola Football League Championship
Final Points: 41 Position: 23
Player of the Year: Carl Fletcher
Young Player: Joe Mason
THE SEASON IN PICTURES
A selection of 100 photos from nearly 5,000 in the season's match pages, telling the story of the season.
Last summer seems so long ago. Championship survival by the narrowest of margins heralded the end of an era when Paul Stapleton, probably the most successful chairman in the club’s history, made way for the self-styled ‘New World’. With Sir Roy Gardner in the chair, Keith Todd CBE's hand on the boardroom tiller and the Japanese connection remaining mysteriously behind the scenes, a new day had dawned and the message was loud and clear: to the promised land! To the surprise and delight of many, an audacious bid to be a World Cup Host in 2018 was won and an ambitious five-year plan suggested that major stadium developments were just around the corner.
If the future is rosy, then the harsh realities at today’s Home Park soon kicked in: attendances were down and day-to-day finances a ‘challenge’, but the critical problems were on the pitch. After the previous season’s poor form continued, Home Park hero Paul Mariner was brought in to re-work his magic as Paul Sturrock’s no. 2, but the rot had set in, not helped by a pitch that was all but finished. The old adage ‘never go back’ was never more true for Luggy; from the most successful manager in the club’s history to a lame duck, it was the saddest of endings when at Christmas, Mariner was promoted to the man in full charge of team affairs.
Manager in all but name, the former goal scoring hero gave his all, just as he did 35 years before, but it was not enough. For most, the writing was on the wall from the start of the campaign, and so it proved. After the first six games, the Pilgrims escaped the relegation zone on just one occasion; a long, painful and record-breaking end to six seasons in the Championship. So it’s back to the old Third Division and who knows, maybe the start of that road to the promised land. The end of that pitch is no bad start.
Arrivals: (came & went in italics) Kari Arnason, Onismor Bhasera, Darcy Blake, James Chester, Kenny Cooper, Richard Eckersley, Alan Gow, David Gray, Damien Johnson, Reda Johnson, Alan Judge, Kyle Letheren, Shane Lowry, Bondz N’Gala, Cillian Sheridan, David Stockdale, Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Youth debuts: Ryan Leonard, Joe Mason
Departures: (came & went in italics) Darcy Blake, James Chester, Kenny Cooper, Mathias Kouo-Doumbe, Jermaine Easter, Richard Eckersley, Yoann Folly, David Gray, Alan Judge, Kyle Letheren, Shane Lowry, Jamie Mackie, Damien McCrory, David McNamee, Jason Puncheon, Gary Sawyer, Cillian Sheridan, Graham Stack, David Stockdale.
Click on the icons below for photos, commentary clips
and full match details of the games against
Newcastle (A), Peterborough (A), Middlesbrough (A), Reading (H), Barnsley (A), Bristol City (H) and Doncaster (A),
and separately, for it's entertainment value alone: the abandoned game at home to Barnsley
Football League Championship 2009-10
starting appearance appearing substitute goals cautioned sent off
Click on name
for pen picture
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