Previously in Sofia
In a bit of belated update, we have reached the Winter Break during Dimitrova’s second season in charge of CSKA-Sofia.
In what could be the biggest turnaround of all time, the board are finally something other than devastated with the club vision of signing high-reputation players! Rumour has it, they were even delighted at some stages during the season.
They are still only satisfied with the development of youth players however they are delighted to see CSKA are maintaining the best youth system in the country. Once the upgraded system has bedded in properly, there is no doubt in Dimitrova’s mind that several Youth Academy players will become a major part of the starting 11.
Board Expectation: Challenge for the title
Current Status: Very Pleased
It couldn’t really be any closer at the top but thanks to the goalscoring prowess of Evandro, Ali Sowe and Graham Carey (31 league goals between them), CSKA are sitting top of the Parva Liga on goal difference.
Kupa na Bulgaria
Board Expectation: Reach Final
Current Status: Failed
For the second season in a row, CSKA has failed to progress further than the Quarter Finals, with another 2-1 extra-time defeat.
Superkupa na Bylgarija
Board Expectation: Not Important
Current Status: Lost
Even though it’s not an important competition, it’s still heartbreaking to lose on penalties.
UEFA Champions League
Board Expectation: Reach 3rd Qualifying Round
Current Status: Passed
CSKA were not expected to make waves in their first Champions League appearance since the 1989/1990 season, and waves they did not make, losing in the 3rd Qualifying Round as expected.
Board Expectation: Be Competitive
Current Status: Very Pleased
After being knocked out of the Champions League, CSKA were thurst into the Europa League once again.
A convincing 4-0 first-leg victory over NK Maribor helped secure their place in the Group Stage for the first time in 10 years. It was there where they caused one of the biggest upsets in the competition, beating Roma twice to finish 2nd in the group and reach the Knockout Stages!
Just reaching the knockout stages is a massive achievement for Dimitrova and her band of merry men, but will they be able to continue the fairytale and beat Man Utd… ?
The chequebook has been called upon several times this season, with the money from the Antov sale being reinvested into the squad. It’s unlikely CSKA will have anywhere near the same amount of transfer budget for a long time so the aim was to strengthen the team for the current season whilst also ensuring the majority of the players would improve even more over the next few years.
Karnezis, Antov and Anderson all returned for a second season on loan. The remaining signings were all youth team members and will be covered in a separate post.
The success of the club brought in more awards at the end of 2019,