September 19th - This season marks our 16th season on t'internet. What started out as a spreadsheet in my former employers CIT in Blackrock went online in 2006. It certainly gained legs after that with numbers exceeding 100 for 3 seasons at one stage. Like any good virus, we managed to flatten the curve and have kept numbers at a more manageable level ever since. This season's 75 is our biggest number since 2015-2016 - will Eamon Fox manage to make it three in a row after becoming the first person ever to retain his title last season?

As part of a throwback project I'm putting together a hall of fame to see who's won the most monthly prizes, appeared the most over the sixteen years of Block 102 etc. That'll follow shortly....
           
Season Participants Winner Runner Up Third Fourth
2005-2006 83 Chris Nally Kevin Philpott Gavin Morgan Garrett Fanning
2006-2007 74 Kevin Philpott Wesley Connaughton Anastas Popov David Keavney
2007-2008 131 Daragh Garry Anastas Popov Kevin Philpott Garrett Fanning
2008-2009 136 Anastas Popov Barry Healy Joe Turner Gerry Draper
2009-2010 137 David Keavney Michael Lee Ralph Goodwin Louise Norton
2010-2011 90 Celine Rooney Brian Sotolongo Michael Lee William Cosgrave
2011-2012 87 David Keavney Evin O'Neill Alan O'Brien Paul Moore
2012-2013 62 Kevin Philpott Brendan Maguire Ann Lyng Jonathan Fox
2013-2014 78 Jonathan Fox Richard Johnston Gavin Morgan Sean Moloney
2014-2015 74 Ralph Goodwin Con McSweeney Brian Sotolongo Padraic Carney
2015-2016 80 Paul Prendergast Gerry Draper Ralph Goodwin Anastas Popov
2016-2017 69 Dave McGinley * Ralph Goodwin * Anastas Popov Eamon Fox
2017-2018 56 Pat Walsh Jonathan Fox Karl Boland Dave McGinley
2018-2019 61 Eamon Fox Jonathan Fox Con McSweeney Anastas Popov
2019-2020 60 Eamon Fox Anastas Popov Damien Martin Callum Dunne
2020-2021 75 ? ? ? ?
 
* - in 2016-2017 Dave McGinley and Ralph Goodwin shared top spot. Not even a game of rock / paper / scissors could separate them!

September 13th - Welcome to the new season on Block 102. We've had a really good turnout this 75 with people signed up. That's our highest total in five seasons since we had 80 managers in 2015-2016. The record turnout was for 2019-2010 when we had a ridiculous 137 people taking part. At this point I must give a shout out to my nephew Gary Donnelly who twisted the arms of a load of his mates who all signed up to boost the numbers taking part.

Being of a numerical mind, I'm always curious to see who tops the polls in the bonus point choices. There were three standout choices in the goalscorer categories - Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (45 people) just edged out his North London rival Harry Kane (44 people). Mo Salah came next with 36 votes - his hat trick yesterday earned a nice few bonus points to kick off the season. All eyes will be on Timo Werner as he makes his Chelsea debut on Monday night with 24 people having opted for him to deliver goals and bonus points too.

Alisson was the top choice in the goalkeeper category again with 57 people selecting him. Last season he was top choice too and was duly jinxed as an opening game injury ruled him out until October! Letting in three goals against Leeds by comparison wasn't a bad start.

Dean Smith was the favourite in the sack race category. 16 of you reckon he'll be the first one collecting his P45 this season. Not far behind were sack race veterans David Moyes (14 votes) and Steve Bruce (13 votes). Their first day clash ended in victory for Bruce's Newcastle so he's safe enough for a week or two now by the looks of it.
 




A clash for the ages.....