Looking back on the recently finished season I am, to be honest, disappointed and pleased with my performance in about equal measure.
Frustratingly, the tell tale scars from my battles with discipline are still visible, even if they are not the vivid red they were a couple of seasons ago. I still find myself entering trades for very little reason and with very little consideration of what I'm looking to achieve (other than to make it a 'winning' trade of course). I'm still guilty of letting losing trades run too long and of exiting winning trades too soon - but less so than before.
Positively I now have a useful database to enable me to track my trades and to glean some insight into which strategies work best for me, and how they can possibly be further tweaked. I am also pleased with some of my low liability lays and with my tentative ventures into the American sports markets - even if I still can't get my head around how they make a game last so long. Another area of tentative involvement that has seen decent results has been the longer term trade - the Premiership and the Champions League particularly, although I'm still kicking myself for not putting a tenner on Chelsea to win the CL at 2-0 and 10 men at the Camp Nou.
My staple trade, the Scatter Gun, has again paid handsomely this season and the latest tweak of entering suitable games at Half Time is also going in the right direction, although I still believe that is tweakable and I'll be returning to that as the new season gets underway.
So what of next season's trading?
First and foremost I'm whiling away the long, warm summer evenings working on an Excel project to start pricing up match odds, correct score and overs / unders for myself, predominantly using the fantastic stats available at www.football-data.co.uk . The idea is to come up with a master sheet for each league, and a subsidiary which will enable me to select the two teams from drop downs and then populate most of the information I think I need to do this reasonably accurately. By the time the first ball is kicked it is my intention to have such sheets for the Prem, Championship and League One in the UK, Leagues 1 & 2 in France, Italy, Germany and Spain and the top flights for Greece, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Scotland and Turkey. If anyone is aware of similarly detailed stats for Brazil, Chile and Argentina I'd be grateful for a pointer.
Secondly I intend to take a much more active role in the longer term trades and will be setting aside modest trading banks to trade these markets. The markets of interest are the top two in England and the Champions League.
Thirdly I will be detailing every trade on my database and will be ruthless in kicking a non performing trade into touch after a sensible trial period.
That's the plan. I doubt I'll be blogging too much over the summer, youngest gun is 18 shortly and eldest 21 so parties and boozing are upcoming. I'll trade the Euros I expect but work commitments will make that an interesting experience.
In closing I trust everyone enjoyed 2011-12 and is recharging the batteries for a fresh assault on the exchanges in 2012-13.
One person who will not be attacking them with quite as much gusto as he has historically mustered is Lamb - he's hanging up his pro trading boots and has promised a trading ebook as his legacy... best of luck with whatever you decide to do, Lamb, and I hope we'll still speak in the chatrooms from time to time.