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After a long hiatus Mark is back with a new story. Where will it take him?

Discussion
https://i.postimg.cc/y6J7c5G2/Tranmere-Web-Header.png

Ward is our first new face of the summer

https://i.postimg.cc/GmcW31rm/Calum-Ward.jpg

7 June 2024

Tranmere Rovers can confirm the signing of 23 year old goalkeeper Calum Ward. The former AFC Bournemouth trainee joins us for a nominal fee from Vanarama National League South side Concord Rangers.

Ward has made over 200 appearances for the Beach Boys since being released by the Cherries at the end of the 2018-19 season. His signing is the first of a number of signings that manager Mark Duell plans as Rovers look forward to the new season back in League Two.

As well as the new signing, Rovers have also agreed new deals with defenders Ryan Reynolds and Joseph Joseph as well as tying some of their exciting youth prospects down to fresh contracts.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/3r4p65Qz/lisbonlionssig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/zGtQ70yG/friendlies.png


With no championships this summer, the young Welsh starlets (well the current crop of them) played a couple of friendlies. This involved a trip to Cyprus before entertaining Sweden in Wrexham. This is how we got on.


Thursday 13 June 2024
https://i.postimg.cc/SKgp98HB/Wales-U21-13624.png

It should have been a comfortable win for us but this friendly ended up being closer than what we wanted it to be. We gave international débuts to three players, and it was one of them who gave us the lead after ten minutes play. Right-back Jonathan Letheren played the ball into the area and Anthony Stevenson of Chelmsford City volleyed home and beat the keeper at his near post. Eight minutes later, the Cypriots were level when Kyriakou's pass sent Loizou racing clear and the striker took a couple of touches before finding the top corner with Scott Williams well beaten.

We regained the lead in the 26th minute, John Eaton picked out Russell Burton and the Cardiff youngster pulled away from his marker so he could then chest the ball home and fire home. Yet once more the Cypriots failed to yield and levelled on the half hour, Pachipis with a superb curling effort that left everyone applauding. Two minutes after half time we scored what proved to be the match winner; Eaton's deep cross was turned back into the danger area by Stevenson and Burton poached from just outside the six yard box.


Monday 17 June 2024
https://i.postimg.cc/XJZ77QXH/Wales-U21-17624.png

I changed the starting line up completely for the game against Sweden, ensuring all my 23 man squad would get some kind of game time. The Swedes to be honest controlled it from first whistle to last, and were ahead after 13 minutes. That came thanks to a couple of lucky bounces before Tayfun Gök fired the ball past Jack Jackson from distance. They clinched the win with 20 minutes to go, Josefsson's run ending with a shot that took a wicked deflection off Tom McCarthy and totally wrong footing Adam Evans. Plenty of things to digest before we resume the qualifiers against in September; we will definitely need to step up our game for sure.

So with national duties completed, it's back to club action.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/y6J7c5G2/Tranmere-Web-Header.png

Club Statement

17 June 2024

Tranmere Rovers can today confirm that Mark Duell is to remain as the club's manager.

This comes after reports linking him with a Championship club. We're not surprised considering what he has achieved so far in his short time here at Prenton Park but we're pleased he has agreed to stay. Tranmere Rovers look forward to making even better progress with him at the helm.

Jack McCadden
Club Chairman
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/3r4p65Qz/lisbonlionssig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/L8TDrKYd/500miles.png

Current Managerial Career Snapshot


Domestic Managerial Jobs:
https://i.postimg.cc/9FMgXzpq/scottishflag.png Edinburgh City: 8 July 2018 - 28 August 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/C55yNXP3/Finland-Flag.png Ilves Tampere: 28 August 2020 - 1 December 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/GpWCtgjf/French-Flag.png Le Mans: 25 January 2022 - 24 May 2023
https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/England-Flag.png Tranmere Rovers: 24 May 2023 - present

International Managerial Jobs:
https://i.postimg.cc/NMgvy51f/welshflag.png Wales Under 21: 9 August 2020 - present

Awards Won:
2018-2020 (Edinburgh City): Manager of Month - 7, Trophies Lifted - 2, Manager of the Year - 0*
2020-2021 (Ilves): Manager of Month - 4, Trophies Lifted - 2, Manager of the Year - 1
2022-2023 (Le Mans): Manager of Month - 0**, Trophies Lifted - 1, Manager of the Year - 1
2023-present (Tranmere Rovers): Manager of Month - 1, Trophies Lifted - 1, Manager of the Year - 1

* - No Manager of the Year awards in the Scottish League One and Two
** - No Manager of the Month awards in Championnat National
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/3r4p65Qz/lisbonlionssig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/L6SZ4gFt/league2logo.jpg

24 June 2024

The opening day fixtures of the new 2024-25 Sky Bet League Two have been released by the computer. They are as follows:

https://i.postimg.cc/7ZsCNBG9/L2-Opening-Day202425.png

Well that computer has certainly thrown up a few appetising opening day games. Bromley start their maiden League Two campaign with a testing trip to Devon to face a Plymouth Argyle side that some think have an outside chance of promotion. National League champions Tranmere Rovers face a trip down the East Lancs Road to face Stockport County at Edgeley Park.

For the relegated sides; Walsall travel to Oxford United, Blackpool go to Chesterfield, Mansfield Town host Scunthorpe United and Colchester United are on the road to Maidstone United.

There's a few derbies with Oldham against Stockport, Chesterfield against Mansfield and Chester against Tranmere to whet one's appetite too throughout the campaign.

Now who wants the start of the season to begin?
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/y6J7c5G2/Tranmere-Web-Header.png

Carabao Cup First Round Draw

https://i.postimg.cc/CK7cJpCt/carabao-cup-trophy.jpg

24 June 2024

Tranmere Rovers today learned their opponents in the First Round of this season's Carabao Cup.

Rovers have been handed a home game against fellow League Two side and nearby rivals Blackpool, with the tie to be played at Prenton Park on Tuesday 13 August 2024.

Another appetising tie sees 1969 winners Swindon Town take on 1991 winners Sheffield Wednesday at the County Ground whilst Sheffield United host Bristol City at Bramall Lane in a battle of two of the Championship's big guns.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/y6J7c5G2/Tranmere-Web-Header.png

Meet the new boys

1 July 2024

It's time to meet the ten new faces that have arrived at the Club this summer.

GOALKEEPERS:
https://i.postimg.cc/0yYvkrxw/marcusdewhurst.png https://i.postimg.cc/0N9sbx2H/calumward2.png

We have a couple of new keepers this season as Sheffield United were unwilling to let Thomas Hanlon come back for a second season on loan. However, returning to Prenton Park on a permanent deal is Marcus Dewhurst who was released by the Blades at the end of last season. Marcus, 22, spent last season on loan at Leyton Orient but is back to reclaim that number one spot after making 15 appearances for us in the 2022-23 season. Pushing him close will be 23 year old Calum Ward who signs for a nominal fee from Concord Rangers. The former Bournemouth trainee will be hoping to make his return back to the professional ranks a positive one.

DEFENDERS:
https://i.postimg.cc/1z8Lgt1B/Neco-Williams.png https://i.postimg.cc/Fz4qnVdC/Jake-Nicholls.png https://i.postimg.cc/XqkhMB9j/Myles-Kenlock.jpg

The most exciting capture this summer is the acquistion of Welsh right-back Neco Williams. Neco, 23, was released by Liverpool without making a league appearance for the Anfield giants. He is reunited with manager Mark Duell whom he appeared in 10 Under 21 games for. Expecting to contest him for the starting right back slot is another 23 year old in the shape of Jake Nicholls. Nicholls joins us from League One Notts County for whom he made nine appearances last season after his release from Hull City. The final new defender is left back Myles Kenlock who has joined us on a season long loan from Swindon Town. The former Ipswich Town trainee will looking to complete with Caleb Richards for a starting spot.

MIDFIELDERS:
https://i.postimg.cc/bwknq0s9/keesdeboer.png https://i.postimg.cc/q7r3qtKV/ConorTee.png

Two new midfielders in the Tranmere ranks this season. First up is former Ajax talent Kees De Boer, 24, who was released by Bury after four seasons at the Shakers. The Dutchman is an accomplished passer and should be a very useful signing indeed. Also added to the midfield is Irishman Conor Tee who has been acquired from Leicester City. Conor, 23, was released by the Foxes this summer after making just a single appearance for them. His signing is another one as the manager looks to exciting young talents in the return to League Two action this season.

STRIKERS:
https://i.postimg.cc/76Wh3b5L/aaronpressley.png https://i.postimg.cc/C5n1mY8s/Dimitri-Sea.png https://i.postimg.cc/WtR4yK6L/Sam-Sanders.jpg

The new signings are completed by three new strikers. With Jake Collier being constantly linked to a move to a Championship Club, Mark Duell has moved swiftly to enhance his striking options should the 19 year old indeed depart. The first new striker is 22 year old Scot Aaron Pressley, son of former Scottish internationalist Steven. Aaron had an impressive loan spell at Hartlepool United last season and obviously caught the manager's eye during that. He joins us on a free from Aston Villa. Also joining us from Villa is Frenchman Dimitri Sea who has explosive pace and an eye for a goal; Dimitri made just two appearances in the claret and blue of the Villans in six seasons there. The final signing is 23 year old Sam Sanders who has been acquired on a free transfer from Nottingham Forest where he failed to make a single start. Sam spent last season on loan to Welsh Premier side Cefn Druids, scoring 10 times in 33 games.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/3r4p65Qz/lisbonlionssig.png
The man, the legend. He should boss that division for you. "There's plenty more goals in the Sea" as we say here in Scarborough

Kenlock was decent for me on an earlier version but thinking his attributes have been downgraded massively as he was bordering on wonder kid a few years ago. Also, on a tangent due to you shopping in the same circles I did earlier etc, have you noticed how many footballers are called Connor/Conor now :-)

Keep up the great story! To promotion, and beyond!
Whilst I'm preparing for the new season, don't worry there will be updates on that soon, I'm going to add a few different updates which are going to appear from time to time.

Starting first, a feature which I like on stories: looking on how my previous clubs are faring:


https://i.postimg.cc/FKft2Ywv/edinburghcity.png

My first club, whom I managed between July 2018 and August 2020. Predictably enough, City were relegated in 2020-21, picking up just four wins all season and twenty-four points from safety. They almost made an immediate return the following season but missed out in the play-offs to eventual winners Alloa Athletic. Since then, they have stablised themselves in the third tier but are still a semi-professional outfit. As for the squad, only defender Adam Devine and winger Louis Appéré remain from when I left Ainslie Park with Appéré now being club captain there. Unless something really radical happens, they're just going to be where they are for now.


https://i.postimg.cc/KY5j14mw/Ilves-logo.png


Job number two was in Finland, off to Tampere to manage FC Ilves. They were a fun team to manage but they've not won anything since I left after the double winning 2021
season. They were runners-up to HJK Helsinki the season after, losing out by a single point to the most decorated club in the Veikkausliiga's history. They got European football that season but failed to get past the qualifying stages for the Champions and Europa Leagues. In 2024, they're in a relegation battle with just three points separating them from the bottom of the table. As for the squad, the majority of them are still there with very few additions.


https://i.postimg.cc/rsTLxNg9/Le-Mans-Logo.png

We conclude this little round up to see how Le Mans are faring in France. They had a tough return to Ligue 2 despite having the majority of the squad that I left them with. A 17th placed finish left them just above the dreaded drop zone and a play-off for survival. Very few players remain from the squad I had there which indicates that my successor has had a complete overhaul. Club legend Mamadou Soro is one of those who does remain, but apparently he wants a move. I can see them back in Le Championniat National before too long and it'll be a long road back.

Coming Next: A look back at some my stars at those three clubs. What are they doing now?
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/L8TDrKYd/500miles.png

Where are they now?

A look back at some of the stars of this career so far


This career has had a few stars in the six seasons it has been going. We've certainly seen a few names impress at each of the three previous teams; this little update provides you with an insight to what they are doing now as the career gets ready for season seven.

1. Blair Henderson (Edinburgh City)
https://i.postimg.cc/cJj3xrTW/blairhenderson2.jpg

Blair was my goalscoring machine in Edinburgh City; a real predator or fox in the box. In the two and a bit seasons I was there, Blair netted 70 goals and showed his value to the team. Therefore when I moved to Tranmere, and I knew he was available, I looked to snap him up. He scored goals in his first two games but alas things dropped off after that and I was forced to release him at the end of the season. In an Edinburgh City side that really punched above their weight, he definitely starred.

2. Martti Haukioja (Ilves)
https://i.postimg.cc/W4MV3yw4/Martti-Haukioja2.jpg

Forget about Niklas Jokelainen and his goals, Martti Haukioja was one that really shone for me in the double winning season at Ilves. An attack minded left back who just loved to get forward and create chances for his team mates with Jokelainen usually on the end of them. Haukioja could take a decent free kick too as he chipped in with seven goals too. He's still a mainstay in the team but hasn't had the same career stats since. Maybe the new manager there will use him properly?

3. Serge Aka (Le Mans)
https://i.postimg.cc/90cQC23V/SergeAka.png

Half of you were expecting me to mention either the goalscoring winger that is Oumaré Tounkara or club legend Mamadou Soro as my Le Mans pick, right? I've gone for Aka because he was an absolute beast of a central midfielder in the 2022-23 season. He would make bursts forward and support his attackers as well as doing his defensive chores. The guy could strike a ball too, his 30 yard free-kick against Béziers set us on the way to glory. He's vastly underrrated.

Coming Next: A round up of the home nations campaigns in 2023-24
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/Sxk3dK6m/Home-Nations.jpg

Home Nations Round Up 2023-24


We will begin this particular round up by looking at the two nations that didn't qualify for Euro 2024 which was held in Germany; Northern Ireland and Scotland. Both of these nations finished third in their respective groups which meant they would be in the semi-final knockouts.

Scotland took on Israel in their knockout game and despite taking a ninth minute lead thanks to a goal from Nottingham Forest's Jason Cummings, they couldn't hold on and conceded two second half goals to the home nation which meant yet another summer at home for the Tartan Army. So instead of playing in Germany, David Moyes' team faced Hungary and New Zealand in a couple of friendlies. The Hungary game ended in a 2-2 draw thanks to a frenetic finish with three goals in as many minutes and all in the final 13 minutes! The second friendly against the All Whites at Kilmarnock's Rugby Park Stadium saw the Scots record a morale boosting 4-1 win with Hibs' Jonathan McKenna scoring a first half hat-trick in just 16 minutes. McKenna had scored on his début in Hungary as a substitute and could be one to watch.

Next up are Northern Ireland. These days, the GAWA are managed by Oran Kearney who succeeded Michael O'Neill after the latter resigned in November 2023. Their knockout semi final was against Kosovo at Windsor Park. After forcing extra time thanks to a late leveller from Panathinaikos' Will Grigg, Kosovo would win it with a 94th minute goal from Meritan Shabani. So a couple of away friendlies for Kearney's squad, one in Macedonia and the other in Latvia. The first game would see the team lose 1-0 to their hosts through a Enis Bardhi strike midway through the second half. The game in Riga would see Celtic's Neil Walsh give them a half time lead and then a second half brace from Brighton's Tommy Doherty would secure a 3-0 away win.

Of the three that qualified for the finals, only the Republic of Ireland qualified outright with Wales and England both needing a Final qualifier to make those elusive final stages. We'll touch on the Republic first.

It wasn't to be a good tournament for the Republic as they picked up just a sole point from their group games. They started with a 2-0 loss against Russia in the Red Bull Arena; the home of RB Leipzig. Goals from Alexandr Golovin of Monaco and Fedor Chalov of Arsenal would ensure a pointless start for Martin O'Neill and his squad. Game two was against Wales and it took an equaliser from PAOK Salonika's Liam Kelly, deep into time added on at the end of the game, to garner the first point on the board. As stated though, this would be their only point as they slipped to another loss in their final group game against italy. The Azzurri scored three times in the first half to put the game away and the Irish were on their way home. O'Neill has since retired from the international post after a ten year stint, and ending a career which began at 1987 at Grantham Town.

Wales had overcome Denmark 1-0 thanks to a Joe Rodon goal to make the Finals, but lost both their warm up games in preparation for them. Surely this wasn't a bad omen for Rob Page's team? In that first group game, the Welsh would take on Italy and it didn't look too bad when Trabzonspor's David Brooks cancelled out Christian Beccalossi's early opener. However, two goals in the final ten minutes would spell defeat in the end. A Ben Woodburn goal with just eight minutes to go looked to secure a win in game two but the end the spoils were shared thanks to a very, very late Irish equaliser. That meant that the Welsh needed to beat opponents Russia to progress into the next stage and despite having the better of the possession and the majority of the chances, the game ended goalless to end the dream there and then.

Finally, England. Could they end their trophy drought in Germany? After dispatching Hungary 3-0 in their qualifying play-offs, Eddie Howe's Three Lions warmed up for the Finals with a 1-0 loss to the Netherlands and a 1-1 draw in France. It didn't start too well either with a 2-1 loss to Norway despite skipper Harry Kane being on target. A Marcus Rashford double helped see off Spain 3-1 in game number two, Jadon Sancho netting the other. Then qualification for the knockout stages was secured thanks to a 2-0 win against Belgium, Tottenham duo Dele Alli and Kane being the men on target. This set up a second round encounter with Romania and the same two men saw the Three Lions in the quarter-finals, Alli opening the scoring and then Kane hitting a double: all the goals in the first half. Extra time was needed to see off Russia in that last eight game, Kane bagging a hat-trick to secure a 3-1 win and a semi-final against Italy. Chelsea's Sancho would score the only goal of the game and a Final in Berlin against the French.

The wait is over! England now have a European Championship title to their name as captain Kane scored his 75th international goal in 106 games to ensure there would be a party in Berlin. That goal came just as the fans prepared themselves for extra time; Eddie Nkeitah's low cross wasn't properly cleared by Les Bleus and Kane poached home from inside the six yard box.

https://i.postimg.cc/SxV92ZQm/England-Euro2024-Winner.png
THAT MOMENT!
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/bYxN6HZY/tranmererovers-logo.png

Pre-Season Round Up


https://i.postimg.cc/q7XNK1Zx/TRFC-PSF202425.png

Compared to last season when there was eight, we played only five pre-season friendlies this time out. This compromised of home games against Scottish Championship side Partick Thistle and our new senior affiliation club; Aston Villa. Between those two matches we would be on our travels to Northern Premier League Division One North West Mossley AFC and then NPL Premier Division side Stafford Rangers. The preparations were concluded with a trip to Blackwell Meadows to lock horns with newly promoted National League side Darlington.

That opening game against Partick saw the return to Prenton Park for attackers Marcus Sammons and Liam McKenna, although Sammons would be the only one that featured. It was far from a classic for the crowd of just over 2300. There was to be just a single goal in the game, and that came just before the half hour. Picking up a clearance from team mate Sam Graham on the left wing, Paul Mullin spun and then weighted a pass into the path of Jake Collier. Last season's top scorer took a couple of touches before firing in a low effort that beat Hazard at his near post. Certainly one that the former Celtic trainee will want back if it has to be said. The game also allowed the Rovers fans present a chance to see a number of the new faces in action with left-back Myles Kenlock particularly doing well.

A much changed line up would start the game at Mossley a week later and Rovers had the game won inside the first 17 minutes. Rovers hit their hosts three times in nine quick fire minutes, but eased off after that. The opener came in the eighth minute when Caleb Richards clipped in a free kick and Alex Denny headed the ball into the net. Just 20 seconds after the restart, Rovers had their second. Once more Richards was the creator, this time his left wing cross being poached home by French newcomer Dimitri Sea. The third goal arrived in the 17th minute and it was a goal that Rovers had scored many a time in last season's title winning campaign. Jake Nicholls provided the corner, Joseph Joseph with the header down and the finish provided by experienced midfielder Yann Songo'o. It could have been and should have been, more but three goals and a clean sheet isn't that bad is it?

Rovers opted for a second string in the third friendly game at Marston Road, Stafford. They created an astonishing 31 chances in the match as they took the home side apart with ruthlessness. The opener came as quick as the second minute, referee Geoff Eltringham pointing to the spot after James Booth had been fouled in the area. Up stepped Sam Sanders, and the former Nottingham Forest man drilled the spot kick home despite home keeper Bennett going the right way. Booth had a hand in Rovers second goal in the 33rd minute, his weighted pass in between two Rangers defenders to Russ Fraughan who beat the keeper low at his left hand post. More creative genius from the same left winger led to the third two minutes later; Sanders latching onto another super bit of vision and then striking home an effort into the far corner.

Rangers pulled one back in the 39th minute when a swift counter saw Ricky Crowley find the net with an effort that struck the post before nestling in the net. The three goal margin was restored 14 minutes from time as Rovers scored the final goal of the contest. A corner from Mullin, header back by Christian Mbulu and an unstoppable effort from Conor Tee which gave the keeper no chance whatsoever. The young Irishman hitting a strike befitting that of his surname.

1982 European Cup winners and partnership team Aston Villa would provide the next test, and to be honest they cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win at Prenton Park. They opened the scoring after just 34 seconds, a superb curling effort from Spanish wing back Nacho Gil giving Marcus Dewhurst no hope at all. Two goals in the second half ensured that the Championship side's fans would go home the happier. Half time substitute Sory Kaba did the damage both times out, tapping home from six yards out after 66 minutes then the Guinean striker finishing the game off with a thumping header from George Honeyman's corner in injury time. Compared to last season's prestigious home friendly against Liverpool's Under 23 side, the crowd was a bit of a let down with just over 4300 coming through the gates (1643 being away supporters): the Liverpool game had sold out.

Rovers would conclude their pre-season matches at Darlington, and it was a game that gave manager Mark Duell more of a headache than joy at the final whistle. The headache was that Rovers second string collapsed like a deck of cards when the home side attacked them. Yet it started well with two away goals in the opening eleven minutes, both coming from young Scottish striker Aaron Pressley. The son of "Elvis" showed why Duell was so keen to bring him to Prenton Park with a couple of well taken efforts. In the fourth minute, he collected a goal kick from Bayleigh Passant and rifled home a well taken shot. Then seven minutes later, he was onto a pass from Ollie Banks then sidestepped his marker before finishing again with confidence.

Yet the Quakers suddenly woke from their slumbers and by the 27th minute, were level. Mickel Platt reduced the arrears on the quarter hour and then defender Stanley Adeyemo headed in from a corner with Rovers defenders looking at each other trying to blame one or the other. One-time Rovers traillist Tyreece Ruddock put the home side 3-2 ahead in first half injury time and conclude an incredible opening stanza. Things got worse after the interval when Nicholls turned a ball into his own net to make it 4-2 to Darlo and then Ryan Wintle was dismissed for a rash challenge just before the hour. It certainly didn't do the former Crewe midfielder a favour as he is on trial trying to gain a contract with the Rovers. Dutchman Kees de Boer made it a one goal game with a fine strike from distance after 65 minutes but with Rovers pushing for a last gasp equaliser Platt's second of the game secured the win for the home side. Certainly food for thought with the opening game just a week away.

Some tough decisions are going to be made.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/bYxN6HZY/tranmererovers-logo.png

Season 2024-25 Expectations


https://i.postimg.cc/sx5MsyZy/TRFC-202425-Expectations.png

These are expectations that I've been tasked with this season, my first in League Two.

A mid-table finish in the league? Looking at the squad we have at our disposal, I think that this is definitely achievable. Most of the team have played some games at this level so they're pretty much experienced, even if I'm not, to know what this division entails. I have brought in a number of new faces in to add more competition for starting spots, so I'm hopeful who I select is capable of doing a job.for the team. If we finish higher than what the board wants then superb. We did that last season, now can we prove them wrong again?

So just getting into the First Round of the Carabao Cup and Emirates FA Cup would suffice then? Come to think of it, that's exactly where we start both of these competitions haha. Blackpool present a tough obstacle in the First Round of the Carabao Cup but if we play to our potential then there's no reason why we can't make the Second Round and if we're lucky bring a big name back under the Wirral floodlights. We made the Third Round last season in the Emirates FA Cup, and it's possible we can replicate that this season. It's all about getting good luck in the draws.

It's going to be tough to make some progress in the Checkatrade though. We've been drawn with a couple of League One sides in Fleetwood Town and Peterborough United, and the Anfield Under 23's. If we can finish in the top two of this group then I'll be absolutely made up to be honest. Granted a place at Wembley is there for the taking but it's a hard slog to get there. This will be the competition I'm least bothered about, maybe a showcase to display some of the finest Tranmere youth conveyor belt?

Time to get this season up and running then!
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Preview: August 2024 Fixtures


https://i.postimg.cc/tTw5LH89/TRFC-Aug2024-Fixtures.png

To try and freshen up the story, i'm also going to go back and do a summary post previewing the fixtures month to month.

Well August is going to be a busy month as we're going to be playing Saturday then midweek then back to Saturday for the first seven games of the season. Thing is that this might prove to have strength in depth is going to be vital. Not every player is going to be able to play such a gruelling schedule so I might have to reshuffle the starting eleven from time to time. If you're going to be successful then the rotation game is key, all the best managers do it, I guess I want to be one of them so I'm going to adopt this philosophy.

We begin life back in League Two with a trip to East Cheshire to face Stockport County. County finished 21st in League Two last season, and present a team that we have to fancy our chances against. If we can get off to a winning start in the league on the opening day then it will hopefully breed confidence for the arduous campaign ahead of us. We've only beaten them once in the most recent encounters, and Paul Mullin scored both goals that so a repeat would be just handy. Our opening home game back is against Forest Green Rovers, a team that have done reasonably well since they came into the League in 2017 when they ironically defeated Tranmere in the Play-Off Final. Guess that will be extra motivation for us to win then? They spent a season in League One after winning the League Two Play-Offs in 2022 but were relegated back the following season.

Another home game follows against the Chairboys of Wycombe. They are spending their sixth season in the fourth tier after being relegated in 2019 and nearly dropped into the National League in 2022 but survived by the skin of their teeth..just! 23rd placed Cambridge and Wycombe both finished on 46 points but the U's had a goal difference of -23; Wycombe's was -22! See what I mean. We have yet to win against them in the most recent match-ups. The middle fixture of the month is our Carabao Cup First Round tie against Blackpool. It's a tough assignment for us, but Cup games are a totally different animal to the bread and butter of the league as form means nothing. Some of our promising youngsters might get a run out in this.

After Blackpool it's back to the League action, and away to Scunthorpe United. We last played them in a pre-season game last season and threw a two goal lead to lose to a winner deep in injury time. Obviously a repeat of that will certainly not be welcomed. They're not expected to be part of the promotion shake up, the media have them to finish in 16th so this could be a fixture we could easily fancy taking three points away from. Our penultimate home game of the month is against local rivals Chester so there will be a lot of pride at stake in this game. They've actually acquitted themselves well since winning the 2022 National League Play-Off Final against Leyton Orient with a couple of 9th placed finishes so it would be folly to think we can overcome them.

Our penultimate game of August is against Walsall, a team relegated from League One last season. Surprisingly the media don't think they're good enough to make an immediate return but since when have media predictions been right? They've been a steady third level team for a number of seasons that's for sure, a win at the Banks' Stadium aka the Bescot (or should that be Biscuit) would be a great result I think. Then we finish off the month at home to fellow promoted side Bromley, a team that free scored in the National League and are now starting their first ever season in the Football League. We have a very good record against them, unbeaten in six with four of them being wins. It'll be nice for that to continue.

Due to the number of fixtures this month, the monthly summary will be in two parts.
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Four more newcomers

3 August 2024

Apologies for being a bit slow folks, but we signed two more midfielders and a couple of young defenders last month to take our list of newcomers to an astonishing FOURTEEN!

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The first of the two experienced midfielders joining the Rovers is experienced 32 year old Yann Songo'o. The Cameroonian was released by Accrington Stanley at the end of last season and Rovers are the sixth English club of his long career which began in 2007 at Deportivo in Spain. Besides playing for Accrington, he has enjoyed spells at Blackburn Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Southend United and Oxford United. His 150 games at League Two level should be a very useful asset to the squad as well as his versatility where he can play in either defence or midfield when called upon.

The other midfielder brought in is 28 year old Jamaican Jermaine Anderson. Jermaine came through the ranks at Peterborough United, spending seven seasons at the Posh before joining Barnet on a free transfer in the summer of 2019. He made 130 appearances for the Bees but couldn't break into the team last season. However, like Songo'o he has plenty of league experience and will be an extra body to call on in the midfield area this season. Both players have signed one year deals that run to the summer of 2025.

Rovers have also acquired two young defenders in the shape of Paul Crilly and Jordan Butterworth. Crilly, 19, has been acquired from Barnet and Butterworth, 20, was released by AFC Wimbledon at the end of the season. Both players are signed for the future and should be part of Steve Watson's Reserve team squad this season.

Please welcome all four to Prenton Park.
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2024-25 Squad Numbers


GOALKEEPERS:
1. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Marcus DEWHURST
13. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Bayleigh PASSANT
20. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Calum WARD
40. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Bruno FERNANDES

DEFENDERS:
2. https://i.postimg.cc/Px1b5nLc/welshflag.png Neco WILLIAMS
3. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Caleb RICHARDS
4. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Emmanuel EZE
5. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Christian MBULU
12. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Myles KENLOCK (on a season long loan from Swindon Town)
16. https://i.postimg.cc/Px1b5nLc/welshflag.png Jake NICHOLLS
21. https://i.postimg.cc/s2NHRLLD/EireFlag.png Goerge ALFIERI
22. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Joseph JOSEPH
23. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Matt WESTLAKE
29. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Neil PEARSON
31. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Sam GRAHAM
32. https://i.postimg.cc/Px1b5nLc/welshflag.png Ryan REYNOLDS
33. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Kris CAMACHO

MIDFIELDERS:
6. https://i.postimg.cc/qM18Y3Sp/Nigerian-Flag.png Nnamdi OFOBORH
7. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Ollie BANKS
8. https://i.postimg.cc/VNMH9g67/cameroonflag.png Yann SONGO'O
9. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Jon MURRAY - Club Captain
14. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Callum HARRIS
15. https://i.postimg.cc/wv5NkyD8/Dutch-Flag.png Kees DE BOER
17. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Alex DENNY
18. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Cedwyn SCOTT - Club Vice Captain
19. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png James BOOTH
24. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Carlo BANKS
25. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Sam DURRANT
30. https://i.postimg.cc/MK3Qt8fT/Ghana-Flag.png Kamal SOWAH
34. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Les MATTHEWS
39. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Ian DESORMEAUX
42. https://i.postimg.cc/s2NHRLLD/EireFlag.png Conor TEE
44. https://i.postimg.cc/QCyMLH8r/jamaicanflag.png Jermaine ANDERSON

STRIKERS:
10. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Paul MULLIN
11. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Jake COLLIER
26. https://i.postimg.cc/9FMgXzpq/scottishflag.png Aaron PRESSLEY
27. https://i.postimg.cc/jSVsR8Gc/Turkey-Flag.png Ridvan POLAT
28. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Jacob TRACEY
36. https://i.postimg.cc/d10F5gys/Switzerland-Flag.png Lorent TOLAJ
37. https://i.postimg.cc/1tGcjM7S/EnglandFlag.png Sam SANDERS
38. https://i.postimg.cc/GpWCtgjf/FrenchFlag.png Dimitri SEA

Yes I know it's a huge squad but I think I might need it.
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5 Aug 2024
DAVIES JOINS TRANMERE ON LOAN
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Leeds United academy striker Harvey Davies has joined League Two newcomers Tranmere Rovers on a five month loan deal.

The Wakefield born player, who can also play in midfield, is yet to make a league appearances for the Whites since joining the academy in the summer of 2021.

Last season 18 year old Davies had a spell in Spain with Cultural Leonesa of the Segunda Division B, scoring twice in 14 appearances. This came on the back of another loan spell the season before at nearby Guiseley in the National League North, where he hit an impressive 16 goals in just 24 games.

Everyone at Elland Road wishes him all the best and hope he comes back even better than ever.
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Halliday: I wanted the move
but County wouldn't let me go


https://i.postimg.cc/x8QfSQtL/RSJ2.png
https://i.postimg.cc/P57d5YSX/Halliday.jpg


County midfielder Andy Halliday had his heart set on a move south of the border but was left scuppered when the Staggies refused to let him move.

The 32 year old had been a target for English League Two side Tranmere Rovers having hardly featured in pre-season, but it wasn't to be.

"I had hardly had a sniff in pre-season and when Tranmere came in for me then I thought that this could be a good short term move for me to get some game time under my belt. They're an ambitious lot down there and have one of the UK's best young managers leading them.

However, County wouldn't let me go and I'll have to battle back to try and get a place in the manager's thoughts. However, I haven't ruled out a move away to Tranmere fully so maybe it might happen sometime. We'll just have to wait and see."

The Staggies are back in the top division this season, but lost their league opener 3-0 to Aberdeen on Saturday with Halliday not included in the 18 man squad.
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August 2024 Review (Part One)


Welcome to the first part of the review of August's games for Tranmere Rovers FC.

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3 August 2024

We started off life back in League by taking all three points from our trip to Edgeley Park. One goal would decide it, Sam Durrant latching onto a Jake Collier flick to beat the advancing keeper when it looked like we were going to shake hands on a draw. Can't complain about taking an opening day win however/

Team: Dewhurst; Williams, Reynolds, Mbulu, Kenlock; Ofoborh; Durrant, Murray ©; Scott, Mullin, Collier. Substitutes: Songo'o (for Murray 63), Sea (for Mullin 71), Richards (for Kenlock 80), Ward, De Boer, Carlo Banks, Pressley.
Goalscorer: Durrant (83)
Man of the Match: Jake Collier (Tranmere)
Attendance: 6128 (515 Rovers)

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7 August 2024

Our first home game of the season was against Forest Green Rovers, and we would come off the pitch very happy indeed after making it two wins from two. In windy conditions, we took the lead when skipper Jon Murray spotted Collier making a typical burst forward. The youngster collected the searching pass, got the other side of his marker before striking a left foot shot into the corner from just inside the area. Jacob Brown would equalise four minutes before the interval when Marcus Dewhurst could only parry a Mason Bloomfield header out to him.

Yet we stepped up our game in the second half and were rewarded. We regained the lead with a typical set piece goal from the training ground, created and finished by two players who still want away despite promotion back at the first attempt. Murray clipped in the free kick from out on the left, and Christian Mbulu headed in at the far post. Midway through the half, we secured the win when Durrant repaid the favour from four days earlier with a cute pass into Collier who scored his second of the season: this time with a right foot finish.

Team: Dewhurst; Williams, Reynolds, Mbulu, Kenlock; Ofoborh; Durrant, Murray ©; Scott, Mullin, Collier. Substitutes: Sea (for Scott 60), Songo'o (for Ofoborh 71), De Boer (for Durrant 80), Ward, Richards, Carlo Banks, Pressley.
Goalscorers: Collier (31, 65), Mbulu (46)
Booked: Reynolds (77)
Man of the Match: Jake Collier (Tranmere)
Attendance: 6431 (101 away)

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10 August 2024

Could we make it three from three when we hosted Wycombe Wanderers in our next fixture? Alas after starting brightly, we fizzled out like a flat bottle of pop to fall to our first defeat of the season. The only goal came just before the half hour when Stephen Walker was given all the time in the world to collect Alex Samuel's pass, turn and then pick his spot with Dewhurst caught leadenfooted. A little bump in the road but we've made a more than reasonable start, there's no reason for panic.

Team: Dewhurst; Williams, Reynolds, Mbulu, Kenlock; Ofoborh; Durrant, Murray ©; Scott, Mullin, Collier. Substitutes: Richards (for Kenlock 57), Sea (for Collier 59), Songo'o (for Williams 73), Ward, De Boer, Carlo Banks, Pressley.
Goalscorers: None
Man of the Match: Ross Collins (Wycombe Wanderers)
Attendance: 7298 (229 away)

So after three games, these are the early standings:

https://i.postimg.cc/d3tZ2Gr7/TRFC-Table-Mid-Aug2024.png
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Leeds to come to town

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15 August 2024

Tranmere Rovers today learned of their Second Round opposition in the Carabao Cup.

Visiting the Wirral are none other than Premiership big name Leeds United, and a big crowd is expected inside to see Mark Duell's side take on Graham Potter's team. Leeds won this particular tournament in 1968, when a Terry Cooper goal was enough to see off Arsenal. However, they weren't as successful in 1996 when they were defeated 3-0 by a Savo Milosevic inspired Aston Villa.

Leeds last faced Rovers for the only time in 2000 when Rovers triumphed in the Third Round 3-2 after extra time. The scorer of that winning goal was none other than current Rovers Under 18s Manager Andy Parkinson, Parkinson scoring his second of the game in the final minute of the 30 minute extra time period.

The game will be played at Prenton Park on Wednesday 28 August 2024; with a 7:45pm kick-off time. Sky Sports have also announced that the game will be one of their two live ties of the round.
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https://i.postimg.cc/dVzjhDkK/TRFC-CCR12024.png
13 August 2024

We started off our Carabao Cup adventure with a tie against fellow League Two side Blackpool. Due to the fixture list being what it is, I opted to completely reshuffle the side for the Seasiders visit with only Christian Mbulu in the side that had lost to Wycombe just three days. This meant full débuts for Dimitri Sea, Yann Songo'o, Kees De Boer and Dimitri Sea who had made substitute starts in the league and a first look at Calum Ward, Jake Nicholls and new loanee signing from Leeds United Harvey Davies. We took the lead in the 9th minute when a cross from Caleb Richards was flicked on by James Booth for Carlo Banks to volley home from six yards out. They levelled eight minutes from the interval when Graham Woodward got onto the end of a through ball to angle a shot out of the reach of [Ward/b].

[b]Sea
wasn't having the best of games, he must have hit the woodwork a good two or three times and missed a few open goals before I decided to substitute him on the hour. We would then hit our visitors with a couple of goals in as many minutes to give ourselves a bit of breathing space. In the 65th minute, Booth laid the ball into the path of De Boer who scored his first goal for the club with a nicely placed effort into the corner. Then in the 67th minute, we made it 3-1 when a Banks corner was headed in by Joseph Joseph (he who is that good that his parents named twice) from the edge of the six yard box. Ben Beechey would make it an interesting finish with Blackpool's second goal three minutes from time. But we held on.

The only downside was that Banks got injured again during the game; I'm getting a bit worried about the kid's injury proneness. It's stopping him from becoming a real good player for the Club.


Team: Ward; Nicholls, Joseph, Mbulu, Richards; Songo'o ©; Davies, De Boer; Carlo Banks, Booth, Sea. Substitutes: Tee (for Davies 54), Pressley (for Sea 60), Sowah (for Songo'o 71), Ward, De Boer, Carlo Banks, Pressley.
Goalscorers: Carlo Banks (9), De Boer (65), Joseph (67)
Man of the Match: Carlo Banks (Tranmere)
Attendance: 4143 (590 away)

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28 August 2024

After playing a second string team in the opening round, I opted for a full strength side for our televised game against Premiership Leeds United. Not many people gave us a hope but Cup games are always a different beast. The teams went into the interval goalless but we had given a good account in that opening 45 which gave optimism that something special could really happen. After 55 minutes we were awarded a penalty when Paul Mullin was impeded in the area. Up stepped the highly rated Jake Collier but the young striker's effort from twelve yards thudded against the post. It really shook the kid's confidence as a result so much so Sea was introduced shortly afterwards.

Sea would have a hand in the goal that gave us the lead sixteen minutes from time. A tricky run down the right by the Frenchman saw him cross for Cedwyn Scott to strike his initial effort against the same post which had thwarted Collier. However, the winger was alert to head the rebound home and right in front of the away support. What a moment for the former Huddersfield Town trainee. Leeds threw everything at us after that but we repelled it with some determined defending for a famous triumph. It's now Round 3 here we come!

Team: Dewhurst; Williams, Reynolds, Mbulu, Richards; Songo'o; Durrant, Murray ©; Scott, Mullin, Collier. Substitutes: Nicholls (for Richards 38), Sea (for Collier 57), De Boer (for Songo'o 78), Ward, Tee, Joseph, Pressley.
Goalscorer: Scott (74)
Booked: Songo'o (38)
Man of the Match: Christian Mbulu (Tranmere)
Attendance: 13657 (1517 away)
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Royals next up in the Cup

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29 August 2024

After sensationally knocking out Leeds United last night; the Third Round draw for the Carabao Cup was made this morning.

Rovers will fancy a further upset in the Third Round as they are to host Championship side Reading at Prenton Park.

The teams have never met before in the League Cup so new ground is being broken in this encounter. The game will be played Tuesday 24 September 2024; and like the Leeds match: it will again be a 7:45pm kick off time.
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Squad announcement

Last Updated: 30/08/2024 12:00pm

Wales Under-21 manager Mark Duell today released his 23 man squad as they resume their qualifying campaign against Israel and Moldova. There is just one change from the squad that took on Cyprus and Sweden in the summer friendlies. That change sees left-back Sam Edwards drop out with a hip injury which is set to side-line the young full back for around 3-4 months. His replacement is Cardiff City's Jeff Lloyd. The full squad is as follows:.

Goalkeepers:
Scott Williams (Scunthorpe United)
Jack Jackson (Cardiff City)
Adam Evans (Cardiff City)

Defenders:
Jamie McKinnon (Swansea City)
Jonathan Letheren (Swansea City)
Jeff Lloyd (Cardiff City)
Tom McCarthy (Cardiff City)
George Armstrong (Portsmouth)
Nathan Pritchard (Barry Town United)
Anthony Stevenson (Chelmsford City)
Nick Clayton-Curran (Dartford)

Midfielders:
Tommy Hill (Cardiff City)
Shane Stevenson (Peterborough United)
Dion Tipton (TNS)
Darren Hewitt (Unattached)
Connor Coyne (Wrexham)
Sion Pulis (Morecambe)
John Eaton (Colchester United)
Cory Bond (Swansea City)

Strikers:
Ian Branch (Cardiff City)
Dewi Coates (Connah's Quay Nomads)
Sam Hall (Stoke City)
Russell Burton (Cardiff City)

With the young Dragons leading their qualifying group on a marginal goal difference of just one goal better off, these could be crucial games as they aim to make their second Finals. The 2025 Finals are to be held in Switzerland from 17 June 2025
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August 2024 Review (Part Two)


Welcome to the second part of the review of August's games for Tranmere Rovers FC.

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17 August 2024

It was a tough game at Glanford Park against Scunthorpe with both sides not prepared to give the other a chance. The decisive goal came in the 22nd minute when Myles Kenlock sent Paul Mullin scampering away down the left. The inside forward crossed to the near post where Jake Collier arrived on cue to blast home his third of the season from just inside the six yard box. The Iron did try to break down our defence but Ryan Reynolds was a barrier they couldn't break down. A perfect bounceback after that 0-1 home reverse against Wycombe.

Team: Dewhurst; Williams, Reynolds, Mbulu, Kenlock; Ofoborh; Durrant, Murray ©; Scott, Mullin, Collier. Substitutes: Sea (for Scott 71), Nicholls (for Williams 82), Pressley (for Collier 82), Ward, Graham, Songo'o, Tee.
Goalscorer: Collier (22)
Booked: Ofoborh (2)
Man of the Match: Ryan Reynolds (Tranmere)
Attendance: 3319 (877 Rovers)

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20 August 2024

Rovers went to the top of the League Two table with a determined backs to the wall performance against former leaders and local rivals Chester. The Blues had the best of the game but found the home defence in no mood to concede for the second game in succession. Rovers winning goal came in typical set piece fashion just after the hour. A Mullin corner was nodded by Reynolds to defensive partner Christian Mbulu and he planted his header wide of the keeper into the far corner. Simple but effective.

Team: Dewhurst; Williams, Reynolds, Mbulu, Kenlock; Ofoborh; Durrant, Murray ©; Scott, Mullin, Collier. Substitutes: Tee (for Durrant 54), Sea (for Collier 67), Songo'o (for Murray 79), Ward, Graham, Nicholls, Pressley.
Goalscorer: Mbulu (32)
Booked: Murray (71)
Man of the Match: Christian Mbulu (Tranmere)
Attendance: 10659 (1007 away)

https://i.postimg.cc/7ZBd3mNy/TRFC-202425-Game6.png
24 August 2024

A complete away performance would be the answer and allow Rovers to record their third successive win and yet another clean sheet. After a goalless first half which they dominated, Rovers took the lead midway through the second half when Neco Williams saw his cross be deflected goalwards by a home defender. Although keeper Brad Collins prevented the own goal, he could only parry into the path of Dimitri Sea who the easiest task of putting away the rebound with no defender in sight/ It was the former Aston Villa man's first goal for his new club.

The points were secured eight minutes from time when skipper Jon Murray weighted a pass into Sam Durrant whose effort crashed in off the crossbar for the midfielder's second of the season.

Team: Dewhurst; Williams, Reynolds, Mbulu, Kenlock; Ofoborh; Durrant, Murray ©; Scott, Mullin, Collier. Substitutes: Graham (for Kenlock HT), Sea (for Collier 64), Nicholls (for Williams 72), Ward, Songo'o, Tee, Pressley.
Goalscorers: Sea (66), Durrant (82)
Man of the Match: Sam Durrant (Tranmere)
Attendance: 3688 (545 away)

https://i.postimg.cc/HWZMCM3k/TRFC-202425-Game7.png
31 August 2024

Tranmere Rovers relinquished their top spot with a 3-1 home loss by fellow promoted side Bromley at Prenton Park. After a goalless opening half, Bromley took the lead two minutes into the second half when James Jones sent Andy Sims clear and the striker applied a confident finish beyond Marcus Dewhurst. A second goal arrived just before the hour, Marc Rice's corner being glanced into the net by full-back Tom Hamer. Rovers halved the deficit four minutes later when a Mullin corner was headed down by Mbulu to Dutch schemer Kees De Boer who lashed an unstoppable effort into the top corner.

Bromley secured the points in the 74th minute when Quigley was fouled in the area by Reynolds. Up stepped Jones, and he produced the perfect penalty to give Dewhurst no chance whatsoever.

Team: Dewhurst; Williams, Reynolds, Mbulu, Kenlock; Ofoborh; Durrant, Murray ©; Scott, Mullin, Collier. Substitutes: Sea (for Scott 59), Tee (for Durrant 73), Songo'o (for Murray 82), Ward, Joseph, Nicholls, Pressley.
Goalscorer: De Boer (63)
Booked: Scott (33), Collier (77), Kenlock (79)
Man of the Match: Kees De Boer (Tranmere)
Attendance: 7953 (82 away)

So after the opening month, these are the early standings:

https://i.postimg.cc/d3tZ2Gr7/TRFC-Table-Mid-Aug2024.png

Analysis: So not too bad an opening month to be honest, but galling to throw away the leadership when we couldn't make our chances count against a team we had faced just last season. Jake Collier continues to find the net at this level as does Sam Durrant. Just waiting for both Paul Mullin and Cedwyn Scott to start doing their magic from the wings. That said Mullin's unhappy that we haven't apparently added more depth to the midfield: he's wrong of course as five of the fifteen new faces are all midfielders. Hopefully he'll change his mind and it won't derail the good things that we are doing here.

Both Mbulu and Murray still want away but I'm not getting bids for them. They're two players I want to keep here, as they have a vital role in what we are building. A good start, but can we maintain it?
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Preview: September 2024 Fixtures


https://i.postimg.cc/3rXKXQ05/TRFC-Sep2024-Fixtures.png

Another busy month of league and cup action for us.

We start September with our opening group game in the Checkatrade Trophy against League One side Peterborough United. It's a competition we're not expected to progress in and the group itself is a tough one indeed. To keep my star players fresh, then I might blood the youngsters again and we all know what some of them can do. Football is definitely a squad game these days, right?

After that, it's a trip down to Essex to face Colchester in a first versus second encounter. The U's are expected to be one of the teams challenging for promotion this season so to see them unbeaten at the moment is no surprise whatsoever. Our last trip there saw us slip to a 2-0 loss so we'll be looking to right that particular ship for sure. Struggling Shewsbury Town arrive on the Wirral the week after the Colchester away game. They're a team who are expected to finish mid-table but have yet to find any form. The squad has former Burnley winger Dwight McNeil in their ranks and we'll have to keep him quiet as part of the plan to avoid a third home league loss of the season.

An away game in Cas'newydd (Newport) is our penultimate league game of September. The Exiles have started the new season very well, considering they're expected to be fighting against relegation. I was actually overlooked for their job after leaving Ilves so maybe it's about to prove a point to their board that I should have been their choice instead of Mark "The Magic Hat" Warburton then. They're now managed by former Burnley keeper Tom Heaton so it'll be interesting to see how he sets them up. We then host Reading in the Third Round of the Carabao; and after beating Leeds in Round Two then maybe a place in the last sixteen is not beyond us.

We conclude the month by hosting Sutton United on the Wirral. They're a team we've endured mixed fortunes against but if we can pick another home win then that'll be just grand indeed.

Hope everyone likes the new format, I thought I'd try this new layout. Comments always welcomed .
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Format looks good to me!
Also, sad that Mbulu has passed away in real life. Seems he is doing well for you.
My Careers:
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FM20I: Trip to: United States (w/ Cincinnati) https://i.imgur.com/FQLsK4I.png / II: Earth Trip https://i.imgur.com/WvSK16U.png (journeyman)
Format looks good to me!
Also, sad that Mbulu has passed away in real life. Seems he is doing well for you.

Glad you like it. I just thought the freshen up might be just what the story needed.
Yeah I saw that, really sad news. In the game, he's been the dominant centre half the team needs.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Monthly Awards: August 2024


Time to see who won what in the first League Two Monthly Awards:

Manager of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/jdJ2GtTk/L2-MOTM-Aug2024.png
Despite having a better win percentage, I missed out on the managerial gong for the opening month. Guess the fact they are without a loss this season, influenced the decision. Mark my words though, I will not be denied.

Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/Jn272d2L/L2-POTM-Aug2024.png
He's made a terrific start to the season for his season, but was pretty anonymous when we faced them. Was nice to see Christian Mbulu get recognised for a good start back in League Two, he picked up third place. Now if only he would sign a new contract with the Club!

Young Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/ryD5w6c5/L2-YPOTM-Aug2024.png
Not a mention for anyone here. I think if he had been a bit more consistent and scored a few more goals then maybe Jake Collier could have been in with a shout.

Goal of the Month: Kilsmahn (Plymouth Argyle)
https://i.postimg.cc/NjcXD5Xx/L2-GOTM-Aug2024.png
Scorer of a thumping 30 yard free-kick apparently. Guess we will have to keep this gadgie quiet when we play the Pilgrims?
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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Back to the qualifiers, it's getting tense as you will see.

Thursday 5 September 2024
https://i.postimg.cc/wxkxqqF4/Wales-U21-5924.png

Terrible, absolutely terrible. In a game we needed to take the three points, we were absolutely rank rotten. They stunned us with two goals in the first 19 minutes and left us with a mountain to climb, Bar Hazan scoring in the 16th and then Ido Kashtan netting the second three minutes later. I couldn't believe what I was witnessing from the touchline. A minute from half time, Colchester's John Eaton reduced the deficit when he cut inside and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the far corner of the home goal. Yet we could have gone into the interval 3-1 behind but Jack Jackson produced a brilliant one handed save to keep out Daniel Elmaliach's penalty kick in time added on at the end of the first half. We pushed for an equaliser but couldn't break through; and so with three minutes to go they scored a third and clinching goal thanks to Ran Shabat's volley.

Monday 9 September 2024
https://i.postimg.cc/htNcyfPv/Wales-U21-9924.png

We needed a bounceback in Moldova to ensure we could stay in touch and we got that in spades. After 11 minutes, John Eaton netted his second goal in as many games to hand us the lead. This was doubled immediately afterwards when Sion Pulis directed home a header from a Dion Tipton corner kick. It got even better in the 23rd minute as we bagged a third to put the game to bed so early on, some great inter-passing saw right back Jonathan Letheren cross for Russell Burton to score his seventh international goal in 14 appearances via the post. Who's complaining about that eh? Tipton drilled in our fourth of the game after 51 minutes and we were definitely home and hosed. Cravcescu scored a consolation with seven minutes to go but that was just about it for the home nation. With Greece and Israel sharing six goals in a thriller whilst we won, it's all to play for on the final round of games next month as you will see below:

This is how Group 1 stands. A proper dogfight between three nations:

https://i.postimg.cc/XN2M1psW/Wales-U21-Table0924.png
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/6qPmW4PG/TRFC-CTGame1.png
3 September 2024

We started off our Checkatrade Trophy adventure, hosting League One side Peterborough United at Prenton Park. The small crowd saw our much changed line up take the lead after just quarter of an hour when Carlo Banks crossed from the right and Aaron Pressley headed in his first for the club from close range. But that was as good as it was for us as the Posh dominated proceedings throughout. They levelled with a wonderful free-kick from André Green three minutes after the interval, and had us on the back foot constantly. Two additional goals clinched the win, one from Peter Phillips (no, not the Queen's grandson) and then in time added on from Michael Hyem. In the other group game, Charlie Dowling's 24th minute effort was enough to help Fleetwood defeat current holders Liverpool Under 23's. So we're bottom, as expected.

Team: Ward; Nicholls, Graham, Songo'o ©, Kenlock; Sowah; Tee, De Boer; Carlo Banks, Sea, Pressley. Substitutes: Mullin (for Sea 57), Matthews (for Tee 62), Williams (for Nicholls 74), Passant, Joseph, Davies, Sanders.
Goalscorer: Pressley (15)
Man of the Match: André Green (Peterborough United)
Attendance: 1355 (28 away)

https://i.postimg.cc/0jcCjfmt/Carabao-Cup-Logo.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/bNb7y3zy/TRFC-CCR32024.png
24 September 2024

After the giant killing against Leeds United in the previous round, there was hope that we could do it again when we hosted Championship side Reading in the Third Round. A strong side, captained for the first time by Ryan Reynolds took on the Royals from Berkshire. We were, predictably, on the back foot from the very start and they went ahead in the 32nd minute when striker Shane Zambra headed in off the bar from a Eduard Sobol corner kick. The Ukrainian full back doubled the lead just after the hour mark, scoring at the second attempt after Marcus Dewhurst parried his initial effort. Yet we kept plugging away for a breakthrough, and pulled one back in second half injury time when Dimitri Sea.scored his second of the season with a low shot into the far corner. But it proved to be too late, and our Carabao Cup dreams are over for another season.

Team: Dewhurst; Nicholls, Reynolds ©, Graham, Kenlock; Songo'o; Durrant, Sowah; Carlo Banks, Mullin, Pressley. Substitutes: Collier (for Pressley 53), Sea (for Mullin 68), Scott (for Durrant 68), Ward, Mbulu, Ofoborh, Williams.
Goalscorer: Sea (90+5)
Booked: Durrant (46)
Man of the Match: Eduard Sobol (Reading)
Attendance: 11677 (205 away)
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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