Promotions are like buses. You wait 27 years for one and then two come at once!
I still can’t quite believe it to be honest. It feels a little surreal supporting a team which is now used to a little bit of success.
To be fair, it’s been a long time coming! And to the players and staff at the Club, it’s been incredibly hard earned and well deserved and we can now enjoy the summer thinking about trips to Sunderland, Portsmouth and Coventry City.
Micky Mellon and his team have done us proud. I’ve said this numerous times in the past, and I don’t mind repeating myself once again.
I mentioned the 27-year wait for a promotion at the top of this piece, and in the interim, we had suffered.
Following the heights of reaching the Worthington Cup Final at the turn of the century, it had been almost downhill ever since, suffering three relegations (two of them back-to-back in 2014 and 2015), having years of under investment, and having next to nothing to cheer about.
Falling out of the Football League in 2015 was a low point for the club. We had become a bit of a laughing stock. A non-league club, forgotten about in some circles, sunken to an all-time low.
But then has come a revival of our fortunes. Started, let’s not forget, by Gary Brabin. He may not have been universally liked by the Super White Army, but he got us back to being used to winning matches again, bringing in players like James Norwood, Scott Davies and Steve McNulty.
When Brabs left, the mantle was passed on to Micky Mellon and I think we can all agree that he has taken us from strength to strength, culminating in the back-to-back promotions, restoring an enormous sense of pride in the team once more and putting Tranmere Rovers well and truly back on the map.
Consecutive promotions doesn’t happen too often in football. It’s a marvellous achievement, but I can’t help but feel that it is made even more remarkable by the way in which we’ve managed to do it.
Winning the 2018 National League play-off final after being reduced to 10 men after just 47 seconds was pretty incredible by itself, but then a squad with not too much Football League experience (OK, it was added to in January with some more experienced heads but…) then goes and does it again despite coming up against some well established and in some cases big spending clubs in their first season back.
It’s a great achievement, and that back-to-back relegation a few years previous, dropping out of the Football League, and the heartache that gave us, just makes this accomplishment feel that bit more special.
I said I can’t really believe it has happened, but perhaps I should have been expecting it.
Perhaps we’ve become too accustomed to failure, heartbreak, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, too often in the past. But this team is so different to many of the teams that have gone before them.
This team has heart, desire, passion, determination. They don’t know when they are beaten. They’ll put their bodies on the line for the Club, their team mates and their manager and it certainly shows in the success they have achieved.
Good times are returning to Prenton Park and it has been a joy to watch on and see this team develop and grow as they have done in the last few years.
There is a feel good factor about the Club again, a positivity, a belief. Micky and the lads have given us that. Three in a row? It’ll be a tough ask, but never say never, especially with this manager and group of players. Bring on League One!