Another year, another trip to Wembley! Our annual vacation to Prenton Park South is set for May 25 as we embark on another play-off final, this time to try and reach League One.
This will be the third season in a row that we have headed to what Micky Mellon refers to as “the big house”. If you’ve only started following Tranmere in the last couple of years, I’m sorry to tell you but this isn’t normal! 2017 was our first trip to the ‘new Wembley’ stadium, and our first visit to HA9 for 17 years!
It’s a fantastic feeling, though, and shows how far the club has come in the past few years. After seasons of battling just to try and stay up, now we have a team fighting at the right end of the table on a regular basis.
In another piece I’ve written, I’ve compared it to the late 80s and early 90s when trips to Wembley were ten a penny and we had those successful times under Johnny King (read here).
There are plenty of similarities between that era and now.
The man in charge. Back then it was Johnny King, having had previous spells as a player at the club, he returned as manager and took over at a time when we were struggling at the bottom of the Football League. He kept us up, took us up twice and gave us some truly memorable days at Wembley, Prenton Park and beyond.
This time round, Micky Mellon is at the helm. Again, a former player who has returned to the club as manager. Gary Brabin began the rebuild from rock bottom, after relegation into non-league, but then Micky has then taken it on, helping us out of the National League and given us three trips to Wembley in the three seasons he’s been in charge.
You can continue with the comparisons. Scott Davies as the modern day Eric Nixon. James Norwood as the modern day Ian Muir or John Aldridge.
The late 80s and early 90s were good times, and it feels like the good times are coming back to Tranmere Rovers once again.
After back-to-back relegations in 2014 and 2015, wouldn’t it be fitting to earn back-to-back promotions and get the club back to its League One status?
This team has the chance to do that, and given their success and the way they have done things in the past few seasons, you wouldn’t back against them. Micky Mellon’s going for two in a row.