The time has come for us to make our pilgrimage to Wembley once again. It’s a massive occasion, one we must come through.
Ten months have come down to this.
47 matches against 23 teams. From Scotty to Nors, the gaffer to the groundsman. It’s been an incredible effort from all involved to get back to Wembley again given the torrid start we made to the season.
All of those games, the goals, the tackles, the passes, the crosses and the saves. It all comes down to one last shoot-out under the arch, a place in the EFL at stake.
The National League season comes down to this. It’s the defining moment of the non-league calendar, the moment in the spotlight for the National League.
It may also be the defining moment in the Tranmere careers of so many of the current squad. A last chance saloon, if you will, for a squad that has been together for two, in some cases three, years. Three promotion bids. Will it be third time lucky?
Throughout the squad there are examples of big players out of contract this summer.
Free-scoring Andy Cook, midfielder Connor Jennings and even the skipper Steve McNulty. We already know Jeff Hughes makes his final bow in a Rovers shirt on Saturday.
If the worst happens on Saturday, what happens next to them? If the outcome we all dream about happens, it raises new questions too. This is an all or nothing scenario for this squad. Succeed, or be succeeded.
They are clearly a tight-knit group, a well-oiled machine. But have they got what it takes to clear that final, monumental hurdle? The mosr difficult one of all. The hurdle that tripped us up so cruelly last season. The hurdle that holds the Football League on the other side.
Achieve victory on Saturday, and this team will never be forgotten. They’ll write their way in to TRFC folklore – the heroes that got us back on the way to where we belong. The warriors who we stood alongside to fight our way back.
And what of us, the incredible SWA? The ones whose loyalty knows no bounds. We can be self-congratulatory if we want, we’ve earned it. What we’ve been through in the last few years, what this club has done to us over the last decade…just think about it. Fans of other clubs around the world would walk away in their droves.
Us? Not a chance.
Even as another season in this division of obscurity stares us dead in the face (please no, not more), we snap-up season tickets like they’re going out of fashion. This is a fifth-tier club, and we’ve already sold more season tickets for next season than some clubs get on a regular Saturday a division above us, possibly two. We don’t even know which division we will be in.
We’ll be there again in our numbers on Saturday.
The only guarantee, the only nailed-on certainty is us.
The passion and the noise will be there, there to back our heroes as they look to emulate themselves to an even loftier position.
A season of frustration, anger, disappointment. Joy, adulation, relief. The emotions following Tranmere take their toll on everyone, but we keep coming back for more.
It’s the defining moment in the National League season. It’s a defining moment in the history of our club.
Please, let it be our moment.