Welcome back! We start our second season at Tranmere and hopefully we can have a pretty decent season in League 2 and I am fairly confident we can stay up but you never know until you’ve started the season. We have brought in a few players to help strengthen the side and add depth and hopefully be more competitive in a better league. I am going to do this season slightly different to how I have blogged before and if it works I will keep it this way as I will now do it in monthly or two months updates if we don’t have many games etc.. Let’s take a look at the team and our new signings as well as a quick look at our pre season results before we kick off the first few games of the season. In pre season we were 14th favourite to win the league at 75-1 which would be about right for a newly promoted side.
Scott Davies – Will be our number two after we brought Bobby in. Scott is a solid keeper and should perform well this season when called upon.
Adam Buxton – Another player who will be a back up for this season and another solid player and he gives us more options with being able to play on the left or right of defence.
Zak Vyner – We managed to secure him for the season from Bristol City which I am pleased with as I feel he can develop well here as well as he can help us. Performed well last season leading to us retaining him for another year.
Jay McEveley – Jay will be our back up centre back after we brought in better players for the position and he is a good back up for penalties which we found out last season!
Callam Jones – Callam is a player I am currently looking to loan as I feel he will be better off playing regularly rather than sitting on our bench but a player than can perform when asked to play.
Jamie Reckford – Will be our first choice unless someone better joins the club. He has good pace to get up and down the wing with the style of football we play.
Adam McDonnell – Another player we have kept of for another season after helping us to the title last season. He will hopefully be a regular in midfield should he stay fit. Pleased to keep him for another season. (Highly recommend if in League 2/National League).
James Wallace – Performed well last season and has kept his place in the team. Has good stats and should be comfortable at this level.
Wayne Bartle – A youth player you will find more about in the first couple of games in. Promoted to the first team due to a rule in the league.
Ollie Norburn – Ollie will be a back up midfield after we have strengthened with a couple of signings in his position. May look to move him on.
Jack Dunn – Mr long ranger himself. Will play back up to Gribbin but will get game time as he has good stats and a player that performs well.
Devarn Green – My boy! May have to loan him out after we have brought in a couple of strikers with more quality than we had last season. May come off the bench in games should we need pace.
Tyler Walker – We managed to keep Tyler for another season as well after I was impressed by him while on loan for a short time last season. Will hopefully contribute with the goals and assists again and keep developing in to a solid player for the football league.
Olly Lee (Free) – A DOF signing but one that I was fine to sign as he has good stats and football league experience which is something I was looking to add with our new signings.
Lloyd Jones (Season loan) – Joined on loan for the season and is possibly to good for this level and hopefully he can show that with good performances this season.
Jermaine Grandison (Free) – A solid player for this level and will partner Lloyd at the back which imo is a good centre back partnership. Another player with plenty of football league experience.
Callum Gribbin (Season loan) – What a signing! Got him on loan till the end of the season. A player everyone signs but he always performs well and another who is to good for this level of football.
Bobby Olejnik (Free) – Bobby! He will be our first choice keeper unless he makes plenty of mistakes then Scott will replace him. Good stats and plenty of experience again.
Fabio Abreu (5k) – Bit of an unknown signing but he looks a very good player overall when looking at his stats. Could be a bit of a bargain signing?
Jamie Thomas (Free) – Jamie has come in and will be a back up striker to Abreu and Walker along with Devarn. Has potential to be a better player so will hopefully develop with game time.
Will Wood (Free) – Another DOF signing and one I delayed for a while. He has come in and done better than expected and kept Reckford out of the side for now.
Gary Miller (Free) – Came in on trial for pre season and was solid in defence in the games he playes. Signed him on a one year deal for back up to Vyner.
Diego De Girolomo (Free) – Another striker brought in on a free but Diego can also play in behind the strikers if needed. Good stats for this level and a player that always scores against me!
Tashan Oakley-Boothe (6 month loan) – DOF Signed him on loan till January. A good young player with lots of potential and already looks a good player. May try and keep him till end of the season if he plays well.
A solid pre season with our only defeat coming against a strong Liverpool side which is kind of expected! A surprising win at home to Wigan was pleasing to see as well as being unbeaten in our other games. Assistant managed these games as usual and we had chance to look at a few trialists during the games.
Chesterfield – Home – League – 21st V 6th
Opening day of the season and a chance to get off to a good start. Chesterfield thought they had taken the lead but it was ruled offside which got our players more determined to get a goal. We do get the opening goal late in the first half and Abreu gets it on his debut when Wallace finds him in space in the area to tuck it past the keeper at his near post. A more dominant second half from us and we get a deserved second goal when Green controls a corner and pokes home from a tight angle. We get a third late on and it’s the youngster Bartle on his debut with a rocket in to the top corner from 30 yards out! Not bad for a youngster..
Nottingham Forest – Away – Carabao Cup 1st Round
Forest win a penalty just after 20 minutes which Cummings puts in to the top left corner to give them a deserved lead. We tried to go more attacking in the second half and it worked as we leveled against the run of play. Green gets two in two when he heads home a cross from Wood. Forest soon retake the lead when a shot from Dasilva is hit so fast that Bobby doesn’t move to try and save it. We equalise again when Wallace places a first time shot in to the top corner from the edge of the area from a short free kick. Jack Dunn gives us the winner late on when he has a shot that hits the post but he reacts quickest to tap in at the second attempt. We end the game with ten men when Grandison is shown a second yellow for pulling at Cummings shirt.
Exeter – Away – League – 1st V 4th
Exeter take an early lead when Stockley heads home a cross at the front post. We win a penalty after Abreu is tripped in the area but Miller fires it straight down the middle at the keeper. He makes up for the penalty with a goal when Gribbin whips a free kick to the back post for Miller to head in. Exeter go down to ten men in the first half when Stockley is shown a straight red for a late tackle on Wood. We then get a man sent off when Norburn is shown a second yellow minutes in to the second half. Green doubles our lead when he robs the ball off their defender before curling it past the keeper. Gribbin gets our third with ten minutes to go when the ball deflects off a defender and falls to him in the 6 yard area to tap in.
Leyton Orient – Home – League – 1st V 21st
We get the first goal of the game with our first shot when a shot from Boothe takes a deflection off Tutonda and goes in. Olly Lee gets our second in injury time after a free kick from Gribbin smashes the post and Lee is there to tap it in. We get a third of the game when Gribbin switches the ball wide right for Vyner who takes a touch and fires it past the keeper. Orient score a second own goal of the game and again it is from a Boothe shot which hits the knee of Sammut which wrong foots the keeper and goes in. They do manage to pull one back when De Silva has space in the area to control and cross and side foot it past Bobby.
Barnsley – Away – Carabao Cup 2nd Round
After beating Forest we had half a chance of doing the same to Barnsley. A strong opening ten minutes from us as we looked to get and early goal and we probably should have when Abreu smacks the post with a curling shot. Barnsley take a deserved lead in the second half when a corner isn’t cleared and is nodded down to Lindsay to tap in. Their lead doesn’t last long as Walker gets a goal when Norburn finds him in the area to fire past the keeper from a tight angle. James Wilson puts them through to the next round when a short free kick is played to him on the edge of the area and he rifles it in to the bottom corner. Another day and we could of won this game.
We have made a good start to the season and we currently sit top of the league after three games! My aim for the season is to finish around mid table/top half finish and the board are expecting to finish mid table. We have made some good signings despite having barely any budget to use which is why a lot of them are free transfers. We have started much better than I expected and even knocked Forest out of the cup and came close at Barnsley. We have made some good signings who have helped us step up a level and we already look a better side. I obviously don’t expect us to stay at the top end of the table but if we can keep this run going then we will soon put to bed the chance of going straight back down. I am still looking to bring in another player or two in defence and centre mid but only if we can find the right player. The next update will be for the next month of games like I said and I may continue that trend for the season as it may get through the season quicker. Bit of a longer blog from me as we went through the team and new signings…Sorry! Let’s see where this season takes us and who knows where we will finish.
Thanks for reading.