We round-off our summer focus on the new teams in our division by turning the spotlight on Tranmere Rovers.
Who’s in charge?
Tranmere Rovers appointed Rob Edwards as their new boss at the end of May, with the former Exeter City assistant manager succeeding Ronnie Moore who was sacked the previous month.
The 41-year-old had a lengthy playing career when he featured almost 500 times for Carlisle United, Bristol City, Preston North End, Blackpool and Exeter City before hanging up his boots in 2011.
Edwards – who was capped four times by Wales - was offered a route in to coaching by Exeter upon his retirement and he held the assistant manager job at St James’ Park until the end of last season.
How did they get here?
A run of thirteen seasons in League One was brought to an end in May when Tranmere Rovers were relegated following a 2-1 defeat at home to Bradford City.
Next term will be the first time that Rovers have played in the Football League’s bottom division since 1988/89 after their defeat on the final day condemned them to the drop.
Where do they play?
Prenton Park has been home to Tranmere Rovers for over 100 years with the Wirral outfit moving in to the stadium back in 1912.
It’s been an all-seater stadium since 1995 when the club undertook renovations to comply with the Taylor Report and it now boasts a capacity of just over 16,500.
When did we last meet?
There have been plenty of meetings between the two sides in the past few years with the most recent coming at Prenton Park in April 2013 when Pools came out 1-0 winners.
Neil Austin was quickest to the rebound when Simon Walton’s tenth-minute penalty was saved and the full-back’s goal was protected by a wonderful penalty save from Scott Flinders in the second half.
Earlier in the campaign, Rovers had recorded a 2-0 victory at The Vic when late goals from Andy Robinson and Cole Stockton condemned Pools to a fifteenth came without a win.
Colin Cooper’s View
“I’ve played at Tranmere a few times during my career when the club was really on an upward spiral, though it feels like they’ve been in limbo a little in recent years.
“They have had some fantastic experienced down the years in terms of some brilliant cup victories and exciting football at Prenton Park and they’ll crave that again when the new season begins.
“The stadium is good, the pitch is decent enough to play their good football and the crowd are always up for it. I know sometimes they’ve played games on a Friday night there which seemed to give them an extra spark as well.
“Rob is somebody who has had a long playing career and was obviously wanting to go down the road in to management and he’s now got a great opportunity at Tranmere.
“He’s got great experience from playing for the likes of Carlisle, Preston and Bristol City – as well as Wales – so I’m sure he’s relishing the prospect of getting his teeth in to his first managerial job just as I was twelve months ago.”
When do we play them?
Tranmere will visit Victoria Park on Saturday 13th September before Pools make the trip to Birkenhead for the return fixture on Saturday 24th January 2015.