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Sky Bet League Two

The rise of Fleetwood Town



Fleetwood Town will be 90 minutes away from History when they take to the hallowed Wembley turf to contest the League Two play off final against Burton Albion.

If Fleetwood do succeed at Wembley next Monday, it would be a sixth promotion in just ten years, in an amazing rise up the League pyramid.

Backed well financially by local Gas entrepreneur Andy Pilley, the Fylde Coast side are close to the third tier of English football.

Alexander's side are on the verge of making history

Alexander’s side are on the verge of making history

Pilley invested in the club several years ago, shortly after the club re-formed in 1997, following financial difficulties of the former club in the town.

Since then, he has seen the club succeed in a way in which the most die hard Cod Army supporter would not have believed.

Pilley took over the club in the early 2000’s, and had a dream to get to the Football League.

Winning the North West Counties League Premier division in 2005 started the success, in which started off a chain reaction.

Fleetwood gained promotion to the Northern Premier League, just a few years after that.

Whilst all the success was happening on the pitch, off it, Pilley’s dream modern Stadium was coming into a reality, with Town’s Highbury Stadium completely re-built over a five year period.

Micky Mellon then took over at the club, and lead them to the Conference Premier via the play offs in 2010, in a remarkable rise.

Two years later, the club reached the big time, the Football League, after winning the Confrence Premier for the 2011/12 campaign.

Jamie Vardy was the star of the show in that promtion winning campaign, scoring 31 goals in 36 outings, a record which saw him secure a move to then Championship side, Leicester City, freeing up funds for an already well off club.

Following their promotion to the Football League proper, Pilley had masterminded his dream of securing League football in the town, with the local lad turned millionaire salvaging the club from extincion.

Unlike many  owner’s of clubs, Pilley has engaged himself, and the club within the local community and beyond, as Town continue to grow, and grow in a well run footballing establishment.

As the club reached the promise land of League Two, they started off superbly in their debut season, however, poor results eventually cost Micky Mellon his job in the December of 2012.

Despite his sacking a while ago now, Mellon still remains a club legend in the small fishing town.

In came the energetic Graham Alexander, a young new manager who had proved himself with a superb playing career with the likes of Preston North End and Burnley, with Alexander also enjoying a prolonged international career with Scotland.

Alexander steadied the ship, and helped Fleetwood to a mid table finish in their first season back in the League.

Pilley invested heavilly in the squad over that summer, bringing in a whole host of names into Highbury, with the likes of Matty Blair, Jeff Hughes, Antoni Sarcevic and Charlie Taylor.

Fleetwood knew that they could go even further under their ambitious manager and chairman, and spent most of the regular campaign in the top three.

Indeed Town were in and around the promotion mix for the whole campaign, with Alexander keen to play good, attacking football, similar to a team who used to play at another Highbury did week in week out.

Alexander brought in his former Preston team-mate, Iain Hulme, as well as Blackburn Rovers starlet Josh Morris.

Fleetwood finished the regular season in fourth, having endured some misfortune in the closing weeks, however, they managed to secure their place in the play off’s before the final day of the regular campaign.

The bright lights of the play off’s came calling, and Fleetwood managed to edge out York City in a narrow game, thanks to a Matty Blair goal in the first leg.

Alexander’s man are now on a date with destiny, and few would put it past Fleetwood going up.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: The rise of Fleetwood Town

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