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Feature

In Focus: Rochdale

4 July 2019

Name: Rochdale Association Football Club

Founded: 1907

Ground: Spotland

Capacity: 10,249

Manager: Brian Barry-Murphy

Last season: 16th in Sky Bet League One

Following a run of positives results under new manager Brian Barry-Murphy towards the end of last season which saw them secure survival comfortably, Rochdale will be hoping to push on next term.

Dale’s results saw an upturn in fortunes after Barry-Murphy replaced Keith Hill in the Spotland dugout in March initially on a caretaker basis, with the Greater Manchester outfit climbing from five-points from safety to finish in 16th position in the third-tier.

Claiming victories in three of their final Sky Bet League One games, Rochdale ensured their survival on the term’s penultimate weekend with a 1-0 home triumph over Southend United at Spotland.

From their 46 outings, Barry-Murphy’s men won 15, drew nine and suffered 22 defeats as they ended the campaign on 54 points – four above the bottom four relegation places.

And the Dale faithful will be hoping that their club can push on up the table in 2019/20 in what is set to be their sixth consecutive year back at Sky Bet League One level.

Irishman Barry-Murphy was promoted from his role on the coaching staff to take charge of the first-team following Hill’s departure at the beginning of March.

Barry-Murphy, who was capped at Republic of Ireland U21, began his playing career at hometown club Cork City in 1995, where he spent four-years, making 82 appearances before moving across over to England in August 1999 when he signed for Preston North End.

In his four seasons plying his trade at Deepdale, Barry-Murphy turned out on 21 occasions for the Lilywhites and also spent time on loan with Southend United and Hartlepool United in 2002.

Barry-Murphy left Preston permanently in January 2003, agreeing a free-transfer to Sheffield Wednesday, featuring 58 times in an Owls shirt before departing Hillsborough in the summer of 2004.

It would be at Bury where defensive midfielder Barry-Murphy would spend six-years, turning out 218 times in a Shakers shirt, scoring 13 goals – including the club’s 1,000 goal in English football in a fixture against Wrexham.

In 2010, Barry-Murphy switched from Gigg Lane to Spotland as he moved to Bury’s Greater Manchester rivals Rochdale.

Having featured 66 times at league level for Dale, Barry-Murphy became a member of the coaching at the club under boss Keith Hill as Rochdale won promotion from Sky Bet League One at the conclusion of the 2013/14 campaign.

The 40-year-old replaced long-serving Hill in March, guiding Rochdale to safety in the third-tier last season.

In total, Tranmere Rovers have won 59, drawn 25 and lost 38 of their matches against Rochdale.

The last meeting between the two sides came in March 2012, with strikes from James Wallace and Jake Cassidy earning three-points for Rovers as the Wirral outfit won 2-0 away at Spotland.


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