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Feature

In Focus: Fleetwood Town

19 June 2019

Name: Fleetwood Town Football Club

Founded: 1997 (Reformed)

Ground: Highbury Stadium

Capacity: 5,327

Manager: Joey Barton

Last season: 11th in Sky Bet League One

Micky Mellon will return to one of his former Club’s next season when he takes his Tranmere Rovers side to Highbury Stadium, the home of Fleetwood Town.

Mellon spent four-years as manager at Fleetwood between 2008-2012, leading them to two promotions from the Conference North in 2010 before they reached the EFL after winning the Conference Premier in 2012.

The Cod Army now play their football in the third-tier and concluded their fifth consecutive Sky Bet League One season with an 11th placed finish in the division.

From their 46 games, they won 16, drew 13 and lost 17 of the fixtures, ending the campaign on 61 points.

And following a stable first term in the dugout, boss Joey Barton will be hoping that he can make the Fylde Coast outfit into Play-Off contenders for 2019/20.

In a playing career which spanned 15-years, also saw him play in the Premier League for four different teams over a decade, Barton started out at Manchester City after coming through their youth set-up, turning professional with the Citizens in 2002.

The Liverpudlian midfielder, who was capped once at senior level by England, spent five-years in a Manchester City shirt, making 130 league appearances before sealing a £5.8m switch to Newcastle United in June 2007.

Barton’s stint of four years on Tyneside saw him amass 81 league appearances whilst plying his trade at the Magpies, winning promotion as Championship title-winners in 2010.

The 2010/11 season proved to be Barton’s most consistent at Newcastle, where he turned out 32 times in United’s first campaign back in the top-flight of English football.

In August 2011, Barton moved to the capital to sign for Queens Park Rangers, where he enjoyed success in West London, spending four-years at Loftus Road, winning promotion from the second-tier in May 2014 via the Play-Offs and he also was loaned out to French Ligue 1 giants Marseille for 2012/13.

Following 93 appearances at Queens Park Rangers, Barton relocated back to his native North West to sign for Burnley in 2015 – winning the Sky Bet Championship with the Clarets in May 2016.

Barton would be on the move again months after winning promotion with Sean Dyche’s men, linking up with Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.

His stay in Glasgow was brief and in January 2017 he was back at Burnley, where he made 14 appearances in the Premier League.

The 36-year-old moved into management with Fleetwood last summer and guided Town to mid-table in Sky Bet League One.

In terms of competitive fixtures, Tranmere Rovers have only played Fleetwood Town once, losing a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie 2-1 at Prenton Park in September 2013.


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