IN the second of our features today, Fleetwood Town are the focus of this 23 in 23.
WHEN DO WE PLAY THEM?
Away: Saturday 15 December
Home: Saturday 23 February
Football had been played in Fleetwood before a more definite picture emerged in the 1880s. Fleetwood Rangers was the first of a number of incarnations. There have been three grounds and periods of success interrupted by the effects of two World Wars, the 1927 Flood and continuing financial pressures.
Chairman Andy Pilley's love affair with Fleetwood Town started, appropriately, on Valentine's Day. He was invited to watch the home game against Glossop North End on 14th February, 2004. Fleetwood won 2-0 and Pilley was elected Chairman at a board meeting three days later.
The 2011-12 season started modestly with just two wins in six games. It was to end in triumph as Fleetwood won the title, and a coveted Football League place, with a club record 103 points. Jamie Vardy was the talisman as a twenty-nine match unbeaten run proved decisive. Vardy had been signed from FC Halifax and scored 31 league goals.
Fleetwood were promoted to League One after a play-off final victory over the Brewers in 2014.
Fleetwood ended the 2017-18 season in 14th place, three points off of Blackpool and a top-half finish.
Their 21 defeats were the most for any side outside of the relegation zone, although their 16 wins was the joint-highest amount for any side in the bottom-half. Fleetwood also conceded the most goals (68) of any side outside of the bottom four, while they scored 59 times.
Fleetwood’s Highbury Stadium was opened in 1939. It has a capacity of 5,327. There are 2,701 seats in the stadium.
121 miles separate Highbury and the Pirelli Stadium, which is around three hours in a car.
Former Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton has taken his first step into management by taking over at Fleetwood.
The 35-year-old spent much of his career in the Premier League, although he did take in a season in the top-tier of French football with Marseille, as well as a season with Rangers in Scotland.
He won promotion from the Championship with QPR and Burnley
Barton scored 26 goals in 269 Premier League appearances between 2003 and 2017.
Scottish midfielder Jason Holt has joined on-loan from Rangers. The 25-year-old made 26 league appearances for the Glasgow side last season, scoring twice.
The defence has also been strengthened, with Craig Morgan signed from Wigan and left back Tommy Spurr has been signed on-loan from Preston North End. Morgan has won more than 20 caps for the Welsh national side.