Tag: Fleetwood Town

The Twohundredpercent Play-Off Jamboree: Fleetwood Town 0-2 AFC Wimbledon

The history of football in Fleetwood, Lancashire, is one of boom and bust. The town’s original club, Fleetwood FC, renamed itself Fleetwood Town and were founder members of the Northern Premier League in 1968, before folding in 1976. A new club sprang up the following year, reached the final of the FA Vase in 1985 and won back its place in the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League three years later. It too folded in 1996. The latest incarnation of what we might regard as effectively the same club was founded a year later, and has spent the last fourteen years climbing the same slippery pole as its predecessors. This time last year, they were winning the Blue Square North play-off final against Alfreton Town. Flush with the cash of chairman Andy Pilley, they turned professional during the summer and their first season in the Blue Square Premier has been a resounding success. Their ground, Highbury (the Arsenal links – though not formal – don’t end there; Fleetwood also wear red shirts with white sleeves), has a shiny new stand and the team has rose to fifth place in the Blue Square Premier in their first season in it, setting them up for a play-off semi-final against AFC Wimbledon. Wimbledon, of course, have been here for a year longer than Fleetwood. They led the table for much of...

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Twas ploughish, and the slimy dons Did wyre and wimble in the blarn: All milty were the braggados, And the melts raths garn. “Beware the Jabberwomble, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Franchise phoenix, and shun The fluidous Snatcherblatch!” With the Conference National playoff between Fleetwood Town and AFC Wimbledon set to begin at Highbury this week, so continues the slightly obtuse journeys of two clubs seeking entry into the Football League for the first time. Now, while it might seem incredibly odd to consider a club with the name Wimbledon has never before played in league football, we are all well-versed in what became of the Old Centrals. So, while AFC Wimbledon supporters assert the current club traces its roots back to the club founded in 1899, that ten year gap between being initial members of the Premiership to joining the Combined Counties League on the club’s honours page suggests to the uninitiated that there was indeed some kind of restart along the way. In the case of Fleetwood Town, the Lancastrian side has never stepped foot over the non-league line in any of its reincarnations, as no other club of Trawlermen have even gotten this far up the pyramid to date. Stretching back to 1908, the likes of Fleetwood FC and the original Fleetwood Town FC to today’s current club previously known under the guises of...

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Cod Army Swimming Upstream

Like a moth to the flame, we are often drawn to commenting on the shadowy underbelly of football culture. Whether because it is under-reported, overlooked, or generally swept aside, issues of football finance, supporter tension over club directives, or the vagaries of rules administration provide ample fodder for analysis and debate. A regular focus on some of these more unsightly aspects of the football world typically can be joyless and as frustrating as surmising just which entity owns Leeds United. Sherlock Holmes has been on that case for some time now, but he might have already given up and told Watson it’s time to depart for Reichenbach Falls.   Instead, let’s take time out to appreciate a non-league club reaching heights never before seen since its founding over one hundred years ago. As with practically all histories of local clubs on the fringes, there are financial disintegrations, glory days and dark roads, but it’s refreshing to look upon what’s happening at Fleetwood Town and appreciate what it has accomplished in a few short years. Still in the reckoning for promotion playoffs in this year’s Conference National, the Cod Army might end the campaign enjoying something it could never have imagined–playing in the Football League. The heyday of the original Fleetwood FC–established in 1908–were the interwar years when it played in the old Lancaster Combination League. A league championship in 1924 followed by four cups through the 1920s and 1930s gave way to rather middling times in the Northern Premier...

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