Former boss Mellon's Tranmere added to Fleetwood Town's pre-season schedule

Mellon and Pilley
Mellon and Pilley

Fleetwood Town will awaken the ghosts of promotions past during a pre-season programme which includes visits to Micky Mellon’s Tranmere and Graham Alexander’s Salford.

Town have revealed that Mellon’s newly promoted League Two Rovers will host Joey Barton’s new side on Saturday, July 21 (3pm).

Town’s players will return for pre-season training on June 18 and the first pre-season clash announced is a July 6 trip to face another ex-boss, new Salford manager Graham Alexander, who replaced Mellon at Town in December 2012.

Mellon guided Town to the Football LeaguTe in 2012 and emulated that feat with Tranmere this season.

It was Alexander who steered Fleetwood to League One via a play-off final win over Burton at Wembley on chairman Andy Pilley’s birthday, May 26, 2014.

Pilley sacked both Mellon and Alexander but the two pre-season friendly dates show there is no animosity.

Alexander will not be the only familiar face at Salford – former Town skipper Nathan Pond and keeper Chris Neal both joined the newly - promoted National League side last week.

That reunion with Alexander, his assistant Chris Lucketti, Pond and co will take place on Friday, July 6.

Town depart for Hungary on Sunday 8 July and return home a week later, with two matches to be played on the trip.

More friendlies are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

But Fleetwood fans will have to wait until the new League One season for their first glimpse of Barton’s team.

Tenor Alfie Boe is set to sing on his home turf a week on Saturday in the biggest concert Fleetwood has hosted. It means the relaying of the Highbury turf will not begin until after the performance, so Town will play their pre-season fixtures away.

Head groundman Nick Hyndman said: “We have our renovations booked in but for now the pitches are open for commercial use, and it’s nice to allow the community to use it instead of just the first team. It’s always nice to give something back to them.

“Alfie Boe will affect us as it shortens the window for renovations and that will mean a tight schedule for us. We will have six weeks from taking the top surface off to getting it back to a playable pitch.

“It will be challenging for us and the pitches at Poolfoot Farm go through a similar process.

“The main focus is the stadium but we do need to focus on the behind the scenes work at the training ground as well.

“We know we will be working hard to get everything in place for the first match of the new season.”