Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander is relishing the prospect of a dozen North West derbies next season – not to mention a lot less time on the road.
Town will travel 640 fewer miles next season following a promotion and relegation shake-up which will pit them for the first time against Blackpool in League action.
It’s a prospect which excites Alexander and one he hopes will lift the Fleetwood fans as well as Highbury gates.
As well as Blackpool, Town can look forward to games against Wigan, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury and Crewe – good news for team and fans alike
“We’ve had a lot of miles to cover since coming into the Football League,” said Alexander.
“Especially in League Two that was the case.
“It was better last season but we still had a lot of miles to do.
“Looking at the promotion and relegation, it looks like there won’t be as many overnight stays or long trips for the fans.
“More than that there’s the derbies –Wigan coming down, Bury coming up.”
But there’s one pairing which stands out more than any – the first one all Fleetwood fans will be looking for when the fixtures are revealed on June 17.
“Then there’s the big one – Blackpool,” said Alexander.
“That will be a massive one for this club – both games will.
“There are some really big games to look forward to and the excitement is going to be there.”
With season tickets on sale for the new campaign, Alexander has been keen to stress how important Fleetwood fans will be as they look to survive in League One on a reduced budget.
“We need the fans,” said the Town boss.
“We know we’re one of the smallest clubs in this division, the smallest Town in the Football League.
“We don’t have a massive support and we know we’re up against it.
“But what we do have is a loyal group.
“It’s important for us that they come again and get behind their team.They always have done,- even last year when we were up against some massive clubs.”
Alexander knows, given their status as third-tier minnows, that Town can’t rely on luck to get by.
He said: “We will be again next season and we’ll need everything they’ve got.
“There are a lot of giants out there with 20,000 fans behind them. We’ve felt that at times.
“There have been times when we’ve been harshly treated by officials in games because we didn’t have that massive support behind us.
“We have to fight against thatbut if we have everyone together, pulling in the same direction, we can achieve results that are beyond our means.
“We can do that again in the next 12 months.”