John Achterberg: “For me, Tranmere Rovers should be at the top of League One or even just in the Championship”

Former Tranmere Rovers goalkeeper John Achterberg believes that the club can kick on in the EFL but does think that they will need to bolster the squad ahead of the new campaign.

Achterberg thinks of the Super Whites at a much bigger stage than they currently are and praises the Chairman and Vice Chairwoman for their efforts.

Since Mark and Nicola Palios have come into the club they have lifted the club from the Training Ground, to the stadium at Prenton Park and to the coverage of the football club.

“I have no doubt that they can kick on, but they will need to get a few players through the door, and to do that you need money.” John Achterberg told ATJ Media.

“For me, Tranmere Rovers should be at the top of League One or even just in the Championship, they are a big club and Mark Palios has done a great job to get them back fighting.” He said.

“The inside of the ground has been refurbished, and it brings a positive look about the place, and to make it look a place where players want to be.” He added.


The 46-year old again praises the owners for the work that has been done behind the scenes and points out the work that Liverpool FC do to help the club.

The newly renovated Prenton Park now looks a Championship standard to most and the brand new training ground at Solar Campus also brings a professional look to the club.

“The training facilities are very good now, and players do look at that before they choose a club to play for.”

“Mark and Nicola Palios are important for the club and they are the first people to turn it in the positive direction, and then let the football take care of itself.”

“Liverpool can help Tranmere in many ways, whether it is paying to play on the pitch at Prenton Park for the youth teams and women’s team, or the friendly that we usually have before each season.”

Tranmere Rovers were dealt a blow earlier this week with the news that top goal scorer Andy Cook would not be returning to the club following signing for Walsall.

The striker signed a two-year deal at the League One club and was wanted by manager Dean Keates for some time.

Achterberg is confident that the club can move on without him but insists that the right replacement needs to be made.

“Cook (Andy Cook) has done a very good job for the last two years.”

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“The club needs to act and replace him but make sure that the player is able to do a job at the new level.”

The promotion back to the EFL for Tranmere Rovers could open the door for a loan agreement to be made with some of the local teams.

In the past, it has been known for loan agreements to be put in place between Tranmere Rovers and the likes of Liverpool, Everton and Manchester United.

The Liverpool goalkeeper coach, Achterberg welcomes the chance for that to happen but explains that it needs to be the right fit for both sides.

“Not every player who plays for a big club in the reserves is ready to play first-team football, and so you need to find the correct player.”

“Of course the promotion gives Tranmere Rovers more chance of getting players from Liverpool or even some of the other teams around the North West area.

“They will want to help Tranmere because they have a reputation for bringing good talent through.”

The former goalkeeper believes that Tranmere Rovers have the best facilities in League Two and possibly better than some of Sky Bet League One.

“One big thing which will help Tranmere attract the players to the club is the facilities that they have.

“They have arguably the best in League Two and maybe better than some teams in League One. Players look at that, before signing.” Achterberg said.

Achterberg believes that it is not all about getting the best players though, and thinks that Tranmere Rovers could do similar to what Accrington Stanley have done in this campaign.

Accrington Stanley were promoted as Champions of Sky Bet League Two, in the 2017/18 campaign.

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“You could look at Accrington Stanley. They have not always picked good players but they have chosen players that fit.”

“Jon Coleman has done a great job there and it has led to the promotion to League One.  It is something which Tranmere can mirror themselves on.”

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By: Aidan Jones

Twitter: @ajones_media

New Tranmere Rovers signing Ollie Banks has revealed that he is very optimistic ahead of the new season.

Banks believes that there is no maximum goal for the coming season, and states that everyone knows that there is no reason why Tranmere Rovers cannot challenge in the next campaign.

The midfielder has played in League Two and does believe that there is always a chance of success given the structure of the league.

“We are not in this league now to consolidate. We want to go again. There is no reason why this squad of players cannot go for it next season.” Ollie Banks told ATJ Media.

“There is a chance to get out of League Two.

“With the three automatic promotion places and with the good team spirit which we have here at Tranmere, there is no limit to our goal.”

On a personal level, Banks just wants to settle in as well as he did in his previous spell with the club.

The midfielder spent the last part of 2017 with Tranmere Rovers before being recalled to his parent club Oldham Athletic.

“I always aim to try and get 10 goals a season, if I can. I just want to come and make a positive impact like I did on my loan spell. He said.

“I want to help the players around me and hopefully they can help me and it can be a successful season for the team.

“It is a big club with a stadium to match, and I am hoping that it will bring the best out in me.”

Banks is a massive fan of the supporters at Prenton Park and believes that the numbers will only increase now the team are back in the EFL.

Rovers were promoted via the playoff final at Wembley with a 2-1 heroic win against Boreham Wood.

“I cannot wait to come and play my football in front of the Tranmere fans.

“In the few games which I have played in, the noise around the stadium, gets you going and pushes you on.
Credit: Richard Ault (Tranmere Rovers)

“Tranmere have a massive fan base, the support at home is brilliant and the support away, even those which might be a long trip for the fans is even better.

“I am sure that will only increase now we have been promoted to League Two.”

The former Chesterfield man believes that there is a positive atmosphere around the club which has been set over the past year.

Banks is adamant that both he and the team want to continue where they left off last season, and carry the winning mentality into the next challenge.

The Rovers are very much looking forward to League Two football next season but there will always be an element of pressure.

“Tranmere are used to winning games and are full of confidence following the season just gone, and are wanting to do big things and carry on that winning habit. I am really happy to be a part of that now.”

“You do need to deal with pressure, because Tranmere Rovers is a massive club at this level and there will be expectations that will need to be met, and it pushes us on as players.”



Scott Davies signs new deal with Rovers!

Tranmere Rovers goalkeeper Scott Davies has today signed a two-year extension with the club.

Davies was a big part of the Promotion team which got Rovers into the EFL via the playoffs in the Vanarama National League.

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The man between the sticks joined Rovers on their entry to the National League and will continue his journey with the Whites as they look to take Sky Bet League Two in their stride.

Davies becomes the fourth player to sign the dotted line since the season has ended following the arrivals of Mark Ellis from Carlisle United, Ollie Banks from Oldham Athletic.

He joins midfielder Connor Jennings in extending his deal at the Birkenhead club.



Ollie Banks signs for Tranmere Rovers

By: Aidan Jones

Twitter: @ajones_media

Ollie Banks has joined Tranmere Rovers, a team he is already familiar with following a brief loan spell during the 2017/18 campaign.

The midfielder joins on a two-year deal for the Birkenhead outfit, and is Micky Mellon’s second new signing of the summer, following the arrival of Mark Ellis from Carlisle.

Connor Jennings has also signed a two-year deal this week, to extend his stay at Prenton Park.

Banks was released by Oldham at the end of the season and was very much a fans favourite, as soon as he joined the club before Christmas.

Credit: Tranmere Rovers FC

The midfielder then went back to his parent club before being loaned to Swindon Town where he stayed for the rest of the season.

There had been reports of Swindon Town wanting to sign Banks but Micky Mellon and Tranmere Rovers won the race for the midfielder.

An interview piece with Ollie Banks can be found here: Ollie Banks on his return to Prenton Park.

Connor Jennings signs two-year extension at Tranmere Rovers.

Tranmere Rovers have today announced that Connor Jennings has signed a two year deal with the club.

Jennings’ contract had expired at the end of the 2017/18 campaign but has put pen to paper and will stay at Prenton Park until 2020.

The former Wrexham midfielder joined the club in 2016 and has been a big part of the promotion winning squad that Micky Mellon has had at his disposal.

This comes as a relief to the Tranmere Rovers fans, after Jeff Hughes announced that he would leave the club to return to his hometown Larne. Before Andy Cook also left the club yesterday, to sign a deal with Sky Bet League One outfit Walsall.

Jennings is the second player to sign a contract this week after Mark Ellis signed for the club from Carlisle United.


Former Rovers goalkeeper Sam Ramsbottom: “The passion will show through.”

Former Tranmere Rovers goalkeeper Sam Ramsbottom believes that there is enough in the side to win the game at Wembley today, and knows that the passion will show through.

Ramsbottom has been at Macclesfield Town since October and won the Vanarama National League. But insists that there is no malice in it because, Tranmere is still very much on the forefront of his mind.

“It will be a tough match like all matches in the National League are, but I am sure they will have enough in the tank to get the result against Boreham Wood.” Sam Ramsbottom said.

“I think the passion which has shown through in their performances this season, will help them at Wembley. With it being a one-off game, they will be down in their thousands and hope they win the game and get promoted.” he added.

“I have still got a lot of friends at Tranmere, and I know there is no malice the fact that we managed to win the league, and they didn’t.

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“Tranmere still holds a large place in my heart. I was there for thirteen years and grew up playing for Sean Garnett and Ronnie Moore.”

Ramsbottom is hoping that the Whites do get promoted by Saturday teatime and admits that it was horrible being relegated to non-league, as he was still on the books at that time.

Rovers were relegated to the Vanarama National League on the final day of the 2013-14 season and have been there ever since, with the opportunities rising to get out of the league and back into what is now the EFL.

“I hope they do go up because it is a big club and do deserve to go back into the football league,” Ramsbottom said.

“A lot of people, with myself included are dying for them to go up. It was horrible on the last day of the season away to Plymouth going down, and the fans deserve much better and I am sure they will get that.” he commented.

“I will be watching on the TV, cheering them on and hopefully Micky and the lads can get the result that we all want them to get.”

The goalkeeper admitted that there was never a clear point in the season when Macclesfield Town could sit comfortably because they were well educated on Tranmere Rovers’ strengths and knew they could not sit back.

The Silkmen ended up winning the Vanarama National League by ten points, but Ramsbottom insists that there was never a time when they thought they had won it until the end.

“There were lots of times in the season where we knew the job was not done and Tranmere could still catch us, especially when they had the games in hand.” Ramsbottom said.

“There was never really a moment when we thought we had won the league, because Tranmere have the ability to turn it around but fortunately for Macclesfield they didn’t, and we got over the line.” The goalkeeper added.



Tranmere Rovers ‘legend’ Iain Hume believes that the fans will be a massive addition to the side at Wembley as the side prepare for the National League Promotion Final against Boreham Wood.

Hume made over 100 appearances for the club and will be there tomorrow supporting the players in with the Tranmere supporters.

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“This year watching the semi-final, seeing the Kop full, reminded me of old times, when we were pushing in the football league and it is somewhere where the team needs to be.” Iain Hume said.

The support is one of the best, they will always get behind the lads and with probably four times the amount of fans as the opposition, they can definitely make an impact.”

“The players will realise, how big the club is and that it should be back in the Football League.”

“That will be the driving force tomorrow.”

“I will be driving down, sitting with the fans and hopefully watching the lads pull it off.”

“I will be there, I might not be singing all the songs because I can’t keep up with how good they are now but I will be giving all my support to the players.” He added.

The striker admits that what happened last season was not a bright spark in the books for a Rovers fan but believes in the side to put it right this time around.

Hume, who has won promotion with Jeff Hughes and Scott Davies knows that they will be itching to set the record straight.

The former Rovers man stated that the team had finished the season off well, and with the slow start, the players deserve great credit.

“The disappointment last season will push the lads on tomorrow and they deserve to be in the final, after the disappointing start, they have really rallied at the end of the season and deserve the plaudits for that.”

“I was in the same team as Jeff Hughes and Scott Davies with Fleetwood getting the promotion, and obviously having that loss on record they will be itching to put it right this year.”

“Rightly, they have finished in second spot, and have the experience within the side to win a match at Wembley.”

Looking back at the Semi-Final, Hume was not afraid to admit that it was a slow start but explains that it cannot be a repeat at Wembley because the opposition, Boreham Wood have it in them to punish Rovers.

“They went into the Ebbsfleet game a bit sluggish and the thing is they cannot do that at Wembley because knowing Boreham Wood, they like to get the ball down and play too and the pitch there is far bigger and it will make it a struggle,” Hume said.

“Micky will know that and make sure that they come out of the blocks fighting from the very start of the match,”

Tranmere Rovers front duo James Norwood and Andy Cook have been vital to secure points for the Whites this season.

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With over 40 goals between them, Hume expects them to have a big part to play in tomorrow’s big match.

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“It is massive! Goals win you games, and I know it is said too much in football but defences win championships and Tranmere have got one of the best defensive records too.

“But having the goals which they have scored this season were ridiculous and Cook has shown what he can do.”

“If they can link up together on a pitch like Wembley they will trouble any defence. So they will be a massive threat, and full of confidence.”

“The expectation is there for both of them, they will go into the game with the belief of scoring the goals in the final.”

Hume, looking back at his time at Prenton Park, in comparison to now, he realises that the club should not be in non-league.

The former Leicester City man has faith in Micky Mellon and his backroom team to get Tranmere Rovers back to where they warrant a place to be, back fighting in the Football League.

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“The club was in the league for nearly 100 hundred years and it shows the pedigree of the club and it does not want to be non-league.”

“There are three coaches in the team who have been captains, Micky (Micky Mellon), Jacko (Mike Jackson) and Nixon (Eric Nixon), they are all captains and leaders which will be a massive impact.”


Former Tranmere Rovers loanee Ollie Banks has “every faith” that Tranmere will go and get the victory against Boreham Wood in the National League Play-off final on Saturday.

Banks, who left Tranmere in January, then went on to have a loan spell at Swindon Town where he made 17 appearances and has recently been released by his parent club Oldham Athletic.

“I have every faith in the lads that they can finish the job off. I have not got a bad word to say about Tranmere. I really enjoyed my time there, and they are a great set of lads.” Ollie Banks said.

“It depends what the frame of mind the players are in, but I am sure that they will all want to put last season’s disappointment behind them with a win!”

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“The staff and the fans were fantastic and they deserve to have something to shout about come Saturday teatime.”

“But I really think there is enough passion in the side that they will go and get the job done.” The midfielder added.

Tomorrow will be a match where there will be a lot of familiar faces around, and Banks is making the trip down South to get behind the boys in white!

“I am going tomorrow to support Tranmere! I’m not sure where my ticket says it is for but I hope I am in with the Tranmere fans!” He said.

Banks released from Oldham Athletic a week ago refuses to rule out a return to Prenton Park either in the immediate or long-term future.

“I would never rule anything out. I loved my time at Tranmere and I would like to return one day. Whether it is this summer or in the future, it is definitely somewhere that I would like to play again.” Banks said.

Last week, Tranmere Rovers came from behind twice to beat Ebbsfleet United, and Banks admits that they are all tough matches, no matter who the opposition is.

“I don’t think it matters, who it is in the final. They are all big strong sides in and around the playoffs, and are tough to beat on the day, as was proven last week against Ebbsfleet.”

“They (Tranmere) have obviously shown a lot of character to come from behind twice in the Semi Final and then win comfortably in the end.”

The supporters this season at Prenton Park have been at their best, supporting the team, Banks urges them on to continue that tomorrow.

“There is a massive crowd and with it being a cup final, it can be an intimidating atmosphere when the Tranmere supporters get behind the team, which is very noticeable as a player.”


National League Playoff semi final: Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 4-2 Ebbsfleet United

After 120 minutes of football, it is Tranmere Rovers go into the Final of the Vanarama National League playoffs on Saturday 12 May after 4-2 win in extra time, at Prenton Park.

Many people expected this one to be an easy win for Tranmere Rovers and Micky Mellon, but outcome an in-form Ebbsfleet United side who did not roll over.

The game was level until 16 minutes in when Luke Coulson capitalised on some scruffy defending from the home side and looped a header over Scott Davies in the Tranmere goal.

This was then followed by a period of pressure for the visitors who saw efforts from Whitely and Kedwell go very close to doubling the lead.

Then it was the home side’s chance to attack and that they did, with a fabulous double save from Ashmore and then one block from a defender from Norwood’s effort to deny Rovers from drawing level.

Twelve minutes before the break the scores were level, Liam Ridehalgh found James Norwood who drove a low shot into the bottom corner, for the forward’s 22 goal of the campaign (including the regular season).

The pressure from the home side did not stop there, Nathan Ashmore, regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the league was called on again to deny a Josh Ginelly shot which was flicked on by Andy Cook.

Moments later, Tranmere attacked again, a cross whipped in from the left flicked on by Jeff Hughes but it just could not fall for Norwood, central of the penalty area.

The second half was all about who could come out stronger, and with just six minutes gone, the away side took the lead once more.

A mix up in communication at the back for Tranmere between defender Ritchie Sutton and goalkeeper Scott Davies allowed the ball to fall to Myles Weston who passed the ball into the empty net!

A great response from the hosts, Josh Ginelly who had been influential for the whites all game unleashed a ferocious shot into the top corner to level once more!

With Prenton Park erupting, Tranmere grew into the game very quickly and had chances to go into the lead but Ashmore again to the visitors’ rescue, Norwood’s effort straight at the keeper, Norburn’s attack which was dealt with by the man between the sticks for Ebbsfleet!

Fifteen minutes from time, saw both sides go for the win, Andy Cook headed wide at the far post before Danny Kedwell seen his shot fire over the crossbar at the other end.

With no winner at the end of 90 minutes, the game went into extra time, and with the away side already playing 120 minutes of football this week prior to today, it looked a big ask for Daryl McMahon and his team.

That proved with Tranmere having the majority of the first half of the extra time period, and Ashmore keeping his side in the game with saves from Norwood and Cook’s efforts at goal.

If there was a way to win this game of football, then it was to do it in style.

The home side finally took the lead for the first time in the match with a moment of class. A James Norwood free-kick curled into the top corner of Ashmore’s net giving the Ebbsfleet keeper no chance!

From then on it was Tranmere’s game, Larnell Cole smashed an effort home to make it 4-2 after some great play by the home side with great possession leading to the goal.

Unfortunately, it was ugly scenes toward the end of the match which will have an overriding factor on the great game of football.

A scuffle after a free kick was given to Ebbsfleet inside their own penalty area saw Dave Winfield struck Jay Harris who hit the ground and was consequently shown his marching orders by the referee.

In the madness, a backroom staff member of Ebbsfleet United was also sent off from the dugout.

With one half of the final selected now via the elimination process, Tranmere Rovers await whoever wins the other semi-final between Sutton United and Boreham Wood tomorrow.


TRANMERE: 1) Scott Davies, 2) Adam Buxton, 3) Liam Ridehalgh, 4)Ritchie Sutton, 5) Stephen McNulty, 9) Andy Cook, 10) James Norwood, 15) Ollie Norburn, 18) Josh Ginelly, 24) Jeff Hughes, 29 Larnell Cole

Subs: 22) Rhys Taylor, 8) Jay Harris, 19) Andy Mangan, 16) Jack Dunn, 33) Manny Monthe

Ebbsfleet United: 1) Nathan Ashmore, 3) Jack Connors, 4) Dean Rance, 5) Dave Winfield ©, 6) Kenny Clark, 7) Jack Powell, 8) Andy Dury, 9) Danny Kedwell, 25) Luke Coulson, 27) Lawrie Wilson, 28) Corey Whitely

Subs: 2) Marvin Mccoy, 11) Myles Weston, 13) Jon Miles, 23 Norman Wabo, 26) Chris Bush.





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