Tranmere Rovers manager revels in ‘special’ opener

First published in Sport

NEW Tranmere Rovers boss Rob Edwards said tomorrow’s visit of York City will be a “special occasion” for him.

The former Carlisle, Preston and Blackpool midfielder, who was appointed the boss at Prenton Park in May after quitting as assistant manager of Exeter, takes charge of his first competitive match as the Minstermen arrive for the Sky Bet League Two opener.

He will be without left-back Liam Ridehalgh, whose ankle injury looks likely to rob him of the first four weeks of the campaign, while midfielder Matt Gill could also be out after suffering a knee injury in pre-season.

That could push Edwards into a late transfer market plunge as he bids to shore up his side. He has already signed up central defender Clayton McDonald on a non-contract basis.

The 25-year-old has been on trial and played in pre-season matches against Everton, Bolton and Chester. He’s unlikely to make the starting XI, though, with Edwards admitting he “isn’t there with his fitness yet”.

Operating with financial care, Edwards is down to 17 fit professionals for the weekend with Danny Woodards, who signed a six month deal with the club only last week, the most likely to deputise for Ridehalgh.

After relegation from League One last season, the surging Minstermen look likely to be a strong barometer for Rovers’ prospects this campaign but Edwards says everyone at the club are “desperate” to get off to a good start.

“The players are all looking forward to Saturday,” he said.

“They’re looking fit, in good spirits and working together nicely.

“It will be a special occasion for me to take charge of my first competitive game for Tranmere and I’m really pleased it’s at Prenton Park.

“There will be a few players making their debuts for the club too and I know they’re all as desperate as I am to get off to a good start and to send the fans home happy.”

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