Four days to go! Depending on your perspective that is either a spit away or a lifetime.
I have never once regretted choosing Morecambe as my team. There have been ups and lots of downs. There have been days to remember and days to forget, but I have never once given up on my club. I have always been optimistic and don't understand how to be anything else.
The good times outweigh the bad times, but the good times have upto recently been scant on the pitch. The glory of Wembley seems a while ago now. The last match at Christie Park after our last outstanding season lost in the mist that rolled in that night. The odd unexpected win and one or two memorable days and nights, but nothing consistent . The good times have actually been more around people. The players that have come and gone. Some you forget, but some you remember because they are exceptional players. Some you remember because they are exceptional people. There are actually so many exceptional people around our club. Some of these are Board members, some are staff, some are backroom support, and many of them are fans.
I am lucky enough that lots of these exceptional people are my friends and some are close friends that I share social and real life events with. The ones that keep you sane. The ones that rally round you in times of need and tragedy. The ones that call you out and keep you grounded too.
They share the lows and the highs. Many of the highs are in a car travelling back from Cheltenham or Exeter after a defeat laughing at ridiculous jokes or in a minibus singing loudly and carefree on the way to Torquay in October.
This is why I am so delighted that the same exceptional people are sharing in the glory of this season. A strange season that for most has meant watching from a distance through a TV or a laptop. But we are still together in spirit and watching with delight the job that Derek Adams and his team have done. Watching with pride the way the team are playing with confidence.
I am proud that one of the exceptional people I have met through the club is Jim Bentley. I class him as a friend. I supported him as a player and a manager and I know how much he cares about Morecambe FC. When he decided his future was elsewhere I don't mind saying I was upset and concerned about what would happen at the club. I still maintain he did a great job under challenging circumstances through times where there was no money or uncertain ownership. He got us through that and we all owe him a debt of gratitude, no matter which camp you sat in at the end of his tenure. He should never have to buy a pint in Morecambe ever again. He is a large part of our history, but he is now elsewhere.
Derek Adams has come in and alongside John McMahon he has done an amazing job. He has quite simply turned our fortunes around and made us into a force to be reckoned with. We may no longer be 'little Morecambe', but we have gone largely unnoticed this season as we have quietly gone about our business. Quietly moving up the table. Quietly moving on from match to match with a growing confidence and growing belief. A small squad with two players for every position and a close knit team that sincerely seem as one.
Derek isn't a man who seeks publicity or attention. He seems dedicated, focused, passionate and in many ways humble. I don't think he will be sharing a drink with any of us or getting up to sing on the stage, but whatever happens on Saturday he will be delivering us a dream. We will either get automatic promotion or we will be in the playoffs. Either one of those scenarios twelve months ago would have seemed incredible. They still do in many ways in a corner of my 'little Morecambe' mind, but we have achieved what Derek set out to do and believed he could do.
Do you know what? We deserve it! We deserve this amazing dream that we are in. All of the exceptional people associated with Morecambe Football Club who have been part of this long journey deserve this! It will be the longest week ever, but come Saturday, wherever we are watching we can share the hope and celebrate whatever the outcome at 4.45pm (plus stoppage). We are Morecambe and we are in it together! COYS!
A post from Shrimpsvoices this morning summing up eloquently what this all means for us. We might be tinpot, we might be punching above our weight, we might be at the apex of our achievements but we're no less passionate, no less real football supporters than anyone from "the big clubs".
Id love to see Morecambe up with or without Bolton. It would be a great story for them. Up there with Macc going to League 1. Have they managed to sort their problems with the owner? Ive not paid much attention like I used to for obvious reasons.
No issues with Morecambe going up, despite their reported improved budget, still punching about their weight.
Was surprised to see John McMahon was there now, the same one who was caretaker during our relegation from L1, when he flatly refused to give Cole Stockton any game time?