As the possibility of League One football looms for Wolves, guest blogger and Tranmere fan Paul Harper explains why Wolves fans shouldn’t feel too apprehensive about life in another division.
While League One football might not be what all Wolves fans would like for their club, let me reassure you all that it’s not as bad as it sounds. There’s a lot to like about the division, so here goes.
While divisions such as the Premier League has runaway leaders, the same teams battling for the same four or five top places season in, season out, League One is exciting and unpredictable. All teams can beat each other, whether they be at the top or the bottom of the table.
At time of writing, there is just nine points separating the top eight teams in the league. The league is up for grabs and will almost certainly be so until the last kick of the last game of the season.
On the pitch, whilst, yes, there are some teams who play what people call ‘old-fashioned lower-league football’ (they hoof it I mean), there are a lot of teams who like to play good, passing football too. MK Dons, Swindon, Bournemouth and my own team Tranmere all try to play football on the grass (it’s just a pity there isn’t much about at this stage of the season).
You have an eclectic mix of big, medium and small clubs all battling on a level playing field on merit. There are big boys like Sheffield United and Coventry City who have recently been in the top flight, together with teams who have gone up the football pyramid like Stevenage and Crawley Town.
There are some great grounds to visit on your travels. Bramall Lane, the Ricoh Arena, Deepdale, they’re all nice grounds. But you also have smaller, more traditional grounds too, where you can stand on the terraces like the good old days. Personally, I love all that at places like Brentford and Crawley. There’s some great atmosphere created at some of the smaller grounds in the division.
Atmosphere is generated by the people though and the support may be smaller in terms of numbers at some of the League One clubs, but they are as passionate and dedicated as they come.
Of course, not all the stadia in League One is fantastic, and in League One (possibly not next season though) there is Oldham Athletic and Boundary Park. It’s freezing there. You might think it’s lucky to be drawn to play them there in August or May. Think again. Dig the winter wardrobe out on that hot, sunny summer day because it WILL be needed!
League One is home to the oldest professional football club in Notts County, founded in 1862. Not only are they old, but they are the reason that Italian giants Juventus play in black and white stripes. An English member of Juve, John Savage, back in 1903 had a set of County’s kit sent over to Turin and the rest, as they say, is history.
League One is not a bad division. There are some good clubs, good teams, good players, good stadiums and good days out to be had.