Morecambe FC 2022/23 Season Preview
30th July- Morecambe face off against Shrewsbury Town on the opening day of their second ever season in Sky Bet League Two. The Salops finished one position and 8 points ahead of the Shrimps last season as Steve Cotterill led Shrewsbury to a relatively comfortable finish. Last season, Morecambe beat Shrewsbury 3-0 at the Mazuma Stadium but fell to a 5-0 defeat in the reverse fixture. Derek Adams will be hoping to start the season in fine form against a very similar opponent as they face off on the first weekend of the EFL season.
13th August- Morecambe host Fleetwood Town in the first edition of the ‘Seafood Derby’ of the 22/23 campaign. The Shrimps will be looking to improve on last season’ result in which a turgid 0-0 draw was played out in the fog.
16th August- Just three days later Morecambe travel to the University of Bolton Stadium to face off against bitter rivals Bolton Wanderers. The two teams have collided in recent seasons following both the proximity of the two clubs and the similar ambitions of each team as both looked for automatic promotion spots in 20/21 and survival in 21/22. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson’s 90+4-minute equaliser was enough to earn a draw for the Wanderers, a point at home to Morecambe last season.
16th October- Local rivals Accrington Stanley play host to Morecambe as the seaside town look to repeat the 2-0 win last season. Forward Jonah Ayunga bagged a brace as the Shrimps took home the bragging rights over Stanley.
26th December- On boxing day, Morecambe will play newcomers Port Vale at Vale Park. With both teams looking to scrap their way to safety, this game could provide either side with a pivotal result. In the past, the two clubs have been even with Morecambe winning 9 of the previous 20 meetings, Port Vale managed 7 as 4 games ended as draws. The Shrimps will hope the new addition Jake Taylor will help fire them to a win against his former side.
31st January- As the winter slowly fades, the winter transfer window will be ending too. With the squad already being light, the winter window could provide a perfect opportunity for Morecambe to dip into the market and find loans that could aid in their bet to stay safe.
4th March- With both games against Bolton Wanderers being hotly contested affairs, it is no doubt that either side will up the local bragging rights as the Wanderers travel to the Mazuma stadium in early March.
6th May- Morecambe face the long journey down to Exeter City on the final day of the 22/23 campaign. The Shrimps will be hoping that this game is not seen as an important date as safety will have been secured earlier than this date if all goes to plan.
Players to Watch
Cole Stockton- The enormity of Stockton’s goal scoring form has been covered by many journalists already, and so, teams will be aware of the danger he possesses. Strong in hold up play and a lethal finisher from both close range and at distance, it is no doubt the Shrimps will look to rely on the scouser’s goals to keep them afloat as his 23 goals proved vital last campaign. However, under Derek Adams in 20/21, Cole was more of a facilitator and his imposing presence was utilised to hold the ball up and bring other players such as Carlos Mendes Gomes or John O’Sullivan into the game. It could be speculated that he will play a similar role this season as Morecambe are well stocked with options on either wing.
Ash Hunter- The tricky winger joined the reds on a free transfer and will undoubtedly be the signing to keep an eye on. Quick feet and a taste for long range goals, Hunter could prove pivotal in many games where a spark of brilliance is needed to open up the game, a trait of the team which was sorely lacking last season.
Ousmane Fane- Ever since the tall midfielder joined the Shrimps last January, he has gone from strength to strength and impressed on many occasions. Known primarily for his hard-hitting tackles and limited technical ability, Fane is the perfect anchor in this Morecambe side that let go of Yann Songo’o the previous summer. With Fane being one of the first names on the team sheet last season under Adams, it is in no doubt that he will play a significant role within the centre of the park in the 22/23 campaign.
With their limited budget and many changes in the transfer window so far, Morecambe have been placed as outright favourites to face the drop by Oddschecker (11/10). This is worrying news for Morecambe fans as they will be hoping that once again the team defy the odds set before them. Morecambe have always fought bravely against ever surmounting odds; in 20/21, the Shrimps faced 7/2 to even finish in the top half of the table and finished the season promoted via the playoffs. This steely determination to fight in the face of failure is one of many that have helped Morecambe never be relegated in their 102-year history, something they hope to maintain come 6th May.