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Morecambe keeper’s call for greater credit

Barry Roche believes Morecambe's League Two membership is worthy of much greater recognition
Barry Roche believes Morecambe's League Two membership is worthy of much greater recognition

Morecambe keeper Barry Roche believes the club does not get the credit it deserves for still being a Football League club.

The Shrimps begin their 12th season in League Two at Crewe Alexandra a week on Saturday, having survived the drop on the final day of last season.

Roche, who is celebrating his testimonial with the club during 2018/19, has been with the Shrimps for all bar the first of those seasons and maintains their continued presence in League Two is something that should be acknowledged.

“That, in itself, is a massive achievement and it’s well documented we have the lowest budget in League Two and the lowest crowd,” Roche said.

“The fact is we have competed against some massive teams during our time in League Two.

“Up until last season, we hadn’t come close to relegation but that was too close for comfort.

“However, the fact is was too close for comfort and we’ve still come out on the right side of it is a massive achievement.

“The club has changed dramatically over the last 10 years that I’ve been here but it was needed in order for the club to move forward.”

Morecambe play their final pre-season match against Fleetwood Town at the Globe Arena tomorrow as preparations for the new League Two season wind down.

Those preparations have been affected by the summer heatwave with matches called off, others rearranged in their place and some played behind closed doors.

However, as Roche admitted, it has also proved a nightmare for keepers in training.

“It’s made things very tricky because of the lack of sprinkler systems,” he said.

“It’s been like diving on concrete for the last couple of weeks and has limited what we can do.

“The club has been brilliant though because they have brought in a couple of foam mats so myself and Mark (Halstead) can get some work done.”