Tag Archives: spotland stadium

If Rochdale start with these two and they’ll easily blow Bolton Wanderers’ youngsters away

Bolton Wanderers could be in for it after drawing Rochdale in the Carabao Cup…

The Wanderers have managed to scrape a team together by promoting youth players to regular first-team football.

Bolton sits in 23rd place after two games in League One, on -11 points. Just below is Bury is on -12, still waiting to kick off their campaign.

The shoehorned together squad of Bolton Wanderers have achieved a draw after a loss in the season so far. Rochdale have a draw and a win and proudly find themselves in 5th position on 4 points.

The two teams will face one another in the Carabao Cup at Spotland Stadium, making it all the more difficult for Bolton. Despite this, Bolton fans have been praised this season for showing immense support to their crumbling football club. Spurring their team on could inspire an upset. However, should Rochdale start either of these, it seems unlikely…

Ian Henderson

The 34-year-old striker bagged his 110th goal in League One after his double against Tranmere Rovers in a 3-2 victory. The quality he brings to the attacking play seems far beyond anything the Bolton Wanderers lineup could deal with.

Henderson has never had quite as much luck in front of goal in the Carabao Cup compared to the leagues. But towards the final stages of his career in a promising Rochdale side, we could see them go full throttle in the competition this year.

Aaron Morley

The 19-year-old midfielder has been entrusted so far this season and managed to bag himself his first goal against Doncaster, which sealed the point for his side. A game against a struggling Bolton in the Carabao Cup would be a perfect opportunity for the youngster to perform under pressure, but also allow him to build on the confidence of his goal.

Should Morley rise to the occasion, Bolton will be punished.

The final touches: What Gannon should be getting right in Stockport County’s training this week

With a big season ahead, Stockport County has a lot of work to do in order to survive in their new division.

Last season, Stockport County won the National League North and secured promotion to the National League.

Jim Gannon has breathed life into County since his third appointment at the club in 2016. Going into the National League, his side must prepare for an intense season.

Although it is unlikely for Stockport to follow suit of their neighbours Salford City with a double-promotion, Gannon’s men could still go far in their new division.

Where does Stockport go from here?

In order to survive their new competition, Stockport must fully establish a method of play. The team need to gel fully, understand each other and have the same vision for the club. Therefore, training sessions should focus on tactics and strategies, whilst keeping the fitness of the team very high.

By establishing a method that has been solidified in the squad, they can continue to build towards projections, which should be to find themselves in the EFL League Two.

If Jim Gannon can continue to get the players on his wavelength, his side can survive the National League next season. Upon that, they can acquire the correct signings who will find it easy to integrate with a squad who all know exactly how the gaffer wants them to play.

Stockport County has lost their main goal scorer Matt Warburton, meaning that Gannon needs to find alternative methods for scoring goals. Their ability to hit the back of the net, whilst remaining fairly solid at the back, is what clinched the side promotion.

Gannon should remain at the club for the foreseeable future. He is the right man to lay the foundations to build on, being closely tied to the club. By following a set structure of projections, Stockport County could easily be contenders for promotion over the next few seasons.

Season approaching: What have Rochdale and BBM learnt from their friendlies

A mixed bag of results for Rochdale in their pre-season so far. What do these performances say about the future of the club?

Rochdale will be looking to improve on their last two seasons where the club finished 20th and 14th respectively. A big step down from finishing in the top ten consecutively in seasons before.

In their first game of pre-season, Rochdale suffered a 3-1 defeat against Championship side Huddersfield. Huddersfield only managed three wins in the Premier League last season. In perspective, it demonstrates how unequipped Rochdale is to take on teams in the highest tiers of English football.

However, Rochdale faced their other neighbours Oldham Athletic from the league below. The Dale won the game 3-2, which in fairness, shows Oldham’s ability to cope in their previous division League One. The game showed Rochdale lose a 2-0 lead, to pull ahead by 3-2 in the later minutes of the game.

At the weekend, Rochdale was losing 1-0 to Bradford City before the half time abandonment due to the weather.

The pre-season results, so far, show that Rochdale is well below the quality of Championship football. But are slightly ahead of a League Two side who should push for promotion in the upcoming season.

Rochdale needs to grow

If Rochdale fails to grow further throughout pre-season, they can expect a season that is similar to their previous two.

With that being said, ex-Dale player Brian Barry-Murphy was appointed permanent manager last season. Chairman Andrew Kilpatrick said Barry-Murphy was “without doubt the right person to take Rochdale forward”.

This tells the fans that Rochdale are looking to push the club forward, and they should not expect the same degree of failure they have been subjected to in recent years.

Barry-Murphy is likely to test his youth, new signings and possibly trialists in their game against Hyde tomorrow night.

What have Rochdale learnt from their friendlies ahead of the new season

Rochdale’s pre-season campaign is underway, and they seem to be adjusting to their new manager.

Although they lost their friendly to Huddersfield Town, 3-1, they managed to beat Oldham Athletic 3-2.

They’ve still got a few friendlies still to come. However, The Football Manc Cave are looking at a few things the team, fans and new manager, Brian Barry-Murphy, should have learnt from their performances so far.


Even though they have suffered a loss, they have proved they can still create goals. Which will be a big factor when it comes to league football because goal difference often plays a part in league positions. Hopefully, Rochdale will be able to keep up their goal-scoring abilities and also try to keep some clean sheets next season.

Adapted to Manager

Brian Barry-Murphy took over the club for a temporary time until he was made the permanent manager. He’s now gained a lot of respect from the team, fans and club itself. This has shown as he has given players chances in the pre-season games and they have delivered for him. It also goes to show how the team have dealt with their change in leader.


Fans saw a few names on the team sheets in these friendlies that stood out because they’d hardly seen them before. This was because Brian Barry-Murphy gave some youngsters a chance, he had under 23’s player, Louie Clarkson in his squad and fans claimed to be ‘excited’ by him and the idea of young players coming into the senior squad.

Hopefully, Dale will have a great start to next season and Barry-Murphy will prove he’s the perfect man for the job.

Two League One free agent Rochdale should be looking at – Agree?

Rochdale could improve their squad ahead of the 19/20 EFL League One campaign, for free!

Rochdale will be looking to progress from last season’s position, where they finished 16th in League One. The Dale narrowly escaped relegation by four points in the congested bottom half of the table.

Manager Brian Barry-Murphy will be well aware of the faults and strengths of his squad. Rochdale fans are due a successful and competitive league run, and next season could be the one.

In an inflated market, purchasing players can be a difficult task. Especially for lower league clubs.

In comes the concept of free transfers, players who have let their contract run down in hopes to seek a new challenge, and here are two that could solve Rochdale’s problems.

Lee Cattermole

Cattermole has been with Sunderland for the past 10 years. This summer, his loyalty to the club came to end as his contract ran out. The 31-year-old defensive midfielder saw Premier League, Championship and League One action with the North-East club.

In the 18/19 League One season, Rochdale conceded the most amount of goals in the campaign, at 87. The introduction of Cattermole would provide an experienced and solid midfielder who’s priority is the defence.

His knowledge of the game, partnered with leadership qualities, could see Rochdale’s defence become much more organised. The vocal Englishman would sit ahead of them, ultimately resulting in a more solid structure and fewer goals will be conceded.

Grant Ward

Currently injured, but set to be available in August. Grant Ward is a 24-year-old wide midfielder who has 134 games worth of experience at Championship level. With 10 goals and 18 assists in the competition.

Should Ward have a season of full fitness in a league slightly less quality than he is used to, he can provide Rochdale with the spark they need to turn defence into attack.

By bringing in defensive-minded leader Lee Cattermole, and a hungry to prove himself, Grant Ward, the balance of Rochdale could be massively improved come the start of the EFL League One campaign.

Is Rochdale’s 23y/o ready to make his mark this season

There is a gem within the Rochdale ranks waiting for a big League One season, could it happen in the upcoming campaign?

Born in Stockport, Northern Ireland international Callum Camps has been a part of the Rochdale set up since 2012, beginning in the youth academy. The 23-year-old proudly wears the number 10 shirt in the centre of midfield.

Rochdale is looking to improve from last season, where Brian Barry-Murphy’s squad finished at an unsatisfactory 16th place.

Camps has made over 170 appearances for Rochdale and has already captained the squad on several occasions. With his contract coming to an end after the upcoming campaign, the midfielder will be keen on impressing his employers in order to extend his services for the club he loves. The length of his service with Dale so far demonstrates the trust and support the team have in the youngster to shine. Although there have been moments of excellence, it is a certainty that he has much more to offer the League One side.

Competition for places

Other midfield talents, such as the highly regarded ex-Manchester United man Oliver Rathbone, will drive Camps to compete for first-team football throughout next season and make his mark on the club. Allowing him to glow on manager Barry-Murphy’s radar.

Camps will be keen on remaining with Rochdale, or potentially catching the eyes of clubs of higher quality. As opposed to being released to a lower tier club come to the end of his contract in 2020.

Despite not being the most prolific player in Rochdale’s ranks, next season will be crucial for both himself and his squad. This hidden gem could step up his game and assert his dominance on the team.

Fellow Greater Manchester clubs Bolton Wanderers and Bury FC are suffering incredibly crippling financial woes, resulting in points being docked from both teams come the beginning of the EFL League One season. As a result, Rochdale could emerge as the most successful Greater Manchester side of the three at the end of the 19/20 campaign.

2 things Pyke will bring to Rochdale this season

We believe here at the Football Manc Cave, that the return of the forward Rekeil Pyke to Rochdale for a season-long loan could be the difference for Rochdale next season.

Pyke had an unfortunate loan spell at Rochdale last season having picked up an injury in the early days of his time at Spotland Stadium. However, after receiving treatment from his parent club Huddersfield Town, the forward made a return to The Dale. He featured in their last four games of the season, in which Rochdale won three of the four games, allowing them to survive what would have been a detrimental relegation to League Two.

The 21-year-old is a product of Huddersfield’s youth, joining them at the age of 11. Since receiving his professional contract in 2015, Pyke has been loaned out to Wrexham, Colchester, Port Vale, and most recently Rochdale. Where he is now spending another season on loan until July 2020.

Pyke only has 5 goals to his name, which came during his loan spell at Wrexham in the National League, in his 54 game-long careers so far.

However, Rochdale fans should be excited with the return of Pyke. Here are two reasons why…

Big future

Huddersfield Town was recently a Premier League side, they’ll be hoping to regain that status after next season in the Championship. Having been a part of their ranks since age 11. He has been given opportunities to grow on loan, it is clear that this big club has high hopes for the youngster. They clearly see potential in him to be a part of a successful Championship squad or, a squad that can challenge to remain in the Premier League.

Pyke is still waiting for a breakthrough season, to justify the faith put in him by his parent club. With a full injury-free season in League One, we could begin to see the future star shine.

Crucial squad member

In a troublesome and scary end to the season for The Dale, many were on the fence as to whether Rochdale would remain in the third tier of English football. But after injuries and being dropped into a relegation battle, Pyke helped his team win three of their four last games in the season. Which saw the club create a distance between themselves and the relegation zone. His ability to perform under pressure at 21 years of age could be a sign of how crucial he can be to the squad.

Rochdale making smart moves in the transfer window – Agree?

Rochdale have secured many futures at the club this summer from within their own ranks, is this enough to secure improvement?

Many reports have been confirmed about Rochdale successfully extending and/or renewing contracts for players both fresh and experienced from within their own ranks.

Favourites such as Aaron Wilbraham, who will turn 40 during his next season with Rochdale, wonderkid Aaron Morley, Brad Wade, Ollie Rathbone are all extending contracts. Matty Done also will remain at the Dale for a further two years.

Rochdale have also been securing their own future by giving professional contracts to their youth, so look out for the names Lewis Bradley, Harrison Hopper and Fabio Tavares. This certainly creates a buzz around the club as it demonstrates the faith they have in their youth, which can almost determine the future of an entire club.

By maintaining key and future players, Rochdale has allowed themselves to have a steady structure and both short term and long terms plans for the future, in which they can add the missing pieces to through transfers.

This busy summer window indicates that Rochdale are looking at a vast improvement going into the new season, and we could see a new Rochdale going forward.

Looking at Rochdale’s Twitter page, there are numerous posts celebrating the contract renewals and extensions which have taken place over this summer. However, the majority of responses follow the opinion that Rochdale needs to announce more new signings, in order to appease the quality of football as well as the excitement of the fans.

Rochdale’s past two seasons have resulted in a disappointing 16th place finish and a very frightening 20th place. They will surely be attempting to push past the mid-table point in the 19/20 season.

Oldham Athletic are keen on former Bolton Wanderers and Rochdale man, here are 2 attributes he brings with him

Nottingham Forest man Zach Clough had a loan spell at Rochdale during the 18/19 season. Now, neighbour’s Oldham Athletic are looking to add him to their squad this summer.

Clough, the 24-year-old striker, played in 13 games for Rochdale whilst on loan last season, in that time he scored one and assisted one. Some arguments were made about Clough’s fitness during his spell at Rochdale. However, Zach Clough has definitely proven himself in English football, having played big roles in squads such as Bolton and Nottingham Forest.

League Two side Oldham Athletic are desperate to add the 24-year-old Mancunian Zach Clough to their squad, despite his contributions to higher leagues than their own.

Here are two key qualities that Clough could bring to Banide’s Oldham Athletic…

Higher league experience

It is understandable as to why Rochdale wanted his services to help push them through a troublesome 18/19 season. His statistics show a player who would be immensely capable of EFL League One football.

At Championship level, Clough has 72 games worth of experience and at League One he has 32 games under his belt, a 24-year-old with over 100 games experience in high tier English football.

Should Oldham secure this deal, their fight to regain a spot in League One would seem much more likely, as this calibre of player would definitely belong in the League One/Championship region.

Goals, goals, goals! Oh, and assists too.

Stretching from the youth Premier League to the professional Championship and League one, with domestic cups in between, Clough has 41 goals and 16 assists in 159 games since the beginning of his career in 2012.

Despite the ups and downs in his form, Clough knows where the back of the net is, and in League Two we could truly see him shine as he gains stability and a run of form. In an Oldham Athletic shirt, we could see Clough hit the 20 goals a season mark, with 5 to 10 assists for his teammates.