- 21 Sep 2005
Here's the Chris Greenacre column in full printed with kind permission of The League Paper if you missed it:
I thought we would have been up there challenging for promotion in League One this season, but that doesnt mean I have any regrets about joining Tranmere.
The club has been there or thereabouts for the last couple of years, but this season has been a transitional phase. A lot of players left in the summer and not as many came in.
Its been an up-and-down season for us, but I honestly believe it will stand us in good stead for next year. Weve got a good youth development policy here and the young players coming through have done brilliantly this season.
The likes of Steve Davies, Steve Jennings, Danny Harrison, Carl Tremarco and Calvin Zola have all got valuable experience under their belts and that can only help us next term.
Some people might wonder if I felt I had made the wrong move last summer, but there is no chance of that. I needed a change of scenery because last year at Stoke I played a lot of the time in midfield rather than in my favoured striking role.
I got my move there by scoring goals and it was important I got back to that. Ive scored 18 goals already this season and its great to have been back playing week-in, week-out.
Everyone at the club has welcomed me with open arms. It is a family environment and its really good to be here. That is helping me relax on the pitch and score one or two goals along the way.
Added to that, I cant speak highly enough about our manager, Brian Little. Hes given me the chance to show what I can do and, as a former striker himself, gives you advice about how you can improve your game.
He will take the strikers to one side in training and give us tips on little runs we can make, how we can get in front of a defender and get hold of the ball.
He's played and managed at the top level and you would have to be a fool not to listen to his advice.
Before we start looking ahead to next season and planning a promotion challenge, we need to make sure we are in League One next season! Although we are in mid-table at the moment, we are only five points off the relegation zone and need a few more points to guarantee safety. The sooner we can get those points in the bag and dont have to look over our shoulder the better.
I signed a two-year deal last summer, so next season is going to be a big one for me and the club. I want to be here for the long haul and stay at Tranmere as long they want me.
The Championship is where I want to play and the club is structured for that, so hopefully we can push for that next year.
We have a great squad of players at Tranmere and everyones got something to say for themselves.
We've got players like Jason McAteer and Ian Goodison who have played in World Cups and young lads with Scouse humour. Its a great environment and it makes the club a really warm place.
One or two people have asked me if I feel like an honorary Scouser now, but I'm a Yorkshireman and thats where my roots are. This could, however, be my second home.
Touch wood, Im feeling quite good considering were coming to the end of a long, hard season.
I might not say the same thing after weve played two games in three days over Easter, but I dont feel as tired as I thought I would at this stage of the campaign.
I dont really want the season to end, though I am looking forward to a good holiday in the summer. My wife Lynsey works as an air hostess and we get big discounts on flights thats why I married her! We are going to head off to the Maldives for a couple of weeks and Im looking forward to doing nothing.
I spent three years at Stoke before moving to Tranmere and I just wish I could have shown the supporters what I could really do. When I moved there I had a bad ankle injury and missed the first few months, and that seemed to set the tone for my time there.
As I got fit, the manager who had brought me in, Steve Cotterill, left for Sunderland and later I suffered a few injuries, including a serious one to my knee.
Aside from the injuries, I wouldnt change my time at Stoke. It was great to play in the Championship at the big grounds like Sunderland and West Ham, and Ive got some great memories.