As we continue to look ahead to the 2021/22 SkyBet Championship season, we get to know the League One Play-Off winners, Blackpool…
Stadium: Bloomfield Road
Year Formed: 1887
Nickname: The Seasiders
Most League Appearances: Jimmy Armfield, 568
Most League Goals: Jimmy Hampson, 245
Record win: 10-0 vs Lanerossi Vicenza, 10th June 1972
Record defeat: 1-10 vs Huddersfield Town, 13th December 1930
Last Five Years
2020/21: 3rd in League One – 80 points
2019/20: 13th in League One – 45 points
2018/19: 10th in League One – 62 points
2017/18: 12th in League One – 60 points
2016/17: 7th in League Two – 70 points
Manager – Neil Critchley:
It has been the perfect of seasons for Neil Critchley in what was his debut season as a first team manager.
Making a handful of appearances with Crewe Alexandra and Leigh RMI as a player, it was in coaching and in particular with Liverpool where Critchley made a name for himself.
He took over as the Under-18s Head Coach in 2013, before being moved into the Under-23s role in 2017.
Critchley also took charge of the Liverpool first team on two separate occasions, with the squad representing the club, his Under-23s side.
Liverpool were away in the FIFA Club World Cup, so Critchley took charge of the Reds defeat to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup and then again, when Liverpool were on a mid-season break, Critchley took charge of a 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup.
Following that victory, Critchley was appointed as Blackpool’s Head Coach in March of 2020, however due to the breakout of Covid 19 and the curtailment of the League One season, it wasn’t until September 2020 when Critchley would take charge of a game.
Critchley would lead Blackpool to a 3rd placed finish in League One and ultimately secure promotion after beating Lincoln City 2-1 in the Play-Off final.
Critchley’s rebuild of the Blackpool squad during the summer is what ultimately saw the Seasiders return to the Championship.
Striker Jerry Yates joined from Rotherham United and proved to be a coup, scoring 23 goals in all competitions, 20 in League One which helped fire Blackpool up the table.
At the other end of the pitch, the signings of Luke Garbutt, Demetri Mitchell, Jordan Gabriel and Daniel Bollard proved to be key in helping to keep the goals out, alongside club captain and Goalkeeper, Chris Maxwell.
Play-off final hero, Kenny Dougall scored twice against Lincoln to ultimately win the game for the Seasiders and earn their promotion from League One.
One man who currently represents the Tangerines is former Sky Blues striker, Gary Madine.
Madine enjoyed two loan spells with the Sky Blues, one in 2009 when he joined from Carlisle United and then a second in 2014, when he joined on loan from Sheffield Wednesday.
In total, Madine made 31 appearances for City, scoring four goals across his two loan spells with the Sky Blues.
The 30-year-old is currently into his second spell with Blackpool, linking-up with the Tangerines in 2019, having previously been with the club in 2015.
Madine scored eight goals last season to help Blackpool return to the Championship, adding to the five other goals he scored in his 50 appearances with the club.
Coventry City vs Blackpool Head-to-Head
Last Time We Met
Coventry City 3 – 2 Blackpool – League One, 7th September 2019
We last met the Seasiders at home in our League One winning campaign two seasons ago in a thriller that saw the Sky Blues score a last-minute winner having been trailing two-nil earlier in the game.
The Seasiders got off to a bright start with Sulley Kaikai opening the scoring in the 1st minute of the match.
He then doubled proceedings in the 38th minute a goal that also sparked the Sky Blues into life, with Matty Gooden latching on to the end of a McFadzean ball minutes later to fire home making it two-one. A Wesley Jobello rocket from close range in added time levelled the proceedings going into half-time.
The Sky Blues dominated the second half and were rewarded when Callum O’Hare came off the bench to smash in a 91st minute winner on the back of good build up play.
Team: Marko Marosi (GK), Fankaty Dabo, Kyle McFadzean (C), Michael Rose (Hyam 90’), Sam McCallum, Liam Walsh, Jordan Shipley, Zain Westbrooke (O’Hare 73’), Wesley Jobello (Kastaneer 90’), Jordy Hiwula, Matty Godden.
Subs: Ben Wilson (GK), Tennai Watson, Jamie Allen, Amadou Bakayoko.
Winning promotion to the Premier League in 2010 meant that Blackpool were the first club to gain promotion from every division of the Football League through the play-off system, winning the: 2001 Third Division play-offs, 2007 League One play-offs and the 2010 Championship play-offs.