TRANMERE Rovers kick off their League Two campaign this afternoon with an away game against Stevenage Borough.

Looking forward to the new season in an interview on the club's website, Rovers manager Micky Mellon said: "It's been a long time coming, we’re just glad now to get going with what should be an exciting league programme.

"We have been improving now for a few seasons and now we need to continue that improvement and not take our foot off the gas.

"Our focus is the next game and getting results because that is how we will move the club forward".

Assessing his side, he continued: "We’ve got some talented players who I’m excited to see flourish next season in League Two.

"Their motivation levels to do well are very high which is good for me to see as the Manager."

Mellon has signed nine players over the summer, including Cole Stockton, who returned to Prenton Park from Carlisle United after signing a one year contract this week and will be in the squad for this afternoon's clash with Stevenage.

Stockton progressed through the youth system at Rovers and went on to make 97 appearances between 2011 and 2017. He made his first start and scored his first goal for the club in 2012 against Chesterfield in the League Cup.

Stockton's most memorable season at Rovers came in 2016/17. His form towards the end of that season was impressive, notching a first half hat-trick against Solihull and then scoring three goals over the two play off semi-final legs against Aldershot Town.

This run of form earned him a move to SPL side Hearts of Midlothian where he made 12 appearances. He made the move back across the border last season, moving to Carlisle United in League Two.

Micky Mellon said: "We're delighted to bring Cole back to the club.

"We were disappointed to lose him last year so when we had the chance to bring him back, we felt it was what we wanted to do,

"The fans know all about him, he's a powerful striker and he showed us that last time he was here"

On his return to Rovers, Cole said: "It felt like I’ve never been away. Stepping through the door just felt right straight away.

“As soon as Tranmere wanted me back it was a no brainer.

“Micky has tested me, believed in me and made me feel comfortable.

“We’re still not where we should be, we should be in the league above in my eyes and that’s where we are all looking to get back to.

"It’s not going to be easy, it’s not an easy league but as long as we stick at it, we’ll be fine.

“The first games are always important. We’ve just got to keep strong as a team and no doubt we’ll score some goals.

“I feel we’re a lot stronger as group compared to last time in League Two and I’m happy for the fans that we’re on our way back to where we should be”.

Praising the fans ahead of today's game, Micky Mellon said: “I’m not surprised that we’ll have a big following and that’s great credit to the supporters.

"That is just the way it is here, they get right behind the team and turn up in massive numbers and we’re just grateful that they follow us."

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