Blackpool boss Bowyer reflects on a successful first season

Gary Bowyer led Blackpool to Wembley victory in his first season with the club
Gary Bowyer led Blackpool to Wembley victory in his first season with the club
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Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer reflected on a year in charge at Bloomfield Road by joking: “Is that all it is?!”

The former Blackburn Rovers manager has had a whirlwind 12 months after taking over from Neil McDonald.

He inherited a team that had just fallen to the fourth tier but, after a year of graft, Bowyer managed to engineer an immediate return to the third tier as his men secured a 2-1 play-off final win over Exeter City at Wembley.

A hectic summer has seen 12 players come in at Bloomfield Road ahead of the new League One season.

Offsetting that has been the departure of 11 players, the last of whom was Wembley goalscorer Brad Potts following the completion of his move to Barnsley on Thursday evening.

However, on the eve of today’s season-opening fixture at Bradford City, Bowyer maintains the interest shown by other clubs in his players is a credit to their development over the last year.

He said: “On a serious note it has been a great year for the club because of what we have managed to achieve.

“You sit back on holiday and reflect on what went on last season and to bounce straight back up was a massive credit to everybody involved.

“It was a wonderful experience winning at Wembley and to do that as a manager, leading your team out and win is a real special moment that will stay with us forever.

“That sort of eclipsed what a good year it was for us.

“We have developed the players which is important to me personally and the staff, that the players get better and improve.

“As a result of that you do attract interest but that is why we do the job because we want to make players better.

“I think we have certainly done that and put smiles back on the supporters faces.”

Bowyer is still to reveal who will skipper the Seasiders this season as they prepare to meet a Bantams side that is coming off last season’s play-off final loss against Millwall.

However, he did admit that midfielder Jimmy Ryan and striker Kyle Vassell, both of whom missed their final two pre-season friendlies, are ‘fine’ for this afternoon’s match.