Fleetwood Town coach has fond memories of his Blackpool career

Stephen Crainey
Stephen Crainey

Fleetwood Town coach Stephen Crainey says his best playing days were along the coast at Blackpool.

The 37-year-old Glaswegian started his career at Celtic in 1997 but it is his six years at Blackpool that were the most memorable of his 19-year playing career.

Crainey was part of the 2009-10 Seasiders team that gained promotion to the Premier League.

That season also brought promotion for Town as Micky Mellon guided them to promotion from the Conference North into the Conference.

Eight years later, two promotions for Fleetwood as well as three relegations and one promotion for Blackpool means they will meet once again in the third tier of English football.

Crainey left Blackpool and had spells at Wigan Athletic, Fleetwood and AFC Fylde before joining the backroom staff at Town.

He said: “I’m not going to lie; I was a Celtic fan as a kid and I ended up playing for Celtic which was a dream come true for me.

“The best playing days of my career were definitely at Blackpool.

“I spent six years there, five in the Championship and one in the Premier League.

“For the club to get to the Premier League at that point – it was not even spoken about – but the boys that we had in that changing room, we knew we had a good side.

“We went on to prove a lot of people wrong; a really good players, really good bunch of lads, and it was just a great time overall.

“I really enjoyed my time at the club.

“Football is a crazy old game as we all know.

“Blackpool have dropped down a division or two and Fleetwood have had remarkable progress over the last 10 or 12 years.

“I think it is great for the area that both teams are playing against each other and it will be an exciting game.”

However, though he is fond of his Blackpool memories there is – understandably – only one team that Crainey wants to claim three points on Saturday.

He said: “Everybody knows I spent six years at Blackpool and I played at Fleetwood for a year.

“I enjoyed both clubs to be honest. I had a lot of success at Blackpool and got to the Premier League.

“Then I had a year under Graham Alexander at Fleetwood.

“Derby games are the games you want to play football in.

“I’m sure both teams will be showing that hunger and desire to go and win the match.

“I’m working at Fleetwood now so I’m hoping Fleetwood can get the three points.”