Colchester United boss John McGreal is so keen to see his old club Tranmere back in the Football League
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
John McGreal will be cheering on Tranmere Rovers to win the National League play-off final, when his old club take on Forest Green Rovers at Wembley tomorrow (3pm).
The Colchester United boss, who enjoyed a good first season in senior management, with an eighth-placed finish in League Two, would love to see Tranmere playing at the same level next season.
Rovers finished as runners-up to champions Lincoln City in the National League table, just four points adrift of that one automatic promotion slot.
The Prenton Park club, who were relegated out of the Football League two years ago, now take on Forest Green Rovers, who finished third in the table, in a winner-takes-all clash.
“It would be great to see Tranmere come up,” insisted McGreal, who began his professional career as a player at the Birkenhead club.
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“I have nothing against Forest Green, but I’m a Tranmere boy and I’d love to see Tranmere Rovers get themselves back into the Football League.
“It is a huge club, to be in the National League, a huge club for that level.
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“They take over a 1,000 away fans to games wherever they go. They get 5,000 or 6,0000 at home, and if they’re doing well you can get your 7,000s and 8,000s quite easily as well.
“So they are quite similar to a Luton Town (relegated to non-league between 2009 and 2014) really, a Luton Town of the North.
“I know (Tranmere manager) Micky (Mellon) really well. I played with him and he’s been in touch this season.
“He’s another lad whom I got a lot of advice from throughout this season.”
Tranmere’s relegation in 2015 brought an end to a proud 94-year stay in the Football League.
Birkenhead-born McGreal came up through the youth team ranks at his home-town club and went on to play 195 league games for Rovers as a centre-half, between 1990 and 1999, and more than 200 in all competitions, before moving to Ipswich Town in a £650,000 deal.
McGreal helped Ipswich to win promotion to the Premier League in his first season, in 2000.
Forest Green, based in the Cotswolds, are bidding to clinch promotion to the Football League for the very first time.