A First Anniversary Message
On 4th January 2017, Deadly Submarine was launched. Did we pick the right time to start our journey or what? Just weeks after we introduced ourselves, Rovers found themselves locked in battles for not one, but two trophies as the 2016-17 season drew to its conclusion.
In the FA Trophy, Tranmere progressed right through to the semi-finals before bowing out to Macclesfield Town. It was in the league, however, that Rovers made both history and memories that will last a lifetime.
Going head-to-head with eventual 2016-17 National League champions Lincoln City, Tranmere did all they could in pursuit of the National League summit. A 2-3 comeback win at rivals Chester, an astonishing 9-0 home victory over Solihull Moors and an eventual points tally of 95, a Club record, gave the SWA plenty of enjoyment.
With the disappointment of a close-run title defeat still fresh in their minds, Rovers quickly turned to the lottery of the play-offs for their first post-season appearance since 2005. And again, they surprised everyone with a stunning 0-3 away victory at Aldershot Town that set the course for a 5-2 aggregate victory in the play-off semi-finals.
And then came Wembley. Over 12,000 members of the SWA travelled to the English national stadium as Tranmere pitted their wits against Forest Green Rovers. Although the result was disappointing, if not devastating in the short-term, it was still a pleasure to experience that day out at Wembley, for both myself and those members of the SWA for whom it was a maiden voyage to the capital.
The summer saw the heartbreak subside somewhat, but an eventful summer of off-field activities and a, frankly, shambolic start to the 2017-18 season saw Rovers tripping over their own bootlaces in their bid to live up to their pre-season billing as title favourites.
The emergence of young prospects such as Eddie Clarke and the arrival of the effervescent Dylan Mottley-Henry and the classy patrician Ollie Banks breathed new life into the Tranmere side as they have gone about the task of recovering from their earlier deficiencies.
And then, with 2018 mere hours old, Tranmere were humiliated 5-2 away at an AFC Fylde side they had beaten 4-1 at Prenton Park just 7 days prior, highlighting their capacity to spring shocks, both welcome and unwelcome alike.
Indeed, the past 12 months have been an adventure. There have been highs and lows in almost equal measure and the same can be said of this site. The site I published in January 2017 bore little resemblance to the site you see today, as my own limited talents for coding and design have (at least in my own humble opinion) developed from rank amateur to slightly-improved rank amateur.
Without question, the driving force behind the improvements in the site has been you, the visitors and readers of Deadly Submarine. You've communicated with us in a way that I never envisaged when the site was launched. And it is your feedback, both positive and negative, that has pushed me to deliver the best experience I can for the site's visitors, because it's quite frankly what each and every one of you deserve.
I cannot tell you how much your support for this venture has been invaluable and is appreciated. I won't name them in case they don't wish to be identified, but those people who supported the site in its infancy, who were amongst the first dozen or so people to loyally follow us across various social media platforms, strengthened my resolve to get our message to as many people as possible.
And you've responded. I'm not for a second claiming we've built a media conglomerate within 12 months — I fully aware of what the site is and who we are. We are, just like Tranmere, an entity with much greater ambitions than where they currently find themselves. But please don't think for a second I don't appreciate the time you, as readers, have taken to support our content.
I'm fully aware that a lot of our pieces are quite lengthy, a deliberate decision to afford us a chance to give you as much detail and background information as is possible. I understand they take a fair amount of time to digest. And it is because of this that I am humbled whenever anyone takes the time to listen to our arguments.
So, to the visitors across the globe, from a plethora of countries and continents. To the social media followers. To the people who take time out of their day to see how the site is progressing. To the guest writers, both published and yet-to-be. In fact, to everyone and anyone who has given us a chance, even for just one second, I say this:
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a belated “Happy New Year”. Let's hope the next 12 months are even more successful, both for Deadly Submarine and, more importantly, Tranmere Rovers.
Matthew (Deadly Submarine Founder).