Saturday marks the start of a new era at Bloomfield Road, as Paul Ince presides over his first home game in charge of the Tangerines.
Inside this week’s Up The Pool, you’ll be able to hear from the new manager, his son Tom and the former Seasider who was Ince’s first signing as a manager.
Elsewhere, in our cover feature, we catch up with Pool’s Scottish left-back Stephen Crainey. It’s been another season of consistency for the defender, who may turn 32 in June, but has shown no signs of releasing his grip on his position in the Tangerines back-line.
“I’m enjoying my football and I want it to last for as long as it can. As long as I can stay fit hopefully I can keep playing and certainly at the moment I feel as fit as ever,” he said.
“My sole focus is on my game and trying to do as best as I can for Blackpool. I’m just concerned with playing football and keeping my place in the side, because I know how healthy the competition for places is at the club. I’ve really enjoyed my time since I’ve come in here and I want that to continue.”
One man who’ll need no introduction to the new boss is of course Blackpool’s talismanic winger Tom Ince. The father and son duo were reunited at Bloomfield Road earlier this week, after previously working together at Notts County.
“It’s a bit different because he’s coming to the club that I’ve been at,” says Ince. “I’ve been showing him the ropes and he’s already moved into my apartment. He’s enjoying it and it’s nice for him to be back on the training pitch.
“He’s hungry for the opportunity to do well and his record isn’t that bad. His stint at Blackburn has been a learning curve for him but before that he did well at Macclesfield and MK Dons. He’s got the right pedigree to come in and I’m sure the lads will enjoy things.”
Ince senior started his managerial career at Macclesfield Town in October 2006. Among his first signings at the Moss Rose were then Blackpool duo John Murphy and Simon Wiles. Now coach with Pool’s Centre of Excellence, Wiles says he’ll never forget the evening he first received the call from the former England captain.
“As soon as I heard him on the phone I was like ‘I’m definitely going there’. I knew he was taking Murphs [John Murphy] as well and so it was no brainer for me.
“His set up and everything that he did for Macclesfield was brilliant, you can easily see how he kept them in the league and then went on to get his move to the MK Dons. One thing that stuck out for me was his man management with the players, it was different class. He used to give you loads and loads of confidence and as players that’s what you want.”
Alongside all that, we catch up with former Leicester City and Blackpool winger Lee Philpott, Radio 1 DJ Danny Howard and we pit foreign stars Ludo Sylvestre and Angel against each other in our team-mates quiz.
You can pick up your copy of ‘Up The Pool’ for just £3 at various kiosks in and around Bloomfield Road on matchdays. If you have any feedback, suggestions, or pictures for our Seaside Snaps page, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.