By Harley ThorneOver the next few weeks we will be taking a look at some of the sides that we will be taking on next season in SkyBet League One, today it's the turn of Millwall.
Name: Millwall FC
Nickname(s): The Lions
Stadium: The Den
Distance: 123 miles from Bristol.
Last season: 4th in League One.
Millwalls’ first spell in League One since the 2007-2008 season saw them battle for promotion, and that will no doubt be their target for the coming year.
A fourth placed finish last term saw them reach the play-off finals, but they fell to a bitter defeat at the hands of Barnsley in the final.
Their manager, Neil Harris, has had a mixed introduction to his management career. Playing over 350 games for The Lions in two separate spells between 1998 and 2011, he was appointed permanent manager in the summer of 2015 after several stints as caretaker manager.
It was in March 2015 that his current tenure began, originally as interim manager, although the team suffered relegation at the end of the season. Although mathematically safety was possible, it was an inevitable fate by the time he took the reigns – two wins and four draws in his nine games in charge unable to save them.
Regardless of relegation, the club showed faith in their loyal servant, appointing him as permanent manager less than 24 hours later.
It is worth mentioning that the man replaced by Harris was none other than Ian Holloway. A man who needs no introduction to Gasheads, Holloway played over 500 games for Rovers, including a period as captain and manager. It is probably fair to say that Millwall supporters look back on him less fondly than us, his record as Millwall manager does not make good reading – played 62, won 14, drew 19, and lost 29.
Millwalls danger man is undoubtedly striker Lee Gregory, who Rovers manager Darrell Clarke will no doubt be familiar with.
Signed in June 2014 from Conference side Halifax Town, Gregory scored 31 goals in the top flight of non-league football to make the Lions pounce. 25 goals in all competitions last season suggest it was money well spent, and although 9 goals in his debut season were not enough to save the team from relegation, he has certainly settled in to life at The Den now.
Last time The Gas faced Millwall, in the 2009-2010 League One season, each team took a win at their home grounds - Jeff Hughes and this season’s promotion hero Chris Lines scoring for Rovers in a 2-0 win at The Memorial Stadium.
The last time either team pulled off a league double was in the 2007-2008 season – Paul Trollope’s Rovers side winning 2-1 and 0-1 to claim the six points. That season, 6,991 Gasheads at The Mem saw Rickie Lambert and Lewis Haldane score the goals to pull off a dramatic late turn-around, whilst a last minute Craig Disley header won the away fixture. Dave Martin, who featured for The Gas in their promotion from the Vanarama National League two years ago, started both games for Millwall.
In Neil Harris’ second full season in charge, he’ll inevitably be looking to return the club to the Championship at the second attempt. And having suffered the heartbreak of losing a play-off final last term, they will be hoping to skip that lottery this time out.
Want to be part of the action? Then purchasing your 2016/17 Season Ticket couldn’t be easier
Personal callers are welcome at Pirate Leisure at The Memorial Stadium or at The Supporters Club Shop 199 Two Mile Hill Road Kingswood, BS15 1AZ.
Alternatively Season Tickets can also be purchased over the phone by calling Pirate Leisure on 0117 909 6648 - option 1 (during office hours) or ‘199’ on 0117 961 1772 (during office hours) or online at www.brfctickets.com
Ambulant Disabled, wheelchair users and carers should contact Clare McDonagh directly, either in person or over the phone, on 0117 952 4001.