Morecambe's fixture list emphasises how far the club has come

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Morecambe co-chairman Rod Taylor admits it’s hard to believe some of the teams whom the Shrimps will be playing over the course of the new season.

The campaign gets underway a week on Saturday, August 7, 68 days on from Morecambe’s promotion play-off final victory against Newport County AFC at Wembley.

It saw the club reach League One for the first time with Morecambe now getting ready to face a number of former Premier League sides as equals.

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First up for the Shrimps is a trip to one of those former top flight clubs in Ipswich Town, a team whom Morecambe played twice in three FA Cup campaigns earlier in the millennium.

Morecambe are preparing for life in League One after last season's promotionMorecambe are preparing for life in League One after last season's promotion
Morecambe are preparing for life in League One after last season's promotion
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Ipswich are considered one of the promotion favourites this season and, according to Taylor, it shows how far the Shrimps have progressed that they go there as teams in the same division.

“There’s a clip on YouTube of us playing Kettering Town away in 1997!” he said.

“There are some very attractive fixtures that we’ve got coming up this season.

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“I looked at the fixture list when it came out and couldn’t believe it.

“Going to Portman Road as equals in the same division, it’s a little bit hard to comprehend.

“When we first played them in the FA Cup in 2001, I think they were third in the Premier League – and you think that we’re playing them now, as equals. It’s an incredible journey and an incredible story.”

Kick-off at Portman Road comes fewer than 10 weeks on from Morecambe’s big day at the national stadium.

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Play-off involvement meant they would be playing catch-up on everyone else anyway, but it has been an especially busy summer for everyone associated with the club.

Three days after winning at Wembley, they lost their manager with Derek Adams joining Bradford City but gained another with Stephen Robinson swiftly taking the helm.

Fourteen players left the Mazuma Stadium with another 14 coming in, Ben Sadler has started work as general manager and a new initiative has seen more than 1,500 season tickets sold.

That all comes against the backdrop of the club trying to plan for the safe return of all supporters on the roadmap out of lockdown.

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“It’s been frantic but everyone is pulling together,” Taylor said.

“Ben has started really well. He’s got good experience and has taken to it like a duck to water.

“We’re working hard on the commercial and hospitality sides, and Toby (Greenwood) is really busy in his role as the stadium manager.

“Stephen works at 300mph anyway so it’s been a non-stop time for us – but it’s been a good non-stop and we’re all looking forward to the new season.”

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