While the fortune tellers on the Golden Mile may be predicting doom and gloom for Blackpool’s Premiership survival, Accrington-born Brett Ormerod is ignoring them writes Neil Barker.
The 33-year-old knows miracles do happen – just ask the former Hyndburn millworker who thought his dream of a top class football career was over before it had started when he was released by Blackburn Rovers as a youngster in 1995.
Instead he went to the Crown Ground, scored the goals which grabbed the league’s attention to get him a £50,000 move to Blackpool, moved upwards again and now lists Premiership appearances and an FA¿Cup final show with Southampton on his CV.
And it doesn’t end there as it was down-to-earth Ormerod’s goal at Wembley in May this year in a 3-2 win over Cardiff which added another twist to his own career and turned the Tangerine Dream of top flight football into reality.
And Ormerod, whose family still live in Rishton, is convinced the Seasiders will make fist of it in the big time.
He said: "Last season was just fantastic. We were written off this time last year so being given no chance doesn’t really bother us.
"We showed last season you can still be successful on a shoestring budget. We play with great spirit at Blackpool and at 33, I feel 10 years younger.
"I’m fresh, hungry and can’t wait to give it a go again. If I’m honest, I possibly thought I’d missed the chance to play Premiership football again but it just goes to show what you can achieve when you’re part of a fantastic team.
"We have a brilliant manager in Ian Holloway. He came in and totally raised the mindset of the club. He instilled belief, encouraged us to play and I’ve never known anyone as hardworking and as determined.
"He is incredibly honest. Some days you can come in and feel a bit down but he instantly lifts you with his enthusiasm, his vigour and his refreshing outlook.
"Everyone within the club has total respect for him, he’s so influential. Winning the play-off final at Wembley was one of the greatest days of my life.
"To be among the goals was extra special but we made it and we will now give it a real go.
"I’m looking forward to playing at Blackburn where I started my career. To go to places like Old Trafford and Eastlands is wonderful.
"The Arsenal game will also be special. I played at Highbury but have never played at the Emirates.
"Every game is going to have a special significance. Obviously we’ll have to adapt and we’ll have to work extremely hard but teams coming to Bloomfield will also have to adapt. The atmosphere at home will be fantastic.
"The town is buzzing. I may have lost a yard of pace but I still love my football and I can’t wait for the action to start. The whole thing has been quite surreal.
"Wembley was special and the prize of Premiership football is now here.
"I’ve had the good fortune to overcome a few serious injuries in my career and it’s a thrill to think another opportunity to be part of the Premiership awaits.
"I finished with 13 goals last season. I played up front, on the left and on the right. It was just great to be part of the success.
"We had some terrific performances, we worked hard and we’ll continue to enjoy our football.
"People can say what they like about us but we know what we’re capable of and the manager gives everything."
BLACKPOOL kick off their Premier League season at Ormerod’s old club Wigan tomorrow.