From the Conference to the Championship? A look back at a decade of success for Fleetwood Town
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Fleetwood Town have come up through the lower levels of English Football since they were originally formed in 1908, despite spending much of their time outside of the football league, they are now in with a shout of earning themselves EFL Championship football for the first time in their history.

It certainly hasn't been easy for the Cod Army, during their rise up the divisions, the club have folded twice, both after the 1975/76 season and once more after the 1995/96 season. 

Now in a much better and stable situation, VAVEL takes a look back at the last 10 years in what has been an astronomical climb towards the Championship.

2009/10: Promotion to the Conference Premier

This time a decade ago, Fleetwood were nearly at the end of their second season in the Conference North, after three promotions in five seasons prior to that. 

After Farsley Celtic were unable to fulfil their fixtures, points gained from matches against them were taken away, this meant that Southport finished one point ahead of Fleetwood to secure first place and automatic promotion, whilst also cancelling out a halfway line strike from Jamie Milligan against Farsley from the record books. 

Town did finish second and therefore secured a play-off spot, they went on to beat Droylsden and then Alfreton Town in the final.

2011/12: Promotion to League Two

In their second season in the Conference Premier, the club made history by gaining promotion to the Football League for the first time ever.

The 2011/12 season began with just two wins in their first six games, but by the end of the campaign, striker Jamie Vardy, who signed from FC Halifax, scored 31 league goals and Fleetwood won the title with a club record 103 points.

In the same season the club also reached the third round of the FA Cup for the first time, Vardy was on the scoresheet in a 5-1 defeat to Blackpool.

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He was then signed by Leicester at the end of the season, where he has gone on to score over 100 goals for the club and has represented his country at the highest level.

2013/14: Promotion to League One

The Cod Army had a good first season in League Two, finishing in 13th position with Jon Parkin and Junior Brown getting 10 goals each to help them finish the campaign with 60 points.

Graham Alexander was appointed as the new manager part way through that season.

The following season was even better, with the club achieving yet another promotion and earning their place in League One for the first time in their history. 

Fleetwood finished in fourth position in the league with 76 points, Antoni Sarcevic was their leading scorer this time with 13 league goals.

They beat York City 1-0 over two legs in the  play-off semi-finals before Sarcevic secured promotion at Wembley as they saw off Gary Rowett's Burton Albion in another 1-0 victory.

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2016/17: League One play-off defeat

In their third season in League One, Fleetwood finished fourth and just four points off an automatic promotion place in a brilliant season.

This time though, they tasted defeat in the play-offs.

Under Uwe Rosler, they were beaten in the play-off semi-finals after a 1-0 away defeat to Bradford City, before a stalemate at Highbury.

Bradford then went on to lose 1-0 to eventual winners Millwall in the final at Wembley, with Fleetwood unable to take the opportunity of promotion to the Championship for what would have been the first time in the clubs history.

2019/20: Fighting for promotion to the Championship

At this moment in time, Fleetwood have nine games to go in the current League One season, although due to the coronavirus outbreak, it is currently not known if or when this campaign will resume.

If the remainder of the season does  go ahead, Joey Barton and his team are in a very good position, as they sit in fifth place in the table and are just two points off an automatic promotion spot.

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They will be hoping to learn from what went wrong in the 2016/17 season and become yet another Fleetwood side that rewrites the history books of the club, this time by gaining promotion to the second highest division of English football - and you wouldn't bet against them.

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