DANNY HOLMES hopes he has done enough to convince Tranmere he doesn’t deserve to be discarded for a second time when the contracts for next season are handed out at Prenton Park.
The right-back, who lives little more than a mile down the road in Woodchurch, can’t forget that he was rejected after two seasons as a full-time professional with Rovers back in the summer of 2009.
Holmes said: “I feel I needed to prove I am good enough because I got released three years ago and people remember that. Coming back here was a bit difficult but I think I’ve proved I am good enough.
“Hopefully I will get the contract I want. I always believed I was good enough but three years ago Ronnie Moore did not think I was and I have had to prove it.”
Holmes was in part a victim of financial cutbacks at Prenton Park three years ago. Moore was under instructions to reduce squad numbers at the time, then he too was discarded as chairman Peter Johnson embarked on a brief and unsuccessful experiment by appointing John Barnes as manager.
Holmes, meanwhile, went off to rebuild his career in the Welsh Premier League with TNS.
He did well enough to earn a second chance with Tranmere on a one-year deal offered by Les Parry last summer.
Holmes admits he struggled initially to readjust his game to the demands of League One football. But after claiming a place in the side at the turn of the year, the 23-year-old has taken a firm grip on the right-back spot.
He said: “The beginning of the season did not go too well for me but since Christmas, things have gone really well and I could not be happier.
“I have always put in plenty of hard work but I had some luck around the time I got my chance in the first team at Christmas. Dave Raven got injured and then Michael Kay got injured. That gave me the opportunity I needed to take the right back spot and I have managed to hold on to it.”
Holmes added: “This is what I have wanted since I was seven years old. I am a Tranmere fan and I’ve been trying to get to this situation all my life. Now I’m here I don’t want it to end.”
Reports of interest from big clubs such as Celtic and Liverpool is an issue Holmes wants to keep to one side. “I’m not even thinking about that,” he said. “I am just trying to earn a contract here and hopefully I will get what I want.”
Holmes’ run of more than 20 consecutive games straddles the management regimes of Parry and Moore, who returned at the beginning of March and was this week confirmed as the boss for next season.
“Ronnie Moore has been great since he came in,” Holmes said. “He’s been positive, always emphasising that games are about us and what we do and not so much about the opposition.
“He’s been great with me because he could have chosen not to play me. He’s kept me in there.”
Holmes expects the issue of contracts involving 16 players in the current squad will not be resolved until after the final game of the season on May 5.
“I’m just waiting for the end of the season to see if I get a contract but first we want to get as many points as we can from the remaining games,” Holmes said.
“We’ve had a great run since Ronnie Moore came back and I think we can push an next season. We have some quality players like Andy Robinson and John Welsh, the nucleus of a good team.”