After the historic 4-0 victory on Wednesday we caught up with some of the players and management team to get their reactions and reflections on a first season that has surpassed all expectations.
Player Coach Darren Lyons described Wednesday night as: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Absolutely brilliant. There were all the nerves and expectation beforehand, but when that first goal went in it settled things downÃ¢â‚¬Â.
And settle down they did. The 4-0 scoreline was a fair reflection of the game but the biggest result was the promotion to the North West Counties top flight.
So how did the lads feel after gaining promotion in the club’s inaugural season? Well Adie Orr and Player Coach Darren Lyons had obviously been reading their ‘big book of footballing clichés’ as the delighted pair both said they were ‘over the moon’.
Will Ahern was a little more specific: Ã¢â‚¬Å“It’s what we’ve all aimed for from the start. Our goal was always to get promoted.Ã¢â‚¬Â
It fell to Manager Karl Marginson to sum up the feelings of supporters and team alike. He said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I wish the season could go on forever. It’s been absolutely brilliant. You can’t wait for the next game, the whole week is based around Saturday or midweek.Ã¢â‚¬Â
No arguing with that from the hordes of fans who have followed the team over the course of the season and fans’ favourite Steve Torpey gave us an insight into how the players feel about those fans.
He said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“The crowd were fantastic. Their cheering and support keeps us going and everything we do, we do it for the fans because it’s a fans club.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Torpey is not the only one who takes inspiration from the crowd, Rory Patterson describes his favourite moment of the season as that when he was christened Mr Mystery. He said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“The first time I was waiting to come on as a substitute and hearing the fans singing ‘The man with no name’, it was just unbelievable.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The highlight of Will Ahern’s season was along the same theme but in a different venue: Ã¢â‚¬Å“It’s got to be Blackpool Away. I just remember being stood outside a nightclub at two in the morning and hearing FC fans singing!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Reminiscing further Adie Orr recalls the pre-season feelings at the club: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Like everyone else we didn’t know how big it was going to be. This is beyond everyone’s expectations and we’re enjoying every minute of it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Steve Torpey agrees: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I don’t think we ever knew what it would be like. The first game at Leigh was a surprise for everybody and it’s just been getting better and better at each game.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Darren Lyons admits he didn’t envisage the level of support and achievement that the club have attained this year. He said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“No I didn’t think it would be like this to be honest. It has absolutely exceeded all expectations.Ã¢â‚¬Â
With the mood in the camp so buoyant thoughts started to turn to next year and the possibility of another promotion push. Margy is eager to crack on, he said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our target is promotion but to be honest I want us to win everything we enter, I didn’t even want to draw any this season! But only time will tell if that’s achievable. The management team will be putting in 100% and passing that on to the players.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The players also are confident of continued success next season, although Torpey wheeled out a classic when quizzed on whether he’s thinking about next year already: Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, not really, we’ll just take every game as it comes, but we’ll set out to do the same next year and I don’t see any reason why we can’t do it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ahern expects a tougher challenge next year: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I know a few lads that play in the league above and the teams are a lot stronger, but with the quality we have we want to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.Ã¢â‚¬Â
But for now though, there’s an important task at hand and Darren Lyons will not be totally satisfied until that is taken care of: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We just want to win three more games and be champions. Me, Phil and Karl are a bit greedy like that.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Hopefully this ‘greedy’ attitude will continue into next season and beyond.