League 1 will be tough. There will likely be Sunderland, Ipswich, Charlton, Luton, maybe Portsmouth and Peterborough. Add to that a lot of teams that beat us when we were relegated but, there might be a more level playing field in terms of budgets this time around due to the current economic climate surrounding football. Clubs could well go out of business during the close season or even during the next season.
Well done Ryan Lowe, Shumacher, the squad, the loanees (in particular Palmer and Hardie) and Simon Hallet and his backroom team. It has been deserved (of course on points per game) but I'd like to congratulate all of them on turning this club around in such a very short space of time.
We ended a relegation season losing most of our best players, managerless and with a three sided ground. We ended a promotion season with a full squad of good players, a fantastic grandstand, a brilliant corporate infrastructure and with belief. All of this was complemented by a football mentality of playing the right way in a league renowned for physical football. I don't think I've seen a better style of play at Home Park since Shilton's side or Holloway's. I say Shilton as the Holloway side often resorted to long ball play. It was strange at first and there will always be the football luddites screaming to get it up there but Lowe kept at this and it did gel in the end once players realised what was expected of them.
It feels like a real community club now from the top to the bottom. Everything has been rebranded and it feels like a professional outfit.
I'd rather we had been promoted in front of a sell out Home Park crowd in the sunshine but alas, it was not to be.
Ryan Lowe, take a bow.