Warrington Town right-back Dec Walker was full of emotion after helping his hometown club secure their place in the National League North next season.
The Yellows secured promotion from the Northern Premier League with a 1-0 win over Bamber Bridge in last Monday’s play-off final at Cantilever Park.
Walker signed for the club from local rivals Rylands in September, having achieved promotion to the Northern Premier League with the Blues during the previous campaign.
Walker says he does not want to stop dreaming after helping guide the Yellows to their highest-ever position in the English football pyramid.
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“To be a local lad and do this – it’s emotional,” he told the Warrington Guardian.
“It was great doing it with Rylands last year and I loved my time there, but this is just different. We want to keep dreaming and keep pushing.
“I’ve played a long way away from home in my career, but coming back here and seeing how the fans have got behind the club is just so special.
“I’d been getting messages constantly throughout the week off people asking for tickets – it’s incredible to see this place sold out.
“People can sometimes forget how big a town we are – we need to have a club at this kind of level.
“You’ve got to give credit to Rylands as well – I think them coming up gave us that extra push.
“It’s great we’ve got two clubs at such a good level – we’ve obviously kicked on again now and I can’t wait for next year.”
The Yellows did not have it all their own way in the play-off final, having been reduced to 10 men with 10 minutes remaining after captain Josh Amis was sent off following an off-the-ball incident.
Despite the setback, Mark Beesley’s side went on to find a winner through Isaac Buckley-Ricketts in the final minute of regular time.
Despite Bamber Bridge having a man advantage, Walker admits he was still confident that the team could get the result.
“To be honest, even with 10 men I had full faith in us keeping a clean sheet,” he said.
“I looked around the team and I thought, ‘they’re not scoring’. If we kept that back door shut, we had faith we’d get a chance and it came.
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“With the people we had on the bench, there’s players on there that could change the game if we were still in it. Fortunately for us, Isaac came on and made the difference.
“For the last three or four years, the club’s lost in play-offs and it’s tough to take.
“In my career I’ve lost four play-offs and this is my first win, so to be on the right end of it is unbelievable.”
Featured photo credit: Sean Walsh