Josh Amis reflects on long-awaited promotion

Warrington Town captain Josh Amis admits promotion to the National League North has been a long time coming.

Amis first joined the Yellows in 2018 and has since helped them achieve a play-off berth in each of the three completed seasons since, scoring a total of 49 goals in 159 games during that time.

They also sat third in the Northern Premier League table at the time when the 2019/20 season was abandoned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amis tasted play-off success with Town once before in 2018/19, but they were forced to play a one-off ‘Super Play-Off’ against Kings Lynn Town, who won in extra-time to secure their place at Step 2 at the expense of the Yellows.

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Now the club can finally celebrate their rise to the league above, after Isaac Buckley-Ricketts’ late winner against Bamber bridge fired them to a place in the National League North for the first time in club history.

“I’ve been here for five years now, and we’ve been trying to get promotion every time. We’ve been there or thereabouts,” Amis said.

“To actually get over the line was good for the people around the club. They put a lot in, so it was nice for them as much as it was for the fans and the lads.”

Town’s promotion push was helped by Amis’ excellent run of form towards the end of the campaign.

The powerful forward scored eight goals in as many games, earning the club a home play-off semi-final and final in the process.

Amis has often been forced to compete for a starting spot alongside the fit-again Jordan Buckley and club-record signing Connor Woods, but the 28-year-old admits competition for places brings out the best in the squad.

“It was a good run for myself,” he admitted. “The season wasn’t the best for me in all honesty. Then I got a run of games, and when you’re scoring it’s hard for the manager to take you out.

“As a striker, [it’s great] when it’s in for you and you’re getting that rub of the green, it just sometimes happens.

“Jordan [Buckley] was banging them in the season before last, so it was the same for me sometimes [missing out on the starting XI] when we played one up top.

“We’re a team at the end of the day, and it’s good to have rivalry and push each other.”

In the play-off final, Amis was shown a straight red card for an altercation with Macauley Wilson 10 minutes from time – a dismissal which will now see him miss the opening four matches of the 2023/24 season.

Despite the Yellows captain feeling a sense of disappointment with that fact, the opportunity to compete at the level above is one he is relishing when his time comes.

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“It’s a new challenge. You’re going to stadiums which are a little bit better – the likes of Chester who get a good following, Scunthorpe who’ve come down into the league.

“You’ve got big teams in the league, so it’ll be a good challenge for us as a team to see where we’re at, competing at that level.”

On the make-up of the squad, he added: “It’s a great, tight group and we had 16 players for the majority of last season. It brings you closer together because we don’t change the team and sign other players as soon as someone doesn’t perform.

“Bees believes in the lads, and because we’ve been here together for a couple of seasons now, it brings you together.”

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