Warrington Town midfielder Matty McDonald says himself and the rest of the squad are champing at the bit to test themselves in the National League North next season.
Promotion via the Northern Premier League play-offs means the Yellows will now embark on an exciting new chapter in the club’s history at Step 2.
McDonald agreed a new deal with the club, alongside the bulk of last year’s promotion-winning squad, and he admits there was no doubt in his mind about wanting to stay.
Reflecting on his journey at the club so far, McDonald said: “It was a bit of a shame last year [the 21/22 season] because I felt like I came in and was doing well.
LATEST NEWS: Pre-season schedule confirmed
“Obviously I got the injury then went to Bootle. I was lucky to get a lot of games there, they helped me a lot. I came back here for the new season, and I thought that I needed to give it my best go.
“I got lucky with Bees [manager Mark Beesley] – he’s been great with me, giving me a chance. It took a while to get that, but he trusted me and I got starts regularly. It was great, and now I want to push on and do the same this season.
“I said to Bees, I want to be playing as high as possible. The fact that we’ve gone up is brilliant. I wouldn’t want to be playing anywhere else, with the trust that the manager has got in me. You feel a bit more confident to play when you have that.
“When we went up, it was a no-brainer to stay and try to go again with Warrington. It feels like home.”
Isaac Buckley-Ricketts’ late winner against Bamber Bridge in the play-off final at a sold-out Cantilever Park means the Yellows will now face a number of household names next season.
McDonald says he is eager to play at some of the division’s bigger grounds but is excited to see the club’s home support grow too, with the Yellows hitting four-figure crowds on home soil on six occasions last season.
READ MORE: 2023 retained list
Looking ahead to the new campaign, he said: “The likes of Chorley, Chester, Scunthorpe is obviously the big one that everyone’s going on about.
“It’s going to be a good experience for myself, playing at bigger grounds. I’m looking forward to it.
“The crowds have grown year-on-year, and everyone wants to play in front of as big a crowd as possible. Hopefully we can do that again this year and get more fans behind us.
“We sold out the stadium for the play-off final, and hopefully we can replicate that for a few more games next year.”
Get kitted out in the latest Yellows merchandise by visiting our club shop!