Craig Priest’s Mansfield Town blog: Hard work, belief and solid foundations prove the key to success

Stags V Wrexham
Stags V Wrexham

I still can’t quite believe that my beloved Mansfield Town are a Football League club again. Saturday’s scenes will live with me forever as Matt Green’s 27th goal of the season effectively fired us back to the promised land.

It has been a tremendous journey to follow and I’m itching for League Two action, no more FA Trophy, no more FA Cup fourth qualifying round and no more visits to crumbling grounds!

The question always asked after promotion from the Conference is about promotion from League Two.

You look at the likes of Stevenage and Crawley who have climbed the ladder and are now held in regard as a stable League One club and you’d hope that Stags will follow in their footsteps.

Last season’s promoted duo of Fleetwood and York have found it difficult to adapt to league life, Fleetwood were backed to go straight up with the money they have, but have finished short of the play-off’s whilst York, who beat us in the semi-final on the way to promotion, are still not safe from relegation with a game to go.

League Two is tougher now than when we departed in 2008, I don’t want to look at what could happen yet, I just want to enjoy the party! Thanks to John Radford and Paul Cox we are no longer a side with hate and dark clouds hanging over us, we are a friendly, family club with so much love running through its veins.

Paul Cox said to the press upon being appointed boss that success is built on strong foundations, he has helped put those foundations in place and will undoubtedly keep them there for a long time to come.

Within 703 days of his appointment, he delivered the goods – I’ve a feeling that those scenes of Murray holding the trophy aloft will be a mere start of what’s to come.

John Radford deserves huge credit for sticking with the former Eastwood boss during that turbulent spell of the season when we couldn’t by a win away and weren’t much better at home! He, along with the core, kept believing and now we have been rewarded.

So yeah, we didn’t smash the league, but we did something more spectacular in breaking club records and proving that hard work, desire and fight, brings success in the end – the final lesson of the BSBP, keep believing, even when it’s so dark you can’t see the path to take.

Thank-you for all your wonderful comments over the season about this column, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Have a good summer and hopefully I’ll see you next season as our league journey begins once again.

For now though, remember these words: MANSFIELD TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB ARE CHAMPIONS AGAIN!