Pilley on top of the world with Fleetwood

Andy Pilley
Andy Pilley

Andy Pilley has described Fleetwood’s Wembley win as the best feeling in the world.

The Cod Army secured their sixth promotion in just 10 seasons with a dramatic 1-0 play-off final victory over Burton on Monday.

Antoni Sarcevic’s second half strike fired them into League One, just one division below Fylde coast neighbours Blackpool.

And after lifting the trophy in front of 6,000 Town fans at Wembley, chairman Pilley couldn’t hide his excitement.

“It’s up there with the greatest days in my life,” he told The Gazette.

“Whenever you get promotion, whether it’s from the North West Counties, Unibond or League Two they are all special.

“But to be holding the trophy aloft at Wembley in front of our supporters, well it doesn’t really get much better than that. It’s as good as it gets. This is incredible, we are absolutely elated and everyone involved with the club is over the moon.

“There’s no doubt I’ll remember this day for the rest of my life. To be there holding the trophy aloft in front of who I consider to be my people was the best feeling in the world.”

Graham Alexander’s side were forced into the play-offs after finishing fourth in the League Two table.

After a 1-0 aggregate win over two legs against York, they faced Gary Rowett’s Burton at the national stadium.

A route Pilley is now delighted his club took.

He said: “It really is the best way to go up. The mini-tournament which is the play-offs isn’t good for the blood pressure at all but it’s fantastic.

“We managed not to concede a goal right through the play-offs and if you keep clean sheets you don’t get beat.

“So every credit to Graham Alexander and Chris Lucketti because they’ve set us up very well.

“When the referee blew to start the game I think I was kicking every single ball.

“Every pass which went slightly astray or when a decision went against us I found myself reacting.

“I was desperately willing the ball into their net.”

Pilley, who celebrated his 44th birthday at the game, ended up joining in the celebrations on the Wembley pitch.

Something he says he’s pleased he was talked into.

“I’m not particularly egotistical and had to be persuaded to go on the pitch at the end, but I’m glad I did,” he revealed.

“There’s been a lot of money and hard work gone into this.

“Now the whole nation, and the whole world know who Fleetwood Town are. It’s been a magical journey.”

While there’s a week of celebrations planned this week, finishing with an open top bus parade on Saturday, Pilley is already looking ahead to next season.

He said: “We wouldn’t be human if we weren’t already looking at the sort of clubs who are coming to Highbury next season.

“Some monsters of football clubs will be coming to face us now.

“We are going to have to work smart and be clever, but we’ll give it a right good go.

“We have a fantastic manager, a great set of supporters and a great set of players.

“We’ll enjoy this now, but then we’ll take stock and start planning for League One.”