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Story posted: Tuesday, 19th May 1992

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Gresley Rovers were celebrating today after finally achieving their dream of promotion to the Beazer Midland Division.
The champagne corks popped at the Moat Ground as non-league soccer’s top brass stamped Gresley’s passport to the next rung of the football pyramid – at the third time of asking.

Jubilant chairman Peter Hall said: “Going to Wembley was great, but in terms of the effort put in by everyone this has got to be the club’s greatest moment.”

Hall and his fellow committee man had twice before suffered the anguish of being rejected by the Beazer League because the Moat Ground was not considered good enough.

But this time Beazer secretary Dennis Strudwick wrote in today’s letter of promotion confirmation: “I ant to be the first to wish you a long and happy association with our league and hope we provide you with an opportunity to make even further progress.”

Delighted club development officer Frank McArdle, who has masterminded Gresley’s promotion crusade, said: “That’s a real bonus. Dennis has recognised the potential of the club that in a year has gone from no hope to one with potential to further progress.”

Manager Steve Dolby promised Rovers’ fans that he will be trying to build a team capable of making a big impact.

He said: “We won’t be looking merely to survive. I’ll be aiming to finish in the top six at the first attempt.”

He acknowledged, however, that the team strengthening operation might be needed after two successive West Midlands League title successes.

Dolby explained: “The average age of the side has crept up and although the older players are the ones who got us where we now are, it is something we will have to look at.

“I probably need to bring in three or four new players, but everyone at the club will get a chance. I’m not in the business of making changes for changes sake.”

Dolby said that privately he was confident Gresley would finally make the step up. But he added: “I’m still feeling a great sense of relief that it’s official. It’s brilliant news.”

Gil Land, one of the club’s senior players, said: “From a players’ point of view it’s wonderful news because I don’t think we could have stood another season of West Midlands League football.

“We’ve won the title by 16 points and 14 points in successive seasons and we need a fresh challenge. I’m also pleased for the people who have done so much to get the ground right. There has never been any doubt in my mind that the will to progress has always been there – now we’ve got our just deserts.”

Chairman Hall and McArdle both acknowledge the efforts of the unsung heroes of Rovers’ big promotion push.

Hall said: “The committee, the ladies who work at the ground and the supporters who worked on the ground deserve a lot of credit. They have been absolutely brilliant.

McArdle added: “It is a fitting reward for the efforts of all those people who have put in so much time and effort at the ground.”

Evesham United, champions of the Influence Combination, will accompany Rovers into the Beazer Midland Division.

A formal announcement about other promotion and relegation issues is expected tomorrow.
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
10 Highgate United 29 -3 38
11 South Normanton Athletic 26 0 37
12 Worcester City 26 11 36
13 AFC Wulfunians 31 -6 36
14 Coventry Sphinx 25 -19 34
15 Tividale 23 -4 27
16 Haughmond 29 -29 26
17 Racing Club Warwick 24 -29 24
18 Lye Town 28 -31 18
19 Gresley 26 -22 16
20 Selston 25 -38 13

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