ROUSLERS boss Brendan Kelly said there is still “more to do” going forward, after Bromsgrove Sporting earned promotion to the Southern Premier League Central with an emphatic 4-3 win in extra-time over Corby Town, in Monday’s play-off final.
Just under 3,000 fans packed into the Victoria Ground to witness Sporting’s second play-off tie in a week, with both matches being decided in the additional 30 minutes of play.
Kieran Westwood proved the hero on Monday, as his stunning solo goal promoted the Rouslers to step three of the non-league pyramid, and sealed a third successive promotion.
Kelly has now overseen the last two promotions, having been assistant manager to Paul Smith prior to taking over the Victoria Ground hot seat in March 2018, and has now topped his MFL Premier Division title success with a promotion from step four at the first time of asking.
He revealed to The Standard the immense sense of emotion that he felt after the 120 minutes of play.
“It was a huge relief, going 3-1 up and missing two penalties gave Corby plenty of incentive to keep going.
“We deserved the win, we came out bright and had 18 shots on target during the game – but at full-time you’re feeling real relief and emotion.
“Over the course of the season, we’ve deserved to earn promotion.”
Having stepped out onto the pitch for the Rouslers back in his playing days – with the club operating at a lower level compared to now, he admits achieving promotion in his first full season as a manager ranks highly in his career in the game.
“It’s right up there, I’m still a rookie as a manager, but I always put lots of thought and time into management.
“Early doors when we came in, we created a DNA, a way of playing, and we stuck to it.
“We did it the hard way, to win in extra-time twice in a week is an amazing achievement.”
He gave his thanks to the Rouslers fans and the support that he and his side have received from the town since winning promotion.
“It’s been overwhelming, receiving all the messages of congratulations from fans, from the football community from managers up and down the country – but now we can finally enjoy it.”
With the club now set to host their end-of-season awards evening at the Hilton hotel in Bromsgrove, before heading out to Mallorca for an end-of-season trip, Kelly said the celebrations have been well earned by his side.
“The players had a few, but not that many with some of them being back at work the next day – but there were rumours going around that Nathan Hayward slept in the Shed End!
“Just the whole day with the supporters and the game itself – it was pure elation.”
Looking ahead to next season, the Bromsgrove manager believes it’s too early to discuss targets, but points to the example of Alvechurch as an example of what can be achieved with good backing from all involved with the club.
“You look at what Alvechurch have done, not to say that we can achieve what they have this season, but with the backing that we’ve had and the support behind us – we’re looking forward to it.
“We’ll see what squad we have together first, the players return in early July, but for myself, the planning starts again in a couple of weeks.
“We’ve got the friendlies booked already, and we’ll look at the squad and who we can bring in – but you never really get a break as a manager.
“We’ll enjoy our end of season bash and Mallorca after that – but there is more to do.”