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Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Monday, 16 May 2011 15:53 UK

Ebbsfleet United delighted to bounce straight back up

Captain Paul Lorraine with the play-off cup (Keith Chase EUFC)
Captain Paul Lorraine wants to stay with the Fleet after their play-off win.

Ebbsfleet United boss Liam Daish has said winning promotion back to the Blue Square Bet Premier has erased the pain of being relegated last year.

The Fleet's 4-2 play-off final win at Farnborough meant they went straight back up at the first attempt.

Daish told BBC Radio Kent: "It rubs out that negative of last year, where I thought we were hard done by and went down by default.

"But we've come back doing it the hard way as nothing was plain sailing."

Two goals from Michael West and one from Ricky Shakes put the Fleet 3-0 up at Farnborough with four minutes to go.

But the home side hit back with two late goals and had a good chance to equalise, before Calum Willock got on the end of Gianoulous Fakinos' cross to seal promotion with a 4-2 win.

It means so much to me because at this level of football you put a lot of effort in and you don't get the financial rewards

Fleet skipper Paul Lorraine

Daish said: "Sometimes the hard way is the best way and it makes it feel a little bit more satisfying.

"I'm a little bit lost for words to be fair but it's a real achievement for the players.

"I'm very proud of them, they've been great all season. It's been a long season with a small squad but they've all dug in, they've all played their part and I'm really really proud of them.

"It's massive for the players themselves, for their development, because they're winners now. They know how to win and they know what it takes.

He added: "I heard a little story that at 3-0 someone went out to the car to get a case of champagne - a little bit of naivety there.

But I don't think anyone can say we didn't deserve that. We were first to everything - we scored four great goals. It got a but nervy at the end but we do it the hard way here and it does make it more satisfying."

Goalscorer Callum Willock added: "Words can't explain how I feel at the moment.

"It's just a great feeling to know that I've actually got a promotion in my career on my CV, it's there and can't be taken away from me.

"We deserve it - we've had a fantastic season and we've done it. The boys are buzzing and the management staff are just thrilled about it."

The Fleet's achievement was even more impressive given that Daish had to rebuild his squad from scratch at the beginning of the season, because his previous squad was all released following relegation.

Assistant boss Paul McCarthy paid tribute to that fact, saying: "It's fantastic, a real achievement for the club and players.

"It was a new team at the start of the season, not many of the lads had played together and it took a while to get into our stride.

"But particularly when we went away from home the belief and the confidence was phenomenal. Lots of the lads have grown up massively, especially the young boys."

Captain Paul Lorraine said: "It means so much to me because at this level of football you put a lot of effort in and you don't get the financial rewards.

"You're going training after work or university, it's quite difficult, but days like this make it worthwhile."

Ebbsfleet chairman Phil Sonsara has confirmed that their promotion will lead to a large increase in the club's budget.

He told BBC Radio Kent: "It will improve by a minimum of £80,000, probably £100,000.

"There will be an additional £25,000 - £30,000 for travel, hotels and things like that.

"I'll be honest - I think we can sneak the gate price up and I think we'll get advertising and sponsorship money."

All the players in the promotion winning side are currently out of contract, as is manager Liam Daish.

But Sonsara said it will be now be the club's priority to start negotiations for next season.



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see also
Farnborough 2-4 Ebbsfleet United
15 May 11 |  Non League
Daish determined to win promotion
13 May 11 |  Non League
Fleet cement play-off final spot
09 May 11 |  Non League


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