Derby boss Billy Davies looked forward to pitting his wits against the elite after his side beat West Brom in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.
Davies has led the Rams to promotion in his first season
Promotion to the Premiership is said to be worth £60m to the Rams but Davies was unconcerned with their windfall.
Davies insisted: "It's not about the money but the success of this club - we are delighted.
"The players deserve it - they showed great courage. Now all we can do is go and enjoy it and give it our best."
Davies said winning promotion in his first season with the club was "a dream come true" and paid tribute to the players.
He added: "They were magnificent and they deserve all they get. We just wanted to get the first goal - it was important.
"It is great credit to everyone. We were very organised and prepared all week."
A devastated West Brom manager Tony Mowbray felt his side did not get the rub of the green.
He said: "It is a cruel game sometimes. I thought we did OK, it was a decent performance but you don't always get what you deserve.
"It was a tight game. I thought we were the better side generally but they scored a goal and we didn't.
"Derby took the honours and good luck to them. I wish them all the best for next season. We have to get back to work.
"Chances come and go but it doesn't matter, we lost the game 1-0.
"There have not been many games in which we haven't scored. It was a tight game, we played some decent stuff but they got a goal on the break.
We were dead and buried a year ago
Derby chairman Peter Gadsby
"The goal was to get out of league and we haven't done that. We have to get ourselves together and give it our best shot next summer and try to get up.
"One or two players will go and one or two will come in - that's football.
"We have a lot of players who see themselves as Premiership players.
"We'll see what we have at the start of next season."
Derby finished 20th in the Championship last season - only eight points above relegation to League One - and were in the bottom half of the table in the early stages of this campaign.
Stephen Pearson scored the winning goal for Derby midway through the second half.
He stated: "It was a massive goal and I'm delighted for everyone connected with the club. It will live long in the memory.
"It's been remarkable, the turnaround.
"With the changes in personnel it normally takes time and it has been an amazing achievement.
"West Brom really went for it and we were lucky to hold out."
Rams striker Steve Howard was almost speechless at the end of the game.
He revealed: "I can't describe it. I'm absolutely over the moon.
"What a day. It was tough, they are a good side and it was always going to be tough but we dug in deep.
"We deserved that and the manager deserved that."
Derby chairman Peter Gadsby said the club's success this season had come as a surprise.
He said: "We were dead and buried a year ago and thought the chance had gone.
"We had a three-year plan and it has been accelerated - that is all down to Billy and his team.
"This is great credit to him and all the lads. It means a lot to us and the East Midlands and we will enjoy it."