Ex-Claret Alexander savours promotion

7:26am Tuesday 27th May 2014

By Chris Flanagan

GRAHAM Alexander admitted gaining promotion as a manager with Fleetwood Town felt just as special as victory at Wembley with Burnley five years ago.

Alexander’s Fleetwood defeated Burton Albion 1-0 in the League Two play-off final to reach the third tier of English football for the first time in their history.

Antoni Sarcevic’s free kick looped over keeper Dean Lyness with 15 minutes remaining, as a Fleetwood side also featuring on-loan Blackburn Rovers player Josh Morris and former Accrington Stanley defender Mark Roberts came out on top.

Alexander won the Championship play-off final as a player with Burnley in 2009 and was similarly ecstatic with victory underneath the arch as a manager.

“It feels just the same,” he said.

“It’s the same for everyone, players, staff, supporters, everyone gets a part of promotion and it’s fantastic. It’s absolutely amazing.

“It’s been a lot of hard work by a lot of people, not just the boys in red and myself and the staff, a lot of people behind the scenes.

“They deserve this day and we look forward to next season.

“I’m just pleased for these boys who have been working so hard from day to one. We’re chuffed to bits.

“We’ve got a lot of good young players and good experienced players, the whole mix has been fantastic.”

Alexander will now get the chance to face another of his former clubs, Preston North End, in League One next season.

Defeated Burton included former Burnley forward Alex MacDonald in their team as well as ex-Accrington duo Phil Edwards and Billy Kee with Oswaldtwistle’s Dominic Knowles on the bench.

Kee played despite wife Leigh – a former Ribble Valley athlete who is the cousin of Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon – going into labour in the hours before the game.

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