Updated: Saturday, 25th January 2020 @ 8:25am

‘Promotion is a financial miracle’: Rochdale’s messiah Keith Hill rejoices as League One ticket confirmed

‘Promotion is a financial miracle’: Rochdale’s messiah Keith Hill rejoices as League One ticket confirmed

| By Josh Nicholls

Rochdale manager Keith Hill believes his side have worked financial miracles this season after his side secured promotion from League Two at Spotland on Saturday.

Early goals from Peter Vincenti and Ian Henderson sealed a 2-0 victory over Cheltenham Town clinching Dale’s place in League One with a game to spare.

The triumph meant Hill became the first manager to get Rochdale promoted twice having also achieved the feat back in 2010.

Hill revealed that Dale’s budget in that campaign dwarfed the funds available to him this season making the achievement all the more remarkable.

“We’ve worked financial miracles this season and I mean miracles,” Hill told BBC Radio Manchester.

“The FA Cup run (Rochdale reached the fourth round) has paid off last year’s debt and we have got promoted on a significantly lower budget than we got promoted on last time so for that I am really, really, really proud.

“It’s great housekeeping.”

Hill has written his name into Rochdale folklore overseeing a relative golden period in the club’s history as his second promotion as boss is only Dale’s third since they were established in 1907.

The 44-year-old left the club for Barnsley in 2011 having guided Dale to a ninth-place finish in League One – their highest position for 41 years.

He returned in January last year after being sacked by Barnsley a month earlier with Dale languishing in 14th place in League Two having lost eight out of ten matches.

Hill halted Dale’s slide steering them to a 12th place finish last season and Saturday’s promotion completed the club’s turnaround in fortunes since Hill’s return.

Management of such distinction has resulted in glowing adoration of Hill from players and supporters alike and the Dale manager says the feeling is mutual.

“These players are special to me and this football club is special to me there’s no question about that,” Hill added.

“To be the (first) manager to get this football club promoted twice in its history gives me a great sense of pride.

“I’ve achieved it for the supporters, when I came back it was debatable whether it was the right choice for me and whether they’d accept me back.

“But I wanted to come back to this football club and I’m so glad that I did.”

Clearly the performances of some Hill’s star players have not gone unnoticed by their League Two compatriots as three of Rochdale’s star performers were named in the PFA League Two team of the year last night.

Henderson, along with left wing-back Michael Rose and top scorer Scott Hogan were named in the league’s best eleven, voted for by their fellow professionals.

Hill and his players can make more history next weekend by winning League Two and claiming the club’s first ever piece of silverware.

Dale who are currently second, will be crowned champions at Newport next week if they better present leaders Chesterfield’s result. 

Main image courtesy of Ian Henderson via Instagram, with thanks.