Non-league Matters: ‘Best night of my life’ – Garry Vaughan delighted as Trafford promoted

By Ross McLean

Bleary-eyed Trafford manager Garry Vaughan insists his side’s promotion to the Evo-Stik Premier Division surpasses all other achievements in his football career.

The Flixton-based club beat Cammell Laird on penalties after the regulation 90 minutes and extra-time finished goalless.

And Vaughan – Trafford’s record appearance maker and goalscorer – admits taking the club into the higher division will live long in his memory.

“Without doubt Friday was the best night of the whole of my 20-odd years in football and the celebrations afterwards were untrue,” he told MM.

“We must have taken about 250 fans and just to do it for them was outstanding – it’s on YouTube now and it was so emotional, unbelievable scenes.

“It’s definitely the proudest moment of my life, especially as Trafford are my home club and I’ve taken them up.”

The Shawe View club have enjoyed an impressive season, having been promotion contenders all year as well as making headway in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy.

And the ex-Port Vale midfielder – who was appointed manager in 2009 – concedes he could not bring himself to watch the winning penalty, which was poignant for scorer Paul Ashton.

“I was at the opposite end of the ground, I couldn’t watch Flash take his penalty,” he added.

“When we played Cammell Laird at home he missed a penalty and I know how nervous he was but he has the best left-foot in the league.

“We practised penalties and we had a system – we told the lads to tell us where they were going to put it so they couldn’t change their minds.

“And they all went up and put it where they said they would. It was a truly amazing night and the biggest buzz ever.”

Despite revelling in Trafford’s promotion party, Vaughan has already set plans in motion ahead of next season and an assault on the higher league.

In particular, the former Maine Road boss is eager to pit his wits against best mate Karl Marginson, after FC United of Manchester suffered play-off heartbreak on Saturday.

“The priority next season is to stabilise the club in the higher division, have a look at it and get a network of players together to take us forward,” he said.

“I’ll have to scan the network of players – we are bringing six in that I’ve spoken to already that will strengthen us.

“But I can’t wait now. There will be some big attendances next season which will be a help for the club financially.

“Margy has already said that for 90 minutes he will have to hate me – I was absolutely devastated for him to miss out on promotion but only one team can win.”

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