Warrington Rylands midfielder Dean Furman expressed his delight at being apart of an ever-improving project at Gorsey Lane.
The former Oldham Athletic and Doncaster Rovers midfielder made the switch to the Northern Premier League West following a brief stint in the National League with Altrincham before playing a key role in Rylands‘ triumph.
A number of phenomenal winning-runs from Dave McNabb’s side saw them catapult into contention for automatic promotion but the Blues faced a stern test from favourites Workington.
Their fate was sealed on the final day of the season as they needed to match Workington’s result in order to move into the Northern Premier League. They did just that drawing with Bootle as their rivals failed to overcome rock-bottom Market Drayton.
“When I arrived, I remember looking at the table and speaking to a few of the guys, we almost felt that winning the league, getting automatic promotion was out of the question, we were a good few points and it looked like a stretch for us,” Furman told Off The Park.
“But with every week, we went on a fantastic run of form just win after win after win and you come in the dressing room after a win, look at the other results and you see team’s had dropped points then all of a sudden you go from nine points to six to five points to three points then you start believing and that’s how it worked for us.
“With every game, we went on this great run of form and the more we won, the more we believed we could do it.
“At the beginning, it was very much we were in the right position for the playoffs and get two home games. But as we progressed with the run of form it really looked like it become possible and then I suppose our goals and focus went from playoffs to winning the league.
“It really is (a project) and one of the things for me is when I sat down with the manager and he discussed the ambitions of the club, what the plans are going forward, how they’d like to continue their upward trajectory up the leagues.
“That for me spoke volumes and what they’re trying to do there, they’re to attract players of a higher calibre in order to get up the league really excited me.
“For them, in their first season, to go and win the league is some achievement and they’re not settling. Now the focus has shifted to next season and how we can be successful again so as a player that’s what you want to be apart of, something on the up, not something that’s stagnating or happy to be where they are and that’s what attracted me to the club.”
For the 34-year-old, he is relishing what the future holds for Rylands as they look to continue their movement up the football pyramid. More importantly for Furman, he’s happy to be enjoying his football.
He added: “Since I arrived, it’s been great. I’m at a stage of my career where I’m just trying to enjoy my football, I’ve had a long, sustained career with plenty of ups and downs on the way but one I’m very proud of and I’ve got to a stage in my career now where this just fits with my life and the stage I’m at.
“I just wanted to go enjoy my football and I think going into a winning dressing room, a team that’s really ambitious, focused on moving up the leagues was something that I really enjoyed.
“On the pitch, the style of football we play is very enjoyable, I’ve played in teams higher up that just want to launch it and have no interest in passing the ball, it doesn’t matter what level it’s at, that for me isn’t very enjoyable.
“So to come to Warrington, despite the challenges of the pitches we played on some of the weeks, we tried to get the ball down, play from the back, through the lines and play the right way and that’s something I really enjoyed. It was a fantastic few months and hopefully we can continue in that same form going forward.
“It’s not a case of pat yourself on the back ‘well done, we’ve moved up a league, let’s sit there and see what happens’ it’s ‘right, we’re really ambitious, can we make the playoffs, can we challenge at the right end of the table and that’s the ambition of this football club.
“Not be happy with where we are, it’s to push, progress and improve so I think even though we’ve just got promoted that’s the mentality to next season and not just accepting being in the league above, it’s can we challenge and make a big name for ourselves again.”
*Interview conducted in May.