Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally delighted with ‘progress’ after successful promotion campaign

Skelmersdale United celebrate clinching promotion via the playoffs.

Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally was delighted with his side’s progression as they booked promotion to the Northern Premier League West.

Their emphatic playoff final win, with Mikey Howard taking home the match ball, saw Skem book their first promotion since 2013 returning to the Northern Premier League after a brief stint away.

Both Skelmersdale and Macclesfield forged an unlikely rivalry throughout the campaign as both clubs battled it out to win automatic promotion. However, Danny Whittaker’s side edged their way in front in the title race and marked their momentous season with silverware.

For McNally, the development of his squad delighted him as much as his triumph in the promotion play-off.

He told Off The Park: “I think even if we hadn’t of won the playoff, it still would’ve been a successful season. To finish second in any league is an achievement but to top it off with the playoff final, it was fantastic, it’s been a success, a very big success. 

“It was a great battle right through the season. There was times we were flying and deserved to be at the top and there was times where we were second and there was a time where I didn’t even think we’d finish second.

“But we got there and I don’t know how, I don’t care how, we finished second. The league table doesn’t lie, we finished a point ahead of the rest and if you asked me at the start of the season, I would’ve snatched your hand off for it.

“As the season was going on, I was gutted at times I did feel we were capable of challenging more but the factor was strength in depth, we had a great team but we didn’t have the depth when certain players were injured which other teams had.

“But it shows how far we come, we challenged, we were thought of as one of the best teams in the league – I’m very proud of that achievement. 

“For us to be where we was, shows the progress that was made. The season before Covid we were 15th, 16th in the league so it shows the progress in the league that’s happened in a short space of time.

“The turnover of players and our methods, we’ve got a settled side but yeah it was beyond our wildest dreams. It was never the remit from the club, never give me that remit that you have to be promoted, you have to be second they were happy, totally truthful, fans and the club were happy to finish in the top 10. But I knew we had a lot more capabilities and we were serious contenders and top five upwards I’d of still been happy with that.”

*Interview conducted in May.

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