Jeff Bonser expresses his delight at Wembley appearance...WALSALL FC Chairman, Jeff Bonser, has expressed his delight at the club achieving a first-ever appearance at Wembley Stadium.
"It’s taken us 127 years to get to this moment and it’s a fantastic achievement for the club and for the town," he said. "It’s nice to finally leave that group of four Football League clubs that have never been to Wembley; we've joined the elite club now!
"The Millennium Stadium was a fantastic day back in 2001, but to go to Wembley, which is probably the most well-known stadium in the World and the home of football, is absolutely amazing. The job isn't done yet, though, as we'd like to bring the trophy back with us.
"It is gradually sinking in; I'm receiving messages of congratulations from other clubs and people I haven't seen in many years, so I am getting the feeling now of how important this is to so many people.
"This is a fantastic moment for the fans that have supported this team through thick and thin. The season ticket holders and those that go home and away must be on cloud nine with this, and, hopefully, they'll go to Wembley, make as much noise as they have at every game they've been to during this campaign and let's see if we can bring the trophy back to Walsall.
"I think it’s a just reward for the hard work that has gone into the club. I've been Chairman for 23 years now and I've been associated with the club longer still. I think we have run the club correctly, we've kept it financially right, but I don't think it always gets the recognition it deserves and I don't mean for me personally but for the whole team that's here running it.
"We've got a manager that’s probably the longest-serving during my tenure at the club and his philosophy is to play good football and, regardless of the results, I think that's how we play. We've stuck to the philosophy and we're going to continue to stick to it because it's bringing us some success.
"Let's hope we haven't got to wait another 127 years before we get to Wembley again. League One is such a tight League and my hope is that we'll be nudging the play-offs this year. If it's not this year, I've always said that some day, and that day is getting closer and closer, we're going to go back to The Championship one way or another.
"It's a great time for the supporters. I'm a supporter; I've been a supporter since 1949 when I first came to a Walsall game at just four years old. So I know how these supporters are going to be feeling and there's going to be nobody more proud than me when I see Walsall run out on the pitch at Wembley."
The full interview can be seen on Saddlers Player...