Stockport boss Dave Challinor aiming for seventh heaven by going from Colwyn Bay to Wembley


DAVE Challinor aims to go to seventh heaven by going from Llanelian Road to Wembley.

And the Stockport boss believes the same things apply as he goes for a League One place as when he guided Colwyn Bay to elevation from the then Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Stockport aim to make it seven promotions for boss Dave Challinor on SundayPA:Press Association

The surroundings will be very different from 2011 – about 50,000 are expected at Wembley on Sunday when his first success was secured in front of 2,000.

However, memories of 12 years ago remain vivid and despite much larger financial rewards, the same theories will apply against Carlisle.

Challinor said: “I played in most of the games of the first promotion, so it was different – and I wasn’t very good!

“But it’s not too dissimilar. I remember the first one well, Colwyn Bay v FC United in a play-off game and Jon Newby scored the winner.

“It’s the polar opposite in terms of where the clubs were but getting a club the size of Colwyn Bay into Conference North isn’t dissimilar to getting Stockport promoted to League One.

“It was an amazing feeling and those feelings, whether it was that one or the most recent one in terms of play-offs, with Hartlepool, don’t change.

“They’re unbelievable and I hope I experience it again on Sunday.”

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County missed out on automatic promotion on the final day but secured their first Wembley place since 2008 by defeating Salford City on penalties.

However, a dodgy start after ending an 11-year Football League exile is still rued – but the first day ‘reality check’ of being 3-0 down after half an hour against Barrow helped, even though Challinor did not lose belief.

As he weighs up whether to hand Will Collar, Ryan Rydel and Antoni Sarcevic starting spots, he added: “I wanted to get to half-time first and foremost but I told the players, whether it was me being stupid or not, I don’t know, ‘I think we can still win the game.’

Challinor remembers promotion number one ahead of facing Carlisle at WembleyDAVE PINEGAR

“We’d made three individual mistakes that had cost us three goals. We still should’ve got something from it, though.

“I’d suggest that wasn’t the making of us, we won two of our first 11 – not the greatest of starts – but I still had belief in the group, that didn’t change after 45 minutes.

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“Maybe from the outside, that was a bit of a reality check of where we were and what we needed to be. Some of the players were maybe dented from it but we’ve built.

“To still have that chance of success is a massive compliment to how they’ve adapted and found a way – hopefully on Sunday we can find that final way.”

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