BURTON Albion chairman Ben Robinson described reaching Wembley as a ‘mammoth achievement’ for the club.
The Brewers chairman was magnanimous in defeat and quickly moved to praise the work of Gary Rowett and his players following the final whistle.
The man who has spearheaded Albion’s push from non-league to the cusp of League One football said that the Pirelli Stadium club would now be focused on building on the back of two successful seasons.
He said: “Today has been about celebrating a second successful season under Gary Rowett, his players and staff.
“We came here with the intention of winning and getting promotion. Let’s be clear about that.
“But we can look back on a mammoth achievement and we will build on that.”
The Albion chairman has presided over a rise from the Northern Premier League to the brink of League One, with a move from the dilapidated Eton Park to the new Pirelli Stadium along the way.
He previously told the Mail: “Getting to Wembley has always been my dream since I first got involved with this club back in 1975.”
Robinson has had two spells as chairman, the last beginning in 1995, and was between those spells when the club last reached Wembley, in the 1987 FA Trophy final.
“Look at what Gary, his backroom staff and the players have achieved,” he said.
“In his first season as manager, he surprised everybody by getting us into the play-offs.
“Then we saw some of the teams involved last year struggling this season.
“It doesn’t follow that you can have a good season and then always build on it and do well.
“Gary’s proved that you can and to get to Wembley in his second season is remarkable.”
Robinson still runs Albion sensibly and doesn’t spend money the club hasn’t got.
Even if he won the EuroMillions, as Newport County supremo Les Scadding has done, the chairman says a prudent approach would remain.
“This club has never had delusions of grandeur,” he said.
“We haven’t got a massive pot of money.
“If I was to win the lottery like the chairman of Newport, I’m sure I could say to Gary, there’s another 50 pence to spend! Not quite.
“There’s no guarantee if you spend a lot of money you’ll get success.
“People say ‘have you got a five-year plan’?
“I think a five-year plan revolves around how much money you’ve got or how much money you want to spend on the team.”
Although Mr Robinson was denied the ultimate reward for his efforts in the town and with the Brewers yesterday, with the likes of Gary Rowett and a town like Burton behind him, promotion and continued success is surely just only on the horizon.