Harrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham relishing challenge of rising to Football League after Wembley triumph

Harrogate TOWN captain Josh Falkingham insists that the club cannot wait for the challenges that promotion to the Football League will bring.
LEADING ROLE: Harrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham of celebrates after his team's 3-1 victory over Notts County at Wembley Stadium. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images.LEADING ROLE: Harrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham of celebrates after his team's 3-1 victory over Notts County at Wembley Stadium. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images.
LEADING ROLE: Harrogate Town captain Josh Falkingham of celebrates after his team's 3-1 victory over Notts County at Wembley Stadium. Picture: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images.

The Wetherby Road outfit will play their football in League Two for the first time in their 106-year history next term following Sunday’s National League play-off final success over Notts County at Wembley.

A National League North team as recently as 2018, Simon Weaver’s men have been promoted twice in the space of three years and will rub shoulders with the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Bradford City and Oldham Athletic in 2020-21.

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“It’s an amazing feeling for the players, staff, the whole club, the whole town,” 29-year-old Falkingham said after Town’s 3-1 victory.

Notts County's Jim O'Brien (left) and Harrogate Town's Josh Falkingham battle for the ball during the Vanarama National League play-off final at Wembley Stadium. Picture: Adam Davy/PANotts County's Jim O'Brien (left) and Harrogate Town's Josh Falkingham battle for the ball during the Vanarama National League play-off final at Wembley Stadium. Picture: Adam Davy/PA
Notts County's Jim O'Brien (left) and Harrogate Town's Josh Falkingham battle for the ball during the Vanarama National League play-off final at Wembley Stadium. Picture: Adam Davy/PA

“We’re going up, nobody’s taking that away, we’ve come to Wembley, which is a place for winners and thankfully we’ve been able to do that.

“It’s a special, special moment and now we’ve got the opportunity to go to League Two with the belief and the confidence of what kind of feels like back-to-back promotions - two in three years.

“It really feels like we are on a good roll and hopefully we’ll take that into next year, we’re just kind of rolling into next season.

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“It’s fantastic and we’re just really looking forward to it.”

Harrogate Town's Josh Falkingham with the play-off final trophy at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Picture: Adam Davy/PAHarrogate Town's Josh Falkingham with the play-off final trophy at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Picture: Adam Davy/PA
Harrogate Town's Josh Falkingham with the play-off final trophy at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Picture: Adam Davy/PA

Falkingham himself led the Harrogate celebrations when he lifted the play-off winners’ trophy aloft on Wembley’s hallowed turf, sparking delirious scenes.

Similar events also preceded that moment as the final whistle sounded on an afternoon that will live long in the memory of everyone connected with the club.

“A lot of emotion was coming out, I think you could see that on all of our faces once the final whistle blew and we knew,” the ex-Leeds United midfielder added.

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“When you’re in big games the relief just kind of pours out of you and emotions hit you straight away, just pure joy, happiness, relief - absolutely everything comes out .

“It’s just an amazing feeling, I can’t describe it, it’s just a lost-for-words kind of moment. I’m absolutely buzzing.

“It’s so enjoyable. I’m just absolutely delighted that we got the win that we deserved and for all the fans, I’m sure they’ll celebrate as hard as we do tonight.”

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