HAVING played under three different managers in as many seasons at Bramall Lane, Sheffield United’s Chris Basham is as aware as anyone in understanding how big the last week or so is for the club.
Clinching promotion at Northampton Town last week was one thing but, seven days later, it got even better for Chris Wilder’s Blades.
A 1-0 defeat for Bolton Wanderers at Oldham Athletic meant the only remaining club who could catch United could no longer do so. Sheffield United would be returning to the Championship after a six-year absence as champions.
For Basham, who arrived at Bramall Lane from Blackpool on a three-year deal under former manager Nigel Clough, it is the high point in an 11-year career which began, somewhat ironically, at Bolton.
“This is a great feeling,” said Basham. ”I’ve waited so long for this at this club and now it has come it is a very special moment.
“It’s something I’ve been trying my hardest for, to get this team promoted in the three years I’ve been here, but with the team we’ve got here this year we’ve been too powerful, too good.
“The staff and the management team have been very aggressive in what they wanted to do and, look at us now, we’re champions of League One.
“It is the most special moment in my career. I’ve been to a semi-final with this club and loved every minute of that, but this is something else.”
Basham admitted much hard work needed to be done ahead of the club’s long-awaited return to the second tier in August, but insisted the team would continue to show the same commitment and desire that has got them their reward during their remaining three games, the first of which sees them host Bradford City on Easter Monday.
“We’ve got a lot of hard work coming up next year, but we’re just going to enjoy this moment for the next three games,” added Basham.
“We lost the first four games and to finish like we have so far ahead of everybody else, is just credit to the boys and these last few weeks have been fantastic.”