Joe Ironside lauds club-wide effort that saw Cambridge United promoted to League One
Joe Ironside has hailed everyone involved with Cambridge United after their promotion to Sky Bet League One.
The striker has made a big impression in his first season at the Abbey, scoring 14 goals, and it was his assist for Liam O'Neil's 25th-minute goal that got things rolling in the 3-0 win over Grimsby Town on Saturday that prompted the party.
And the 27-year-old wanted to extend the praise to all those involved with the U's for the second-place finish.
“We’ve worked so hard all season and to finally get it done is unbelievable,” said Ironside.
“I’m buzzing for every single person at this club, all the players, all the staff, the groundsman, the stewards. It’s just been a great achievement.
“I think we’ve gone from strength to strength and that’s credit to the gaffer, the coaching staff, the players and everyone involved in the club.
“We’ve kept on pushing and it’s the end of the season, we’ve got over the line, and we’re in League One now so brilliant.
“I can’t credit everyone at this club enough, from everyone, top to bottom, it’s been a joy to play in this year and I’m proud to play in this team.
“At the end of the day, we’re a team, we’re Cambridge United. There are 11 players on the pitch but the team goes up to 100 people, the groundsmen are part of that team - everyone has played their part this year.
“We will enjoy it because it’s a great achievement.”
Ironside will be returning to League One, where he played in the early stages of his career with Sheffield United.
“It’s surreal,” he said. “I made my debut in League One, and 10 years later I’m back there. It just feels a great and proud moment for myself, but I’m more buzzing for the team and the gaffer.
“It’s a team effort, and I’m just a part of this team. We all work together and we’ve achieved this.”
A theme of the season has been the way that the squad has bonded.
They almost instantly clicked from the first game, and that has shone throughout, aiding them on the pitch during more difficult periods in the season.
“When you put a good group of blokes together, who want the right things, who work hard for each other, and will always give 110 per cent, anything can happen,” said Ironside.
“I’ve said that all year, and now we’re at this stage of the season and we’ve got over the line.”
Ironside also shared his delight for O'Neil and head coach Mark Bonner, both boyhood United fans.
“I’m really close to Liam, he’s a Cambridge boy himself, he started here and now he’s got promoted to League One,” said Ironside.
“Being from Cambridge, it’s unbelievable for him and for him to get that goal just sums the season up.
“The gaffer is a Cambridge boy, so for them boys you’ve got to be absolutely buzzing for them.”