Clarets savour jubilant scenes
Burnley rise to the Premier League
By Jamie Casey. Last Updated: 25/05/09 8:17pm
Victory: Clarets celebrate
Burnley players are relishing the Premier League challenge ahead following their 1-0 Championship play-off final win over Sheffield United.
Wade Elliott's 13th minute curler beat Blades goalkeeper Paddy Kenny for what was the only goal of an intense game, meaning the Clarets return to top-flight status for the first time since 1976.
Burnley boss Owen Coyle has already been linked with a move to Scottish giants Celtic after Gordon Strachan announced his resignation as manager on Monday, but the players are keen to soak up the victory.
Goal hero Elliott told Sky Sports: "I think it will take a little while for it to sink in - but I'm delighted for all the lads."
Asked whether his goal was the best of his career, the midfielder said: "In terms of importance - no contest. It's far and away the best goal I'll ever score, probably.
"It fell nicely, I couldn't really strike it because it was turning a bit and it seemed to take a long time to go in.
"When it did, I thought about running up to my mum and dad but they were in the opposite corner and it was so hot."
Clarke Carlisle added: "I'm privileged to be a member of this magnificent team.
"What a season, words can't described how brilliant and awesome an achievement this is. I thank God so much.
"I'm blessed to be a part of this team. It's just unbelievable, what an awesome day."
Burnley's Robbie Blake, who was promoted with Bradford in 1999, added: "To get where we are is a fantastic achievement, probably the best of my career.
"Owen Coyle deserves tremendous credit, he is so enthusiastic, he believes in us so much as individuals and as a team.
"We've played 61 games, had a cup run and now we've gone up at Wembley - it can't get any better.
"We had belief all week long that we'd do it. We had confidence in our ability and we had the players to score goals at any moment - we've had it all season and come up with the goods again today."
Club captain Graham Alexander said: "I was promoted with Preston nine years ago but I'm buzzing to achieve something with a team like this.
"They're a great bunch of boys. Everyone deserves it who is part of the club and I think overall we deserved it today.
"We had some great chances - especially in the second half - but Sheffield United are a great team - they kept coming back at us.
"I've been there twice (beaten in the play-offs) and it's horrible but they'll come back stronger."
The Lancashire club narrowly avoided relegation from the Football League back in 1987 and were on the brink of extinction, but have clawed their way back up the divisions and can look forward to a derby with Blackburn next season.
Burnley chairman Barry Kilby added: "I'm absolutely delighted. We've been out of the top flight for 33 years so today is the pinnacle of my 10 years as chairman.
"We've hung-in in the Championship for 10 years, through good times and bad. We got our chance today and we've taken it.
"I think we'll be the smallest town to have ever been in the Premier league and half the population has turned out here today to see it."