GOS: Burley remembers Ipswich's promotion to the Premier League in 2000

Last Updated: 02/12/13 9:10am

Burley: fond memories of ipswich

George Burley shares his memories of when Ipswich were promoted to the Premiership.

Ipswich beat Barnsley 4-2 in their Division One play final and went on to have a dream season in the Premiership.

"We had talked about being in the Championship and the dream was to be in the Premiership but we had lost in three play-offs before it," said Burley on Goals on Sunday.

"It was a build-up of four years and we had to keep on going. It was a fabulous game against Barnsley and fortunately we came off in front.

"A lot of those players came up through Ipswich's youth policy - people like Kieron Dyer, Richard Wright and Richard Naylor all came through that policy.

"We also brought some players in and from one season to the next we had the belief. We did really well once we got there and you can never take away those memories - it's not just about winning a cup, you know you are going to a different level."

Ipswich were remarkable in their first season in the Premier League and Burley put that down to their team bond and the fact that they were used to winning.

"That team spirit that we took to the Premier League did not just happen in one season - it was the four seasons before that gave us a good bond," explained Burley.

"Once you get into the Premiership you just want to stay up -once we started there was still that winning mentality, we were used to winning and we took that on to the Premiership.

"We finished fifth and I think we are still the highest team to finish after being promoted. It was a great season and a great achievement."

However their second season was not as successful and Burley says that playing on two fronts - Europe and the Premier League - took its toll.

"It could have been second season syndrome - once you finished fifth you think that you have to get better but we could not get any better; the players could not produce it again. Maybe we should not have looked to get better, maybe we should have said that we are just happy to stay in this league. We brought a number of foreign players in and the chemistry changes.

"We were playing well in Europe but that was a detriment to playing in the premiership. Once you take your eye off the ball, playing on a Thursday and then on a Sunday with a small squad was difficult. We ended up finishing third bottom the next season and then got relegated."