My boys determined to make their Point on big stage: Tipton
Matthew Tipton has admitted it will be a proud moment for him and Warrenpoint Town when their Danske Bank Premiership adventure begins today and he hopes it's only the beginning of a special chapter in the club's history.
Relegated during Barry Gray's reign in controversial circumstances following a shocking penalty decision on the final day of the 2015/16 campaign, the Milltown men could have given up the fight but they regrouped in Tipton's first season in charge and now they are a top-flight club determined to shoot down the big guns.
Former Portadown, Linfield and Ballymena United striker Tipton has kicked off what he hopes will be a successful managerial career and the 37-year-old has certainly won plenty of admirers after steering Town to the Championship title.
But life in the Premiership will really shine a spotlight on the character and class of the Welshman and his men, with Tipton saying consolidation is not his simple target.
"It will be a proud moment for me and the club because this is where you strive to be, pitting your wits against the best players and managers in the country," said the former Oldham and Macclesfield Town finisher.
"For myself and the club it's exciting times but we are fully aware of the size of the challenge ahead. We will approach things in the right way and try to play the right way but we also know we are up against established Premiership sides.
"People might think we are looking to consolidate our place in the Premiership and I can understand that but it's not part of who I am. Consolidation is never enough to satisfy me, I'm more ambitious than that but we are also realistic and we know our first target will be to earn our place in the top flight in the future.
"We are not saying we are better than anyone else but we will give it our best shot.
"It's just games of football and the boys are looking forward to showing what they can do. There may be a few doubters who think we will be relegated to the Championship but there are no doubters at this club. We want to establish ourselves in the league and keep improving.
"It's an exciting time but as a player I looked forward to the first day of the season but as a manager it's been a very different experience as the work never stops and I've been waiting for the first game since April 29, the last day of last season.
"Training plans have been in place but it's all geared towards match day. That's what we all get paid for, to deliver in the games."