Players react to Southsea celebrations
There were a few bleary-eyed faces that turned up at Fratton Park on Sunday morning.
After a night of heavy partying, Pompey’s squad probably would have appreciated a few extra hours in bed.
But they were certainly wide awake when the coaches approached Southsea Common and it was clear just how many fans had turned up to celebrate the club’s title success.
The players all received medals before skipper Michael Doyle was handed the League Two trophy.
And it was a day that clearly meant a lot to every single member of the Blues’ 2016/17 squad.
Midfielder Gary Roberts said: “It would have been nice to get the trophy on Saturday, but it was great to be able to lift it in front of the fans. The turnout was unbelievable on such short notice.
“Plymouth always win away from home and Doncaster beat Hartlepool nine times out of 10, so lady luck was shining down on us.
“We had a smile on our faces after winning promotion, but this makes it even bigger. I might book an extra holiday now to celebrate.”
Jamal Lowe – who scored in the 6-1 rout of Cheltenham – added: “I won the league with Hampton last season and comparing the celebrations to what I’ve seen here is a whole different level.
“The past few days have been unreal. Saturday’s result was a fantastic way to finish the season and this has just topped it off.”
Fellow January signing Nicke Kabamba said: “The scale of the celebrations and the amount of people who turned up were unbelievable. It shows how important this club is to the city.
“When I came here I was delighted just to get a pro contract, but now I’m a League One player – it’s a dream come true.”
Kyle Bennett was also on target against the Robins and said: “It’s the second time I’ve won a league and this one is extra special. It means so much to the people of this city.
“I wanted to enjoy the occasion with my family, the fans and rest of the lads, as well as all the staff.
“You wouldn’t have put your mortgage on us winning the league, but this club beat the odds to survive a few years ago and now we’ve done it again.”