Kieran Inglis slumped to the deck in tears as he suffered relegation with Brechin City in the SPFL pyramid play-off in 2021.
But after savouring the Angus side’s Highland League title success, Inglis is determined to take City back to League Two.
Courier Sport joined Inglis and Brechin on their homecoming Glebe Park title party.
We will also be publishing extended highlights of the 2-0 win over Buckie Thistle that sealed the Championship on Saturday, courtesy of our sister title the Press and Journal.
It was an especially sweet day for Inglis.
He is the last remaining member of the side that lost 3-1 on aggregate to Kelty two years ago as they made it three successive relegations.
But he has bounced back in style and so have Brechin.
This is not just a team that has found its feet on the park but also a club that has regenerated behind the scenes.
There is renewed optimism around Brechin.
There is also a really strong sense of community and a club that is growing its fanbase.
They had 951 at the 5-0 win over Fraserburgh less than two weeks ago and around 750 making the 196-mile round trip to Buckie.
The travelling support were rewarded with the trophy success after a 2-0 win over Buckie Thistle.
Kieran Inglis aims for Brechin City play-off glory
And it was a sweet moment for Inglis who suffered the drop with City two years ago.
He’d now love to reverse that play-off nightmare by beating Lowland League champions Spartans to set up a clash with club 42 for the chance to reach League Two.
All roads lead to Buckie…
— Ewan Smith (@ewansmithpr) April 22, 2023
“I’ve gone from the down point of getting relegated to this moment now,” said Inglis.
“The fans have stuck with us and it’s absolutely amazing that the stand is full of them celebrating.
“Hopefully, we can go all the way and get ourselves back in the league.
“When we got relegated it was really difficult.
“But I said to myself that I wanted to stay and get the club back to where they deserve to be – in the SPFL.
“The new board have been fantastic and they’ve made such a big difference. It would be nice if we could get Brechin up.
“Fingers crossed, that happens in the next four games.”
Team-mate Nathan Cooney joined Brechin in the summer after leaving Dundee United.
And he’d love nothing more than to end his first full professional season with promotion.
I think this young @BrechinCityFC fan's reaction sums up every supporter's emotions at Buckie today
You'll want sound on for this one pic.twitter.com/PMdvgZ9Y5Q
— Callum Main (@CallumMEdits) April 22, 2023
Defender Cooney added: “At the start of the season our aim was not just to win the league but to get promoted.
“It’s great to celebrate the title but the season’s not over.
“We’ve, hopefully, still got four games left and we’ll kick on to Saturday and see what happens next.”