Stand-in skipper David Buchanan was bursting with pride after leading his side to the Sky Bet League Two title on Saturday, with the Cobblers defender paying tribute to all those who’ve played a role in this season’s success, from ‘the kit men to the stewards’.
A whirlwind nine months finally ended in the ultimate prize on Saturday when Northampton were crowned League Two’s best team by virtue of a 0-0 draw with Exeter City, a result that put them 13 points clear with four games remaining.
Buchanan, who’s played all but 45 minutes of their 42 games this season, more than any other outfield player, has taken over captain duties in recent weeks after injury ruled club skipper Marc Richards out for the season.
And it was the experienced full-back who led the celebrations on Saturday when Northampton were confirmed as champions after news of Oxford United’s defeat had filtered through to fans and players at Exeter’s St James Park.
“That’s what it’s all about,” said Buchanan on those moments after full-time when Oxford’s defeat was greeted by a huge roar and mass pitch invasion by the 900-strong army of travelling fans.
“It’s a moment I’ll never forget; when you see those Cobblers fans cheering and running onto the pitch and lads on each other’s shoulders and singing with everyone, it’s just a wow moment and unbelievable.
“We’re all over the moon. We’ve just gone about our business every game and to win promotion last week at home was great and then the week after we’ve won the title.
“All you can do is look after your own results and we’ve done that every game this season.
“It’s a fantastic achievement and it’s the first time I’ve done it in my career and it’ll be something that we all look back on with pride to win the league for this football club.”
With his consistent performances on the pitch and exemplary attitude off it, Buchanan typifies the type of fighting, gritty spirit displayed time and time again by this all-conquering Cobblers team who have overcome adversity to run away with the title.
“We’re just a group of players and management staff who stick together,” added the 29-year-old.
“The players socialise on and off the pitch and when we go across that white line, no matter who plays, we’re willing to die for each other.
“Everyone, from the kit men to the ladies in the office to the stewards, they’ve all just backed us as players and thankfully we’ve given everyone something to cheer about.
“This why I came to this club. Let’s not forget what we’ve done – we’ve won the league with four games to go and won 10 games on the trot earlier on.
“We’re unbeaten in 20, we’ve scored loads of goals and Adam Smith’s got the most clean sheets.
“The stats don’t lie - we’ve been the best team in this league and the players, the fans and everyone involved should really, really enjoy it.”