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Holt: Promotion would be amazing
Published : 22 May 2009 13:39:41
The 28-year-old marksman, who was on Thursday officially recognised as the division's golden boot winner having notched 28 goals in all competitions this term, will spearhead Shrews' attack in their eagerly-anticipated League Two play-off final against Gillingham. Holt has enjoyed a remarkable debut campaign at the Prostar Stadium having only arrived from Nottingham Forest last June - also being named League Two player of the year and finding himself included in the PFA's team of the season. Yet he feels seeing off the Gills in the winner-takes-all showdown would be the biggest achievement since he started playing. "It would be," he said. "I achieved promotion last year with Nottingham Forest which was my biggest highlight, but towards the end I wasn't playing. "To do it this way, to play at Wembley and achieve promotion with this football club would be fantastic. This club is all geared up now to go to a higher level and hopefully we can do that." Shrews have been in the promotion shake-up all season despite only clinching the final play-off berth on a dramatic last day, before a memorable 4-3 penalty shoot-out triumph at Bury in the semi-final. But ahead of Saturday's final, a lot of people are pointing back to the two encounters between Town and the Gills during the regular season. Paul Simpson's side walloped Mark Stimson's men 7-0 back in September before coming from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw at Priestfield in the return fixture. Holt believes those previous meetings will count for nothing this weekend but admits having scored three times in the two games does give him a psychological boost. "People will talk about those results but it's a different game," he added. "It's like an FA Cup tie, you're going in there and the form book goes out the window. "It makes a difference to me personally, I know I can score goals against them. "But it doesn't matter who scores at the weekend as long as we win the game." For some of Gillingham's squad, playing at Wembley is not an unfamiliar feeling. Defenders Barry Fuller and John Nutter, along with midfielder Adam Miller and second-choice goalkeeper Alan Julian, were all part of the Stevenage side - managed by current Gills chief Stimson - who won the first trophy awarded at the new Wembley back in 2007. And Nutter cannot wait to get back to the famous stadium where he helped his old club beat Kidderminster 3-2 to claim the FA Trophy. "It's pretty exciting," he said. "I don't think it wears off, even though I've been there before. Because I know what it's like now, it's even more exciting. "We don't want to talk about it too much because you want to focus and win the game, but obviously I'll be telling the rest of the lads how great it is - but it's a lot better if you win." That FA Trophy success was Stimson's third in a row having previously won two with Grays, and with Nutter being the only player to have played in all three, he believes the freedom Stimson gives his side helps them in big games. He added: "When you go into these big matches, you just focus on your own game. He'll keep us focused on doing that and we won't be overawed by the occasion, that's maybe why he's had such a good success rate."