ANDY BOOTH rates Town's promotion win this season as better than Wembley.
The 30-year-old striker - a play-off hero for Town against Bristol Rovers nine years ago - lifted the Nationwide Trophy with manager Peter Jackson at the Millennium Stadium two days ago.
It was a crowning moment in a career which still has at least one more McAlpine season to run - and Booth is optimistic about next term.
"People are bound to compare Monday's win with Wembley, but this was more enjoyable," said Booth, whose medal was around the neck of 21-month old son Harrison before he even left Cardiff.
"The whole occasion was absolutely superb and, while it would have been nice to have gone up automatically, this is probably the best way.
"To bounce back in the way we have from being as devastated as we were down at Cheltenham says everything about the spirit of the lads and it's been great to be a part of it all this season.
"The young lads have all come through and done superbly, they will be better for this experience in the Second Division next season and the gaffer has worked magic. It's been a roller-coaster, but it's all been worth it."
After two relegations since his return to the club from Sheffield Wednesday, Booth is particularly happy to have taken a step back up the ladder, although he admits to feeling nervous about the penalty shoot-out.
"I wasn't confident at all beforehand and I wouldn't have put my mortgage on it," he said with a smile.
"Once we got 1-0 up and then 2-0 I was okay, but I wasn't really confident until we were 3-0 in front. I thought that would be too much for Mansfield to pull back and I knew the lads would finish it off.
"It was a brilliant feeling and I think everybody is still on a high because we know we deserved to go up.
"You can't take anything away from Mansfield because they are a quick, physical side who pass the ball well and are one of the best in the division, but we've had a tremendous season and are up now where we deserve to be."
Booth says he will never forget the lap of honour in Cardiff.
"The supporters have been fantastic all season and I can't describe what it felt like to see 23,000 of them all celebrating with us," he said.
"I loved every minute of it and I know they'll be there in numbers again next season to cheer us on in the Second Division.
"We've certainly got the makings of a very good squad, so I'm really looking forward to it."