PETER JACKSON clutched the promotion trophy to his chest and reflected: "This is the proudest day of my football career."

The 43-year-old's legend grew still stronger with yesterday's penalty shoot-out success against Mansfield at the Millennium Stadium which took Town back into Division II at the first attempt and reduced McAlpine owner Ken Davy to tears of joy.

With Town hoping for a £1m boost when season-ticket sales resume on Thursday, plans are already afoot to get Jackson on an extended contract and to hand him a bigger budget for squad strengthening in the next few weeks.

Firstly, however, Jackson and the club's financial saviour aim to enjoy a first Town promotion since 1995 - one which seemed a long way away when only eight professionals were left for initial pre-season training.

"Going up is a fantastic feeling and it's the proudest moment of my career," said Jackson.

"I'm so pleased for everyone who has put in so much effort behind the scenes, for the board, the staff and the fans, but I'm pleased most of all for my players, who have been exceptional.

"You can't ask more as a manager than for people to give you 110%. That's what I've had from every single one of them and they came through with flying colours in what was a great advert for Third Division football.

"It's just great to feel we've put the pride back into a wonderful football club and the fans have backed us all the way.

"They were magnificent again - what a sight at the Millennium Stadium - and we'll have 20,000-plus down for some of the big derby games we've now got next season.

"That will be a huge money-spinner for us and, hopefully, I will be able to bring in two or three better quality players to enable us to add to a squad which is already looking forward to stepping up to the next level."

Mr Davy, whose decision to increase his original budget for wages paid off handsomely yesterday, said it had been "a remarkable day and a fantastic finale to a terrific season."

He said: "I can't help but reflect on the chaotic situation last summer when it looked like Town would disappear completely and yet here we are, just a few months on, promoted.

"It's a tribute to the hard work of everyone at the club and a wonderful reward for the fans, who have been so supportive through difficult times.

"I'm delighted for the fans because I know they will back us to meet the tough challenge which awaits in Division II and also in our long-term objectives for the club.

It's a long hard road and there are a few hurdles to get over, but we'll get there.

"To miss out on automatic promotion was a massive disappointment, but to see the way the staff, players, management and the town have rallied round over these past couple of weeks has just been tremendous.

"Our crowds have been wonderful and for it all to come together for us in the final is just marvellous. It's been an emotional day and I have shed the odd tear."

Mr Davy hopes more Town fans will support the Giants now the football season is over.

"The cut-price offer on Town season-tickets has been extended to June 11 and we obviously want to build on this success," he said.

"We will be doing our level best to make sure we have a good season next season and, in the meantime, it would be excellent to see more of them at the Giants matches. It's all about putting sporting pride back into Huddersfield."

Jackson's contract talks will be high on the Davy agenda.

Jackson said: "I think I proved I was a good manager first time around and now I'm better. I don't keep looking back at what happened before because I'm not bitter and twisted. I'm positive and I'm looking ahead."

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