After waiting 48 years for a return to the English Football League, the moment, when it came, felt quite surreal to a lot of fans.

There was a lot to process. A five-decade crusade was ending. New objectives would have to be set. New mountains would need to be climbed.

And the practicalities: new regulations, a different atmosphere at grounds, the grounds themselves – mostly new to Barrow AFC fans. It was a whirl of different considerations, and it still is.

So what does it mean to Bluebirds up and down the country? Well, we lose a lot of our traditional, recent away days. Carshalton was a popular stopping point before a trip to Sutton. That’s gone. Likewise the dreaded annual pilgrimage to Dover is now set aside. I don’t think too many will miss those 4am starts.

What this gives Barrow as a club and a town is a sense of restored pride.

For decades since our expulsion from the EFL private members’ club, we never really looked like getting back.

Paul Cox put a squad together arguably capable of a play-off shock, but it all fell apart at Christmas.

When else did we challenge? Who but Ian Evatt has come even close to restoring that identity that the club felt so robbed of?

That is the magnitude of the achievement. Not only to accomplish what none before him had done, but to deliver something that nobody else had even come close to doing in 48 years.

There is now a buzz, an excitement in the community. The ground is already alive with activity as plans to build a new roof on the Holker Street End progress, as we accelerate the completion of the new Fan Zone and address countless other EFL requirements both large and small.

Our home may feel a little different when we all return there for the start of the next season, but it is still that: our home. And we can all take pride in what we have built over the past two years.

Promotion to League Two feels like vindication and the end of the story. And to an extent, it is.

But this is also a beginning. This is the start of a new story, a new era for Barrow AFC filled with exciting possibilities.

The football landscape is being redrawn before our eyes and now, like never before, is the time for a well-run, forward-looking football club to take its chance. Now is the time for an underdog.