sport news Stockport boss Dave Challinor is the promotion king as they aim for League One trends now
Twelve seasons in management, six promotions, finished outside of the play-off places just once. Pound for pound, does anyone in English football have a better c.v. than Dave Challinor in the last decade?
His first coaching role was in the depths of our pyramid at Colwyn Bay, where his job title was officially first-team manager but, at that level, that also tasked him as chief groundsman, kitman and logistics manager.
Asked how leading Stockport out at Wembley for a place in League One compares to those formative days in north Wales, Challinor chuckles. 'Yeah, it's a bit different… you could say that,' he tells Mail Sport.
'At Colwyn Bay I very much jumped straight in at the deep end as a player-manager but sorting out training, booking travel, signing players, contracts, you name it. But it was a really good starting point and grounding.'
Ahead of Sunday's grand final at the national stadium, it is interesting to hear Challinor speak about the art of consistency.
Stockport County manager Dave Challinor is going for his seventh promotion in 13 seasons as they take on Carlisle United in Sunday's League Two play-off final at Wembley
Stockport's player celebrate their penalty shoot-out win over Salford City last weekend
In terms of preparation, the Chester-born former defender has not changed from semi-professional divisions to the Football League.
Why would he change with a hit-rate of one promotion every other season on average?
'My mindset has always been that, even at part-time level, it is about working as professionally as possible,' he adds.
'Whether it's the top level or part-time leagues, you need to minimise excuses and make people accountable.
'At Colwyn Bay it was a group of players who were really good mates, I'd just brought together a bit of organisation and professionalism and it took them to the Conference North - we were massively batting above our weight and level.'
Challinor has always been adaptable. His Colwyn Bay side trained in Chester so they could attract players from nearby cities of Manchester and Liverpool.
After taking them to the National League North, he stepped down two tiers to join Lancashire club AFC Fylde