sport

Pond embodies Fleetwood life

Captain Mark Roberts thinks fellow central defender Nathan Pond is the embodiment of Fleetwood and their rise up the football pyramid.

Pond, 29, will complete half-a-dozen promotions with the Cod Army if Graham Alexander's men leave Wembley as winners in Monday's League Two play-off final against Burton.

The centre-back has been at Highbury since they were plying their trade in North West Counties Division One and now stands on the brink of joining the likes of Coventry and Sheffield United in the third tier.

"Pondy's achievement is a massive one," said Roberts.

"He typifies everything that's good about this football club both on and off the pitch. This club has risen through the ranks and got bigger and better with every passing year.

"As an individual, as a character he doesn't understand the word 'no', he just keeps breaking down those walls that people keep putting up and hopefully he can help us take that next step."

Nobody in Fleetwood's squad can emulate Pond's incredible track record with promotions but there are others, including Roberts, who know what it takes to move up another level.

Roberts, who achieved back-to-back promotions as Stevenage's skipper, said: "The gaffer recruited certain players because of that (success). There was myself, who had enjoyed several promotions, Schumacher who had done the same with Bury.

"People with success - it breeds more success, whether that's higher levels or lower levels. We've got young lads in the squad who have had lots of positive experiences and promotions of their own. That ambition that the club has keeps moving forward."