Millwall. Just the team name brings the intimidation factor. Even though that is the case, the London club is one of the first names other fans will be looking for on next seasons Championship fixtures after they won their play-off final against Bradford 1-0 on Saturday. From personal experience, the away day to Millwall is fascinating, getting up early doors to get on the coach and start your journey you have the anticipation of what is to come. Driving into London by police escort and weaving through each street with hundreds of Millwall fans on each corner which has a pub to welcome you in to their back yard. And finally, driving into the stadium surrounded by metal fencing, keeping you encaged ready for the match and 90 minutes of agony or ecstasy.
As before mentioned, after winning the League One play-off final, the Lions will once again be in England’s second tier, competing in the Championship for the first time in over 10 years. After a cagey affair at Wembley with Millwall trying to keep possession of the ball, it was Bradford who had the game’s biggest chance with Billy Clarke latching on to a through ball to put him clean through on goal only for Jordan Archer to come to the rescue with a one handed save. After an end to end first half, Millwall eventually took control and as the game went closer to the end, you felt like only one team could have won it and that proved to be the case when a ball into the box was flicked goalwards by Lee Gregory which was met by an on-rushing Steve Morison to finish and send the Millwall fans into dream land as they knew they had won promotion.
Where there is Millwall, there is usually controversy and following the final whistle ensued a pitch invasion from thousands to the dismay of the team and coaching staff. Fellow fans chanted for them to leave and manager and club legend Neil Harris also walked round the pitch telling them to leave. In a post-match interview pitch side, Steve Morison spoke of pure disbelief saying his fans had ruined the day for him and his teammates. But after a few minutes that became background noise as Millwall climbed the famous Wembley stairs and lifted the play-off trophy much to the delight of the fans and board members in attendance.
A trip to the New Den is sure to whet the appetite of all Championship clubs and may come as a reality check to the teams coming down but it surely adds the intimidation and suspense into a league that is becoming more competitive by the year. What can Millwall fans expect? A team that will challenge any club each week and winning their home games will be pivotal in mounting any serious challenge. Investment is certainly need to compete but who knows what could happen, that is the uncertainty that Millwall bring to the table.