DANNY Cowley says he is only now having time to reflect on a remarkable season at Lincoln City.

Cowley, a former teacher at The FitzWimarc School and ex-manager of Concord Rangers, guided Lincoln to the National League title in his first season at the club.

Assisted by brother Nicky, the Imps re-wrote the history books, becoming the first non-league side in 103 years to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

And Cowley, who still lives in Chelmsford, said he is so proud of what the club have achieved over the past 12 months.

“We have had that time to reflect now,” he said. “When the season was unfolding the games were coming thick and fast.

“We were playing on Saturday and Tuesday all the way from Christmas onwards.

“You don’t get the time to reflect throughout the season but now I am able to sit back and realise we had a remarkable year.”

Cowley inspired Lincoln into the Football League, with the team losing just seven of 46 games as they ended the season on 99 points.

And Cowley said the FA Cup run, in which they beat Ipswich Town, Brighton & Hove Albion and Burnley before losing to Arsenal, helped in the long term.

“We always set out to try and win promotion,” he said. “We knew all about the size of the club and the potential of the club.

“In the five years since Lincoln had been relegated it had never finished above 13th in the National League. It had lost its way.

“The FA Cup run helped us. It wasn’t a hindrance and we drew confidence from it.

“When you are playing Premier League and Championship teams, it tests your team’s organisation.

“So when the pressure came on in the league we were in a good position to cope with that.”

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COWLEY'S JOY AT 'SURREAL' SEASON

Basildon Standard:

Meeting - Danny Cowley shakes hands with Sean Dyche in the FA Cup

‘SURREAL’ is a word that continues to crop up as Danny Cowley discusses his achievements at Lincoln City last season.

Among those surreal moments are a sit down with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger following an FA Cup quarter-final, having England Rugby World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward round for breakfast and delivering an acceptance speech at the League Managers’ Association awards dinner.

And Cowley admits it was a season of firsts for him and his brother, Nicky.

“There were some surreal moments last season, that is for sure,” he said.

“Sitting down with Arsene Wenger, having Clive Woodward around my breakfast table and doing an acceptance speech at the LMA awards, having won a Special Achievement Award.

“These don’t happen to ordinary people.

“Someone said recently that it was the best season ever had by a non-league football team.

“That made me pretty proud.”