Oxford United are back in the Football League and, says Manager Chris Wilder following Sunday's 3-1 Blue Square Premier Play-Off Final win against York City at Wembley, the U's must never again drop into non-league.

Before their 2006 relegation Oxford had spent 43 seasons as a Football League club, playing three of those campaigns in the top flight and in 1986 lifting The League Cup with a 3-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers in the Wembley Final.

Former Sheffield United, Rotherham United and Notts County defender Wilder, appointed U's boss in December 2008, said: "With the club's history we should never have been in this league, and we can't be in this position again.

"We've got the reward for a lot of hard work by everyone at the club and we've claimed what I think is our rightful place back in The Football League. Hopefully we can use this promotion as a springboard.

"It's a career-changing situation for the players and I'm proud of them. We've done this with good players, most of them who have experience of The League, and the character they've shown has been first class."

Wilder's captain James Constable, whose former clubs include Walsall and Shrewsbury Town, hit the second of Oxford's three Sunday goals - his 26th of the season - to help steer the U's to their Wembley triumph.

"It was absolutely to get one of the goals," said striker Constable, "but I'm just delighted with the win. It's been a tough season, but we always knew we could do it. I'm still having to pinch myself to believe it, though - it's fantastic."

Constable and Co deservedly went through the Play-Offs, though they had looked in the first half of the season as though they would sail to automatic promotion having won 12 and lost only one of their first 17 games.

They had a mid-season wobble, however, and were overtaken by Stevenage and Luton Town, automatically promoted Stevenage ending the season as champions and runners-up Luton falling to York in the Play-Off semi-finals.

Oxford beat Rushden & Diamonds - alongside whom the U's suffered their 2006 Football League relegation - in their Play-Off semi before wiping out four years of hurt with Sunday's success against York.

Wilder said: "This club never makes it easy for itself, but we got over the disappointment of losing the title to Stevenage and the stick we were given even though we finished the season with 86 points.

"We were written off, but we played well at Rushden in the first leg of the Play-Off semi-final, took it back to our place and then the desire and character to finish it off was there for everyone to see in the Final."