Ashington High School Sports College Under-18’s boss Marc Nash admitted that his championship winning side had presented him with his finest hour in football management.
Nash ended his sixth year in charge by masterminding his squad to wrestle the trophy away from Monkseaton High School, who had previously racked up eight titles in nine seasons.
And Nash described the feat as being a great achievement.
Ashington drew 2-2 with Monkseaton on Tuesday, leaving the North Tyneside outfit with the highly unlikely task of having to win by an 18-goal margin against Walbottle on Wednesday.
As it was, the Newcastle-based side clinched a 3-2 victory, which meant Ashington won the crown by three points and not on goal difference.
Nash said: “The achievement has just started to sink in, and I cannot heap enough credit onto the playing squad.
“They have been one of the most talented outfits and certainly would not have won anything had they not shown hard working qualities.
“They bought in to what we have been trying to do in certain games and the squad included students from Years 11, 12 and 13.
“There were no superstars or egos – instead a group of hard-working lads who were very humble and down to earth.”
Nash said the team’s performances have attracted a lot of interest from the staff and other pupils at the school based in Green Lane.
The side also reached the last 16 of the ESFA National Cup, which ended in penalty shoot-out heartache against Wetherby.
The boss believes this helped their league prospects.
“The National Cup run ignited our title challenge because the lads got into a winning mentality,” he said.
“Since October, they have gone through the remainder of the campaign unbeaten in the league whereas before our cup exploits, we were looking at finishing third or fourth.”
He concluded: “The biggest thing for me is that everybody at the school are extremely proud of the squad.
“Because of Monkseaton’s dominance, it’s usually a case of who finish runners-up to them, and at one stage I think they had a seven or eight points lead, although we had games in hand.
“The league is the bread and butter, it is the biggest competition because the best team comes out on top, and the Ashington squad can now take a deep breath and deservedly hold their heads up high.”