The New Saints FC claimed a hat-trick of consecutive Welsh Premier League titles on Saturday, making history in the process by becoming the most-decorated team in the history of the division.
"It's another fantastic achievement to win the league three times in a row, but that is the level of expectation at this club," coach Carl Darlington told UEFA.com. "The players and staff have been outstanding again this season. Every single player in the squad deserves credit for what we have achieved, training is competitive every day. They are a fantastic group."
A 1-1 draw against nearest challengers AUK Broughton FC, the fourth time the two teams have played out that scoreline this season, earned the mid-Wales club their eighth Welsh Premier League title, eclipsing the previous record of seven held by Barry Town FC.
The champions' top scorer, Michael Wilde claimed the opening goal of the game on 33 minutes, his fifteenth of the season, by slotting the ball past visiting goalkeeper James Coates from a tight angle. AUK Broughton had tested the home defence prior to Wilde's goal, but they eventually equalised in the last few minutes of the match when Tom Field converted a penalty. That made for a nervous final few minutes for TNS, who went into the match knowing a point would be enough.
Attentions now turn to achieving a domestic double as they prepare for a Welsh Cup final date against Aberystwyth Town FC on 3 May. In addition, the result continued an incredible run of home form that means Darlington's side have not lost at home since November 2012.
The title triumph also means TNS will once again represent Wales in the UEFA Champions League. "Competing in the Champions League is an incredible experience; last year was one of the best ever," said Darlington. "It's what dreams are made of. We've also got the Welsh Cup final coming up which is a very prestigious competition and one that we want to win again."
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