Rhyl FC were officially crowned champions of Wales for the second time in their history today and celebrated with a 2-1 victory at home to The New Saints FC which extends their unbeaten run in the league since 12 December to 16 wins and one draw in 17 games.
Manager Allan Bickerstaff and his team went into the game knowing that Llanelli AFC's 1-1 draw away to Aberystwyth Town FC on Friday night meant they could not be caught at the top of the table. It is a magnificent achievement for Bickerstaff, who is in his first season in charge of the Lilywhites, and his players who went eleven games unbeaten at the start of the season, winning nine and drawing two. Title winners for the first time in 2003/04, Rhyl now look forward to their second UEFA Champions League qualifying campaign.
"I want us to go to the end of the season unbeaten - we deserve to," said Bickerstaff, who knows that victory away to Newi Cefn Druids AFC in their final fixture next weekend will take the north Wales club to 90 points, the highest total since Barry Town FC won the league with 104 points in a 20-team competition. "I am totally delighted at a job well done. This is a fantastic achievement for the club and the community. We thoroughly deserve this."
Rhyl managing director Dave Milner said: "We have invested in better players and this is the result. Allan has changed our training methods and as a result fitness levels have improved and we have suffered few injuries. It's the culmination of a great year's effort by everyone at the club and it is great we have done it in such style and by such a convincing margin."
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