Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting DN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Rowe hails champions Gornal
1:30pm Thursday 3rd May 2012 in Football
IAN Rowe hailed a fantastic team effort as Gornal Athletic were crowned West Midlands League champions.
The Peacocks only needed a point heading into last Saturday’s Premier Division game with Sporting Khalsa and did more than enough, demolishing their opponents 8-2 last to secure the title and promotion to the Midlands Alliance.
Rowe’s side have racked up more than 100 points to edge a thrilling two-way race with Black Country Rangers, who they trailed for most of the season.
It means Gornal have sealed a league and cup double after their success in the Midweek Floodlit Cup and Rowe was full of praise for this side.
He said: “I’m chuffed — over the moon. I’m still trying to take it all in.
“It’s been a fantastic season and I’m really proud of the lads. They have put in a supreme effort and we really have done it the hard way.”
Gornal were beaten by Black Country Rangers 5-2 on the opening day of the season and didn’t overtake their rivals until the closing weeks, after one defeat in 40 games.
Rowe added: “Back in November when we were so far behind Black Country, even with games in hand, I thought it couldn’t be done.
“It’s been a real team effort from the players, the staff at the club and the fans, who have been fantastic.
“It really makes a difference when you have a crowd cheering you on. I know the lads love it.”
Gornal will be presented with the Premier League trophy when they complete the season by hosting Wolverhampton Casuals this Saturday.
Their success means the silverware stays in the borough and the Peacocks will now join neighbours Tividale, who won the crown last year, in the Alliance.
Rowe admits there will be little time to bask in the glory before the planning for next season gets underway.
He said: “We can enjoy what we have achieved this season but next year we will be a big step up and we have to be ready.
“We will start planning straight away but we have to find the right path for us. We are a non-budget club and we perhaps need to look at brining in a few sponsors.”