Woodford Wanderers have been crowned Division One champions thanks to a 2-1 win over FC Team B, and dedicated the title to their former manager Paul Hyams.
Needing just a point on Sunday against the only other side who could have pipped them to the title, goals in each half from Harrison Midda and James Ryan saw them to a 2-1 win.
Woodford Chairman Alex Aviram said: I’d like to dedicate the Championship win to the loving memory of late Paul Hyams aka 5 foot who lost his battle to cancer in November 2015. Our legendary ex Gaffer was a true Woodford hero and his voice will forever be heard in the our changing room and on our sidelines.
“It’s been a wonderful season for Woodford, my decision to keep the managers in house with the appointment of Daryl Kay and Jerome Marks proved to be the winning formula. I’m very proud of what this club has achieved and only losing one game all season shows how hard work can pay off. Everyone in involved with this season are true warriors.”
Happy with his side’s performance in the win over Team, Kay said: “I thought we controlled the game, especially in the second half and thoroughly deserved to win the game and league.“Both Jerome and I are very pleased and proud of the team, it’s our first season in management and to only lose one game all season – that being the second game – is amazing.”
Confident they could win the title back at the start of the season, he says the togetherness of the squad helped them to their win. “We made it clear that our target was to win the league at the start of the season”, he said. “I think the fact Jerome and I have been with Woodford from the start as players turned managers helped us to build a great team spirit where we were all singing from the same hymn sheet.”
“We are the best team in the league, clearly. But I think what separates us from the rest is how relentless we are with our opponents. I haven’t seen any team match us for work rate this season.”
Back in the top flight of Jewish football next season, he’s also hoping they can make an impact in the Premier Division. He said: “We know next season will be very hard, but if we sign the right players and have the right attitude, along with the boys losing a bit of weight over the summer, hopefully we can make a name for ourselves in the Premier Division!”
Team manager Mitch Young believes Wanderers were worthy League winner, but didn’t feel his side deserved to lose Sunday’s game. He said: “The match was a very poor game of football, it was played like a cup final and my team let the occasion get to us a bit. I don’t think we necessarily deserved to lose the game but in my opinion we didn’t do enough to win the game.
“Congratulations though to Wanderers, they are deserved champions and have been the most consistent side all season.”
With second spot – and promotion – still in the offering for his side, he says: “Our aim after winning the title last season was to win the Division One title this season however, we had a poor first half of the season with player injuries and unavailabilities left us too much to do in the second half.
“There will be no shame in finishing runners up but for a club and squad like ours that is border line satisfactory. In terms of promotion it wont matter to us anyway because we can’t get promoted regardless.”