After a magnificent and unforgettable season of football in Northern Ireland Football League another David and Goliath battle was had in the Premier Intermediate League and Championship this week!
Fledgling side Newry City Athletic Football Club won the NIFL Championship title to book their place in Danske Bank Premier League next season.
In just five years this young club founded by manager Darren Mullen and a team of interested parties have graduated from the Mid Ulster Football League Intermediate B1 league into top flight football in a rags to riches story. Would you believe that this young team do not get paid a penny to play and in fact have to pay £5 sub every time they put on the jersey? This shows the youngsters commitment and love of their home team.
Its reminiscent of the Foxes winning the Premiership back in the 2015/2016 season, albeit Leicester had lots more money but what Newry lack in money they make up for in bravery and heart.
They beat Carrick Rangers 3-1 and 6-3 on aggregate in a dramatic game which determined either promotion for Newry or relegation for Carrick Rangers. Newry went behind early on in both legs but showing their tenacity and spirit, they fought back to win on both occasions.
Gaffer Darren Mullen told the Belfast Telegraph “”There are other teams who have spent money and haven’t got to this stage, but it shows what can be achieved if you have a bunch of lads willing to work hard and put pride in the shirt.”
It remains to be seen whether Newry City Athletic Club can hold their own with the likes of Crusaders, Coleraine, Lingfield in top flight football but with their short but successful track record, they will give all they have got!