IT'S mission accomplished for Wingham Warriors as the club has cemented a spot in the Football Mid North Coast Premier League for season 2014.
This is despite a last round loss to Camden Haven. The Warriors and Kempsey Saints finished two points clear of the promotion/relegation game bound Tuncurry-Forster after the Tigers were beaten by Old Bar in their final game.
First grade coach John Bevitt said the Warriors are already planning for next year.
"We've received a major shot in the arm by appointing a coach for our Newcastle based players,'' he said.
The Warriors had nine first graders travelling from Newcastle each week. This limited the amount of times the squad trained together as a team
"This now means the Newcastle players won't be disadvantaged when running their own training sessions,'' Bevitt said.
"Any players leaving the area and moving to Newcastle who still want to play in the premier league are welcome to join our club.''
Bevitt described the commitment shown by the Newcastle contingent as 'outstanding.'
"The junior football they played with Wingham set the foundation for the dedication and loyalty,'' he said.
The Warriors lost 1-0 to Camden Haven, with the game's only goal coming in the last 30 seconds of play. There were suggestions there was a hand ball, however, the officials awarded the goal.
"We looked like we were going to share the points until then, although we had our chances,'' Bevitt said.
He admits there were some nervous moments waiting for the result from the Old Bar-Tuncurry-Forster clash. Had Tuncurry-Forster won Wingham would have finished last on percentages.
Wingham were in the cellar following the first round and looked to be headed for the promotion/relegation game to be played on the premier league grand final day against Port Saints. However, the side showed remarkable improvement in the second round and Bevitt said this coincided with university holidays, meaning the majority of the Newcastle players could get to training.
"In the second round we lost three, won two and drew two,'' he said.
"So obviously having a few training runs together helped.
Wingham's season isn't over yet, with a deferred game against Old Bar to be played at Old Bar this Saturday and Bevitt said the players are determined to finish on a high.