An injection of quality players has helped Dalkeith Thistle win its first league silverware in more than 20 years.
The Jags’ 5-2 victory against Fauldhouse last week gained them an unmatchable 60 points, and promotion to the Premier League.
Club vice-chairman Jimmy Butt was among around 400 other supporters who were celebrating at the final whistle.
He told the Advertiser: “This fantastic achievement is all about the players, who have been immense throughout the season. There is a great camaraderie between the lads, and I think that helped us over the line.”
Players celebrated at the Black Bull pub after the game, but had to wait until their match against Pumpherston the following Tuesday to get their hands on the league trophy.
Mr Butt puts the club’s success this season down to financial support from a number of local businesses, allowing the likes of winger David Morris, midfielder Gary Small and forward Kenny Fisher to be brought in.
For a club which has signed no less than seven keepers over the last three years, young goalie James McQueen has been a revelation between the sticks, while top goalscorer Steven Pudledski has been a constant threat at the other end of the pitch.
Centre forward Kevin Haynes is another lad singled out by Mr Butt for special praise. He said: “Kevin can hold the ball up and spray it 60 yards across the pitch, or lay it into the channels for other players. He can’t run, and always looks like he’s pulling a carthorse behind him, but he has a great football brain.”
While keen to hang on to the current squad of players, Mr Butt and his fellow committee members are looking to attract some fresh talent to the club.
He added: “All the players have signed up for next season, which is great news. We’re always looking to improve, however, and hope to bring in another four of five players. Currently, our oldest lad is 29, and so we will be looking to sign guys who have a bit more experience.
With little between the sides in an evenly-matched first half last Tuesday, Fauldhouse took the lead on 36 minutes. Thistle equalised immediately after the break and then took the lead with a penalty after Kenny Fisher was scythed down in the box.
The number 11 continued to cause problems for the Fauldhouse defence and his speed and awareness created Thistle’s third and fourth goals. The Jags scored a fifth in injury time after Fauldhouse had nicked one back and thrown everyone forward.
The committee of Dalkeith Thistle would like to thank their supporters, including board sponsors (Balmoral Motors, Durie and Roger, Kebab Mahal, Graham Clark, Lazer Engineering, Intersport, WM Pearson Accident Repairs, Freelance Ariel, Aqualectric, Macsigns, Pirtek, Hireline Limited, Shorts Garage, Midlothian Council, Alan Dobbie, Clan Caterers, Sports Club Services) and player sponsors (LSR Ltd, Jamieson Joinery, Little VIP Nurseries, Itihaas restaurant, British Legion, Dalkeith Miners, International Waste Management Group Ltd, Just Perfect Driveways and ABW Cabs) for their support throughout the season.