'Perfect end to a very challenging but very rewarding season' - Wigan Athletic coach
"The perfect end to a phenomenal season for us all."
Kieran Driscoll's assessment after watching his Wigan Athletic Under-18s become national champions after beating southern counterparts Charlton on their own Valley pitch.
Goals from Jason Fulton and Millen Brown gave Latics a deserved victory to round off a magnificent campaign at junior level.
And with so many youngsters having been fast-tracked into the senior set-up over the last 12 months, it underlines how strong the foundations are for a bright future.
"It's a phenomenal feeling, and an unbelievable achievement from the lads, who are fully deserving of this success," enthused Driscoll.
"It's been a very challenging season, but it's also been a very rewarding season.
"Obviously the club's been through an awful lot in the last year, with the club going into administration and having to sell a number of young players to ultimately keep the club afloat.
"We've seen a lot of our young professionals moving up and having a really positive impact in the first-team set-up, and helping the club achieve success in staying in the division.
"And for the Under-18s to follow in their footsteps, and becoming national champions is just the perfect end to a phenomenal season for us all."
Goalkeeper Tom Watson was arguably the pick of the Latics players on the night, being there when his side needed him with a string of fine saves.
But Driscoll was keen to distribute the praise equally among all the squad - and also the coaches and staff at all levels for playing their own part - no matter how small - in the success.
"The players take all of the plaudits for all of the success we've achieved on the night," he said.
"But of course it's a product of all the hard work that's been put in by so many people over the course of the whole season.
"The staff have been incredible in terms of coming together and going above and beyond, fulfilling not only their own positions but also alternative duties because of the situation.
"Nights like this are just great for everyone to be able to come together and enjoy the moment and enjoy the benefits of all the hard work.
"We're so lucky at this club to have such a talented group of staff, who are also totally committed to going above and beyond for the benefit of the players and the club.
"There's so much work being done behind the scenes, there's a team behind the team and it's very much a collective effort."
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