New Mills, Vodkat Premier Division champions, 2010/11
New Mills, Vodkat Premier Division champions, 2010/11

IT WAS third time lucky for New Mills AFC as the club was crowned Vodkat Premier Division Champions.

A 2-1 win at Stone Dominoes on Saturday guaranteed Ally Pickering’s men the league title and promotion to the Evo-Stik League Division One next season, with a possible league and cup double still on the cards.

Millers chairman Ray Coverley said: “It has been a long hard road over these last three years, having gone so close twice before, so to do it now, and in some style, is a marvellous achievement.

“I think the difference this year has been having a good start to the season. Previous starts have been indifferent, but this year we have been consistent, and keeping pretty much the same squad of players from start to finish has also helped.”

A decision is now awaited on which Evo-Stik First Division - North or South - the Millers will be placed in next season.

And with the 2010/11 season coming to an end, work will now frantically begin behind the scenes to prepare the club and its Church Lane ground for their first taste of Evo-Stik League action. But the main focus will be on the players.

“We already are looking forward to the challenges ahead,” Coverley said.

“With a bit of tweaking here and there, and from what has been seen so far, we feel our existing squad will be good enough to hold its own at that level.”

But the chairman has not ruled out bringing in any new faces, and says the club will continue to nurture its promising home-grown youth talent.

Coverley added: “I would like to say a massive thanks to everyone involved with the club, especially the tremendous travelling support and everyone on the board and committee.

“We are a good club, an ambitious club, and I hope everyone stays on board and sticks with us.”

New Mills were presented with the Vodkat Premier Division trophy after Monday’s 1-1 draw against near-neighbours Glossop North End, who now stand between the Millers and a possible league and cup double.

The Millers face the Hillmen in the last eight of the Vodkat League Challenge Cup at Surrey Street on Bank Holiday Monday May 2.

Prior to that fixture, New Mills play their final league fixture against Silsden on Saturday. Kick-off at Church Lane is 3pm.