TEIGNMOUTH were given another reason to celebrate when The FA released its league allocations yesterday.
The Teigns, who won the Devon Football League South & West division, have now been promoted to the Peninsula Premier East for the 2022/23 season.
Plenty of hard work has been going on behind the scenes at Coombe Valley to ensure that the ground meets the necessary requirements for Step Six football.
And now the good news has finally been broken, Teigns manager Liam Jones is delighted that all of the hours put in have been worth it.
‘I’m really excited,’ said Jones. ‘It’s a really good feeling, especially after the stop-start nature of the past few years.
‘It’s been a real struggle to keep players interested and continue that drive to be better off the pitch as well.
‘Unless you’re involved at a non-league club, you tend not to realise all of the things that have to go on behind the scenes to make it work. I’m really proud of how we’ve kicked on off the pitch.’
Teignmouth were crowned champions of the DFL South & West after finishing a point ahead of Mount Gould – and a whopping 25 points clear of third-placed Plymstock United.
‘I think we’ve proven this year that we’re a bit too good for Step Seven football,’ Jones added. ‘And that’s with no disrespect to the league – Mount Gould have been very good, as have the University of Exeter.
‘But I was up at Newton Spurs versus Bovey Tracey just after Christmas, and it’s those sorts of local derby games in front of a few hundred people that you miss by not being in the Peninsula League.
‘Phil [Hiscox, Peninsula League secretary] runs an increcibly tight ship and it’s an outstanding league to be a part of. It’s probably the closest you’ll get to being in a “proper” league.’
In terms of his targets for next season, Jones added: ‘We don’t want to be exuberant, but if we can have a good go at getting into the top six that would be a success.
‘Our aim this year was to win the league and secure promotion, which we did, so hopefully that can drive a bit more success.
‘It’s an incredibly tough league, but if we can be in the mix at Christmas and stay in all of the cups then it should be a good season.’
Once the club has applied for Football Foundation funding, officials at Coombe Valley are hopeful that new floodlights will be up and operational by the winter.
‘It’s great to see Teignmouth promoted,’ said Peninsula League secretary Phil Hiscox. ‘They have done a lot of work and still have a lot of work to do, but they have shown really good potential.’
Fellow newcomers Bridport have dropped down to the Peninsula League from the Western League Premier Division after comfortably finishing bottom.
Holsworthy have been shuffled sideways to the Peninsula Premier West, while Stoke Gabriel & Torbay Police have been relegated on points per game to leave an 18-team division.
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