MANAGER Mick Mulhern savoured Sunderland Ladies’ promotion ... several hundred miles away from his victorious side!
While the Lady Black Cats were confirming their elevation to to Women’s Super League 1 with a 4-0 win over Millwall in south east London, Mulhern remained in the North East because of work commitments.
But the Sunderland boss told the Echo he never worried that his team might suffer a final-day wobble with title rivals Doncaster Belles breathing down the Wearsiders’ necks.
“I’d have loved to be there,” he said.
“As the manager, you always want to be there for your players but I didn’t feel we would suffer from any last-minute jitters.
“When we suffered our first loss of the season, a few weeks ago to Doncaster Belles, I said then that I was confident we would win our last couple of games to get us over the line.
“And the last thing I said to some of the girls before they headed off to Millwall was that I fancied us for a three or four-nil win.”
Mulhern’s confidence was based on the fact that his players had been there, seen it and done it in previous seasons.
“It’s the fourth time in a row we’ve won the title and for myself it’s a magnificent seven times I’ve been privileged to be in charge when we’ve won the title,” he reflected.
“We’ve brought quite a few young players into the side in recent times but I’ve not been bothered about that because we’ve always subscribed to the idea that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
“The important thing is that the bulk of the side have won the title before and they weren’t going to be fazed by the pressures that come with going for the title.
“We had some good competition for the trophy and credit to Doncaster Belles for that.
“When they came down last season I always thought that it would be them, us and Reading competing for the title and it has ended up with us finishing one, two, three at the top of the table.
“Doncaster are a good side and they pushed all the way but our girls deserve every credit for the way they’ve handled themselves to win the league again.
“It has been a real team effort and the squad and the coaching staff can enjoy a bit of a well-earned break now after doing the club and the city proud.”