DUNBAR United manager Geoff Jones was “absolutely thrilled” after his side clinched the South Division title on Saturday.
The Seasiders knew a win over Livingston United in West Lothian would give them the title and they secured it in style, winning 5-0.
Goals from Chris Gordon, Kieran Ingram and Chris Grant all but ensured the title for the Seasiders inside the opening 45 minutes.
Scott Devlin scored after the break – a free-kick after the hosts had been reduced to 10 men – before Dean Ballantyne struck the fifth from the penalty spot.
A delighted Jones told Courier Sport: “It’s a great feeling.
“You have no idea how proud I am of them.
“I’m not embarrassed to admit that watching them celebrate together on Saturday brought a tear to my eye.
“They are a great bunch, not a single bad egg among them, and they are a very close group.
“This team has been three years in the making and at the start of the season I really felt we would take some stopping, but what they have achieved is nothing short of remarkable.”
The former striker, in his first job as a manager, said that it meant “everything” to him to have won the league title.
Jones, who has spent 17 years at the club as both player and manager, added: “It’s my biggest moment in football and it’s something that nobody can ever take away from me or my management team.
“This is my club – even when I left as a player for my last season before retiring, my heart was always here.
“I’m really delighted for my family, who have made some big sacrifices for football.
“Time spent at training, watching potential new players, match days, general admin, man management of players is all time spent at the expense of my wife Dionne and two girls Alana and Ava.
“They take the brunt of whatever emotions I’m going through at the football, so it’s only right that they are acknowledged as part of the success.”
And while the players and supporters celebrated Dunbar United’s title win into the wee hours of Sunday morning, Jones’ attentions – barring Saturday’s trip to Lochgelly Albert – have already turned to next season.
The Seasiders boss added: “I’m always planning ahead and have made contact with a couple of players.”
“We don’t need wholesale changes and have 14 players already re-signed, so I don’t need to panic.
“We need a couple of quality additions if we want to compete in the league above, which is very difficult and extremely competitive.”
The 40-year-old is also hopeful the South Division title win – a third for an East Lothian club in as many years, following the successes of Haddington Athletic and Tranent Juniors – will see more people through the gates at New Countess Park, or helping out behind the scenes.
“I’m also especially happy for the committee: they are a small group of local guys who work tirelessly to keep the club running and to support myself and the players,” he said.
Club stalwart Jones added: “Hopefully this success pays them back for all the work – and perhaps might convince some new blood to come and help out.”