Edgeworth coach Damian Zane admits a fourth consecutive Northern NSW NPL premiership wasn’t in his thoughts six weeks before this season.
After losing six regular starters, Zane hoped the Eagles could build and maybe challenge for a grand final.
But while his side changed, the culture he created of hard training and reward for effort remained.
On Sunday, with a round remaining, Edgeworth didn’t even need to beat Lake Macquarie at Jack McLaughlan Oval to secure a record-equalling 12th top division for the club. Veteran striker Daniel McBreen still completed the script with a late goal for a 1-0 win.
McBreen, who will miss the finals with work commitments, came off the bench to score with a back-post header from Josh Rose’s cross in the 84th minute to kick-start celebrations on Old Boys’ day. Other results already had the silverware heading to Edgeworth again.
“Four years is not luck,” Zane said. “One year can be luck, but four years must be a culture. It’s remarkable to think that at the start of the year teams were tipping a certain team to run away with it by 10 points, and it’s closer to us doing that.
“We just haven’t changed. We work hard and we’re hard to beat. Today again, were we at our best? No. But we’ve just got guys who continually step up and do their job in big moments.
“It’s four in a row but it’s half a new team this year. We thought we’d build and possibly challenge for a grand final, but to be where we are is a credit to the hard work the players put in.”
Also Sunday, Jack Simmons scored an 88th-minute equaliser for the Jets Youth in a 2-2 draw with Weston. On Saturday, Adamstown beat Valentine 3-2 to guarantee Phoenix last spot.