AS far as first seasons as a club go, few in the Wearside League would have had a better one than Shotton Colliery FC.

Formed in the early stages of the coronavirus lockdown, the club was built from scratch by a committed group.

In a matter of months, there was a squad full of players lined up in top quality kit which was made possible by the sponsorship of local businesses.

Just over a year after the group first met to discuss forming the club, "the yakkas" picked up a first piece of silverware, beating Hebburn Town Under 23s in the Durham Minor Cup Final in June.

On the day following England’s penalty shoot-out defeat in the Euro 2020 final, the club announced the news that their appeal to be promoted to division one of the Wearside league had been successful, meaning that the first season as a club has ended in double success.

Club chairman Gareth Coxon believes the club became a “well oiled machine” over the course of the season.

He said: “Looking back, a year ago from now, we had nothing.

“When we first got going I knew the potential to achieve was very good then it just started to snowball into a well oiled machine.

“I think we exceeded many expectations by winning a cup in our first year and pushing a team brimming with some Northern League stars all the way to the end.

“Looking ahead to next season, we build on what we've started, we will continue to improve on the pitch, but also off the pitch will look to maintain and improve the home ground working with our parish council and build better connections with the community to get as many people on board and supporting this football club."

Adam Cockcroft, who is co-manager of the team with Ian, added: “When we started the club. There were a lot of unknowns. Add into the mix a global pandemic that’s stopped the world functioning as we know it and I look back and think 'wow', talk about a baptism of fire for our first season and that’s before a ball was kicked. We could quickly see that the community was already behind us though and it showed with the sponsorship from so many local companies, who without them this club couldn’t function. We as a club can’t thank them enough.

“The season on a whole has been a great success, particularly the Durham Minor Cup win. I personally feel the players showed a character the village can be proud of.

“The supporters that night were nothing short of outstanding and the lads really felt that on the pitch.

“We’ve had other highs through the season, winning games such as 7-0 at home to multiple league winners Wheatley Hill and on the flip side we ground out a 1-0 win against South Moor where it took a Harry Winwood wonder strike to take the three points and a load of grit to see the game out.

“We have had a great first season but this is not where we rest and pat ourselves on the back. We hope to make this a catalyst and a sign for future successes.”

Their campaign for the new season starts at home on July 28.