Newcastle Jets Youth claim historic title
The Jets become the first A-League side to take out a state league title after their inclusion to the NNSW league in 2012.
It all came down to the last game of the season with first-placed Newcastle having to battle it out with second-placed Weston Bears.
A draw was all the Jets needed but they found themselves 1-0 down late in the game after a Carl Thornton header on 48 minutes.
If the Bears managed to hold on they would claim the minor premiership by just one point, but a goal from Tom Whiteside with five minutes left saw the Jets claim the draw and take out the premiership.
The club finished second-last in the league last season and recieved criticism for fielding inconsistent line-ups.
But coach James Pascoe set the goal for the side to reach the finals after the Jets finished as runner-up in the 2013-14 National Youth League season.
"We're grateful that Northern NSW has included us in the competition," Jets defender Nick Cowburn told the Newcastle Herald.
"We do cop a bit of stick from the teams, but that's football, and we're going to get that in the future if we're to progress, so they are ultimately helping us and we're grateful for that."
Currently only the Jets, Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar play in the first-teir of the NPL, with the Central Coast Mariners Academy plying in the second division of the NSW NPL.
Melbourne Heart, now Melbourne City, were included in the Victorian state league two years ago but following backlash from the clubs the state body Football Federation Victoria did a u-turn on their decision.
*Photo credit: Frank Khamees/Sportsgraphy