Shell Cove takes title

2014 Shell Cove Senior Soccer team with their Premiership trophy. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS
2014 Shell Cove Senior Soccer team with their Premiership trophy. Picture: GEORGIA MATTS

SHELL Cove Football Club has wrapped up the Illawarra District League crown and the chance to challenge for promotion to the Premier League with three rounds remaining.

When Shell Cove defeated Picton Rangers 3-2 two weeks ago at Myimbarr Park they gave themselves an unassailable lead over Warilla Wanderers at the top of the competition ladder, before stumbling against Kiama Quarriers last week.

A season-best haul of 19 wins, three draws and just two losses has the southern suburbs club on 60 points, 10 clear of the Wanderers and a further two clear of Berkeley Sports.

"It has been an achievement by everyone really," Shell Cove coach Robert Mihailov said.

"It was good to wrap it up with three weeks to go, especially with some key players out injured, who we are giving a bit of recovery time leading up to the playoffs."

Shell Cove's season has been built on the back of consistent performance on the pitch.

The ladder leaders haven't lost in their past 19 outings and have gone solo at the top of the table since round 10.

The season included a strong run of wins during a hectic patch of rescheduled matches and double-header weekends after a rain-affected start to the year.

Mihailov said the success came down to the Cove's squad depth.

"We recruited a little better and were one of the few clubs which were able to keep every single player from the year before as well. We had a very good understanding within the team and the guys know how each other played," he said.

With top place now secured, Shell Cove can apply for promotion to Football South Coast.

"We should be looking to get promoted and we have done what is in our control," Mihailov said.

"The next step now is try and get the support of the council and the IFA to step up."