Heath want to emulate Tynecastle

NEWTON HEATH were among the trio of clubs who shared the six honours on offer in the Edinburgh and Districts Sunday Amateur Football Association (EADSAFA) during the past season, but the club's chief Dean Philp has revealed plans for the club to become even stronger in the near future.

Heath bagged the First Division league championship – and with it, promotion to the Premier – as well as the League Cup, while Redhall Star were crowned top tier title winners and also won their League Cup.

Knockout specialists Currie AFC, meanwhile, were honoured for their efforts with the David Temple Memorial Cup and the Association Cup.

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It was Heath, though, who caused significant ripples en route to their elevation to the top flight with success on the "domestic" scene coupled with a valiant run to the last 16 of the Scottish Cup.

"No other team has gone unbeaten in the league," says Mr Philp, the team manager. "Winning the double and getting to the last 16 from over 1,200 amateur teams in 'the Scottish' is fantastic for us, and something I never expected.

"We've had a lot of games and a lot of injuries over the season – in 50 matches, we've only lost three times, and in our 22 league games we're the only EADSAFA team to remain unbeaten."

Indeed, Heath drew just once while winning 21 games en route to the title, with James Reilly winning the Golden Boot with a 60 goals. While Reilly's phenomenal return eased Heath to the championship win, it was Johnno McManus and John Daly whose goals against close rivals Sporting Chesser won the cup final by 2-1.

Due to injury, Philp, a registered squad member, has largely focused on driving his team on from the sidelines this year as team manager. Although next season he will reprise his role on the left of defence or midfield, it is off the field that Philp is making far grander plans.

"I'm still only 30 and will hopefully get back to playing next year, while remaining as secretary. The ambition for the long-term, though, is to help turn Newton Heath into a force – what the Tynecastle Club is known for now, and well-known all over Scotland. My plan in the next couple of years is to have a team under the Newton Heath name at every age group."

Philp didn't rule out the prospect of Heath pushing for a presence in local senior or junior leagues in future, but in the meantime he is already expanding the club piece-by-piece.

He confirmed that, from next season, the fledgling amateur outfit Milton AFC will adopt the name of Newton Heath and operate as a "B" team, receiving much-needed funding for strips and training equipment as a result of the merger.