Promotion beckons for untouchable Shell Cove


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

Cove defeated Picton Rangers 3-2 on Saturday at Myimbarr Park to give themselves an unassailable lead over Warilla Wanderers at the top of the competition.

A season-best haul of 19 wins, three draws and just one loss 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 title winning season has been built on the back of an ultra-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.

It 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 it came down to Cove's squad depth.

"We recruited a little better and were one of the few clubs that was 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 their place at the top now secured, Shell Cove can apply for promotion to Football South Coast.

"You should be looking to get promoted. We have done what is in our control. The next step now is try and get the support of the council and the IFA to step up," Mihailov said.

"We definitely want to get promoted, that was always my goal."

Other titles secured on the weekend were Thirroul in the District League Youth and Bulli in the Premier League Youth.

Bulli's title is the third out of the possible four available in the age group this season.


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