Tranent title win gives Calum Elliot his best moment in football
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The former Hearts striker was emotional as he reflected on their league triumph – secured on goal difference as second place Penicuik Athletic did all they could with a 2-1 victory over Linlithgow Rose.
First-half goals from Jamie Docherty, from the penalty spot, and a Darren McCormack header put Tranent in control and the second half was a procession towards being crowned champions.
“I think that performance has been coming for a number of weeks,” said boss Elliot.
“I think when you have been questioned like we have the past couple of weeks, we put it to them before the game to step up and deliver, and I thought we were phenomenal, 2-0 flattered them – it could have been anything.
“I certainly didn’t want a nervy second half, we controlled it but at the same time we still had loads of chance to finish it off. I am absolutely delighted for the boys, they have given the club absolutely everything in the past 18 months since I have been here; I am over the moon for them.
“It’s extremely tough [winning a league]. This is one of the toughest leagues in Scotland, you look from the top to the bottom and everyone can beat each other.
“To be crowned champions, and rightly so to be honest, that performance typified our season – when you really need it and you need boys to step up, they did it.
“When I came in, the club spoke to me and said ‘Ideally we would like to win the league within two years’ and I said ‘No, we will win it in my first year’ and we’ve done that. Covid curtailed last season and that allowed us time.
“I am honestly lost for words, that to me, means everything; the amount of time you put into it and seeing what it means to the players, it is amazing.
“This is the best achievement for me and I want more of it, I want more days like this. It’s tough at times but when you see how happy the players are it makes it all worth it.”
Tranent now have a round robin play-off to prepare for against West of Scotland champions Darvel and South of Scotland winners St Cuthbert Wanderers with a place in the Lowland League at stake. Tranent host St Cuthberts on Sunday, before heading to Ayrshire to face Darvel on Saturday 28th May.
Elliot continued: “The play-offs are a bonus for us, of course we want to go and do our best and win that, but for us to win the league is phenomenal itself. There is this perception from the outside looking in that we spend ridiculous amounts of money, we don’t.
“We have done very well in the transfer market in terms of selling players and bringing boys in. I can’t thank the committee enough for the support they have given me.
“The boys will certainly celebrate and they deserve it. These days do not come around very often so you have to enjoy them, you have to embrace it and give you the feeling that you want more of it, which we do.”