Ross County manager Derek Adams has described the former Highland League club’s ascent to the SPL as a “magnificent achievement”.
The Dingwall side have risen from the minnows to the big fish in just 18 years through the Scottish football leagues.
Dundee’s failure to defeat Queen of the South last night confirmed the First Division title for the Victoria Park club, and Adams was in celebratory mood.
He said: “We’re obviously delighted, it’s a magnificent achievement for Ross County to win a championship and move in to the SPL.
“We’re pinching ourselves – a team that has come from the Highland League and 18 years later have made the top level in Scotland – it’s a great achievement. The players have been wonderful this season and they’ve brought to where we are today.
“We’re a town with a small population but we’ve got a great togetherness and continuity over the last five or six years which has brought great success. Hopefully we can continue that.”
The title had seemed destined for the Highlands for some time, with the Staggies defeated just once in the league all season, and currently on a 29 game unbeaten run.
Adams said that record was testament to his players, and showed he was correct to leave Edinburgh giants Hibernian to return north.
He said: “29 games unbeaten is magnificent in any league, but to do that in one of the most competitive leagues in Britain is fantastic.
“The pressure’s definitely off us now but we want to try and keep that unbeaten run going and we know other teams want us to keep that run going because the relegation issue is still there for many teams.
“Without a doubt I feel vindicated in leaving Hibs and coming back here. People say never to return but I’ve done it twice now and enjoyed success.”
Now County are facing up to a new challenge – the Scottish Premier League and the return of the traditional Highland derby against Inverness Caledonian Thistle – and hopes are high that the club’s Victoria Park ground will be up to scratch in time.
Adams said: “We’ll enjoy being First Division champions first and foremost but when July and August come around we’ll be focused on the league.
“We look forward to locking horns with Big Terry [Butcher] again, a former manager of mine and a good friend.
“I’m very confident that we’ll be kicking off the SPL season at Victoria Park, the ground work has already started, the diggers are in and have already started knocking away.”