Caledonian Braves boss Ricky Waddell says his side deserved to win the Southern Counties Cup on Saturday, and it was a fitting way to end their season.
Goals from Ross McNeil, Luke Main and Marc Kelly gave Braves a 3-1 win over Dalbeattie Star at Annan Athletic’ Galabank, and Waddell was delighted to lift silverware.
Braves finished 10th in the 19-team Lowland League, and Waddell is looking to progress next season, but says it will be tough with rival clubs throwing cash around, plus Albion Rovers dropping in from League Two.
On the cup win, Waddell said: “It was a deserved win. They were due a cup win at some point, that group of players.
“We were in the South of Scotland Cup semi-finals where we played Spartans, and I thought we were unlucky and did enough to win on that particular day.
“To get to any cup final is good, but to win is the main thing, and I think we
deserved it. The first half was about even, in the second half we more than deserved it – we had loads of possession of the ball and I don’t think Dalbeattie threatened other than with a free kick towards the end at 3-1.
“We just needed to score and that settled things down, so I was pleased for the boys to get that victory.
“I appreciate it’s not the biggest cup in the world, but at the same time it’s winning something, which is good, and it’s what that group of players has been desperate to do.
“It has been a long season, right all the way until the end of May, and it’s a good way to end the campaign.”
Waddell says plans are already in place for next season and expects another tough league campaign.
But the Braves boss is confident, if he gets his signing targets.
He said: “Really for the last few weeks we’ve been thinking about recruitment, keeping players and moving players on, so that has been ongoing. I’ve already spoken to a few of them, but I’ll be meeting with the players this week, and look to try and progress again, keep going forward for next season.
“Plans for next season are already in place, really, and it makes it a better thing when you’re trying to recruit players if you win anything.
“I’m going to move on a couple of players, there are some that are wanted by other clubs, one or two have moved on to other things as well, so there’s going to be a wee bit of a refresh for next season.
“I think it’s important to do that, every couple of years we keep a core, but refresh some of the other positions.
“I think, come pre-season, I’ll have a better idea of our target, if I can get the players that I want, but we want to progress again.”