JASON Blunt says winning the title with Dearne and District this week made him just as proud as playing in the Premier League or representing England under 18s.

Blunt, from Bolton-upon-Dearne, led the Goldthorpe-based club to the title after winning their final game 3-0 at AFC Bentley.

That put them six points clear of second-placed Doncaster City – who have a game to play – and they have won 27 of 30 league games.

Blunt, who was a youngster with Leeds United in the 1990s, said: “I played in the Premier League, represented my country, won promotion with Doncaster Rovers, but this felt just as special if not more.

“It’s very different, obviously, but for the amount of people it affects, it has to be right up there with the best things I’ve done.

“It’s the area I was brought up in as a kid so to see people I went to school with celebrating in the crowd was amazing.

“We’re all absolutely delighted.

“Lots of hard work has gone into this season from where we started.

“It was a relief.

“It’s not just been about winning it, we have had to build an infrastructure.

“We have more 500 kids in our junior teams. We’ve built something for the community for years to come.”

Enzo Guarini, Josh Moore and Tommy Needham netted in front of a crowd of 835. Blunt said: “For the first half, Bentley were probably the strongest side we’ve played. They were really up for it.

“We had a chat at half-time and came out all guns blazing.

“We looked like a team that should be winning the league.

“It’s our biggest attendance and incredible for a team at that level.

“We’ve just been doing the right things – making it more community-based, more local players, and we’ve created something. Credit to everyone behind the scenes.”

Dearne are now due to play in the Northern Counties East League next season.

“We have the capability of pushing for promotion next season.

“Play-offs are definitely a target.

“We have areas we need to improve on. There are ten to 14 extra fixtures so we probably need to strengthen the squad, with four or five additions.

“We would like to get to the Northern Premier League eventually.

“You have got to have a vision otherwise what’s the point?

“I think it’s possible, how quickly will be interesting because this is all new.

“We need to develop the ground more which is just as important.

“One step at a time but it’s definitely where we would like to be.”

Dearne will be in the same league next season as Wombwell Town, Athersley Rec and Worsbrough Bridge.

“That’s positive.

“This year we have been averaging crowds of 300 or 400.

“With local derbies, that will generate more people coming and more income which will help make us sustainable.

“But we have to be up the right end of the table and playing good football.”

Elite AFC lost 3-1 at Chesterfield Youth.

They are fourth with one game to play.