BARNSLEY FC women’s head coach Jess Horsley says being taken over by the Oakwell club and the extra assistance provided has been the main factor in them winning the North East Premier title.

The Reds travelled to Wallsend on Sunday needing a point for the title and won 4-0 – a ninth straight victory in all competitions.

That meant they had secured the league title with a game to spare as well as promotion into the fourth tier.

Horsley said: “No words can explain how proud I am of the girls. They are a credit to the club.

“It’s been extraordinary how much they have committed this season and they deserve everything they have achieved.

“It’s been a lot of hard work and graft but it’s been worthwhile now we’ve got what we wanted. It’s a massive relief.

“I didn’t think this would happen.

“We had a tough start then won seven in a row but then lost two.

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“We stuck together, kept winning, put pressure on Wallsend which eventually got to them.

“Last week I finally felt we would do it and there was no better way to do it than a 4-0 win.”

The Reds were incorporated into Barnsley FC last summer after winning promotion last season as Barnsley Ladies.

They have been training more as well as having more access to facilities and staff such as sports scientists and physios.

Horsley said: “I think it’s been the difference between us winning the league and not.

“Wallsend had two coaching staff on the side of the pitch and we had ten.

“It physically wouldn’t have been possible without the backing of the club.

“Clubs in this league, apart from us, don’t have the funding for ice baths after midweek games, for physios to put on clinics, or the machines and facilities we have.

“It’s also down to the commitment of the staff and players too.”

They will now be promoted into National League Division One North.

Horsley said: “Our aim will be to go for promotion again.

“We will start pre-season earlier and play teams in leagues above in friendlies.

“We have been speaking to the club and know we need to do some recruitment.

“It will be a big summer. We have players who want to come.”

The Reds now play in the League Cup final against Sunderland under 23s at Norton and Stockton on Sunday.

Sunderland under 23s have won all 15 completed games in the league below the Reds, winning the title, and beating teams at Barnsley’s level earlier in the cup run.

“It would be fantastic to do the double.

“We have had a lot of pressure on us to win the league and now we have no pressure.

“We will enjoy it. The outcome hopefully will be positive.

“Sunderland are obviously very strong and we’re going in blind against them.”

Barnsley also won 6-3 at home to Wakefield on Wednesday.

Horsley played in goal due to a broken arm sustained by usual stopper Ashleigh Ridsdell-Harrison, and is due to do the same in the final on Sunday.

“Ash has been unbelievable.

“We haven’t got any other choice but to play me.

“I have been on the bench six times this season.

“I played in goal in the third tier but I haven’t played for 12 months.”

In Wallsend, Jodie Gregory made it 2-0 then went in goal due to the Ridsdell-Harrison injury, with Maddison Foye and Louisa Barraclough also on target.

“It was brilliant, the first half was a bit slow but their goalkeeper made a massive mistake and lost the ball to Jodie.

“We dominated the second half and they weren’t able to play.

“Their key striker was out which did make a big difference and we massively capitalised.”

Meanwhile, Barnsley women Bethany England and Amy James-Turner started for Tottenham Hotspur in their 4-0 FA Cup final loss to Manchester United at Wembley. Bethany, from Kingstone, captained the side.