Four key reasons why Doncaster Knights won National One

Knights celebrate winning National One following their win at Blackheath.
Knights celebrate winning National One following their win at Blackheath.
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Doncaster Knights are back in the Championship after just one season away.

Here, Paul Goodwin picks out the main four reasons behind the club’s National One title success.

1. MONEY

Knights had by far the biggest playing budget in National One, thanks to the continued genorisity of benefactors Tony De Mulder and Steve Lloyd.

The continued support of several key sponsors also helped Clive Griffiths call upon 46 players over the course of a gruelling season, minimising the impact of a lengthy pre-Christmas injury list.

Knights’ financial muscle, and their professional status, meant they were there to be shot at - but they were ultimately two key components of a title winning season.

2. CLIVE GRIFFITHS

The likeable Welshman has steadied the ship - and more - since his return to Castle Park in November 2012.

He might have initially failed to keep the club afloat in the Championship but that only acted as further motivation to get it right this season.

Workaholic Griffiths did not leave a stone unturned in plotting Knights’ promotion, and his knowledge and contacts in the game proved to be invaluable.

3. TEAM SPIRIT/RECRUITMENT

Mistakes were made in recruitment prior to Griffiths’ arrival, but last summer’s squad overhaul proved to be spot on.

Unlike recent seasons, he gathered a group of lads determined to get the job done - and who were also determined to get on with each other, both on and off the pitch.

That team spirit shone through at vital moments, most notably the stunning late wins at Tynedale and Coventry.

4. FORTRESS CASTLE PARK

The Castle Park regulars had forgotten what it was like to see their team win going into this season.

But a one hundred per cent winning record on home turf certainly changed that - as the good times returned.