Owen da Gama revels in Highlands Park's promotion to the PSL
Posted: 9 April 2018 Time: 18:30
Highlands Park coach Owen da Gama has credited hard work and "total focus" for the club's immediate return to the Absa Premiership.
Highlands cruised to National First Division honours with four games to spare with a 5-1 rout of University of Pretoria at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday.
The Lions of the North were relegated to the second tier last term after a single campaign in the top flight.
"It was total focus," said Da Gama. "We have been humble and allowed the players to keep their feet on the ground and just kept working.
"I remember there was a time when Allan [Freese] went to Mthatha. I went to Venda. Coach Victor [Nhlapo] went to Durban. All three of us went to watch opposition teams play.There was a lot of dedication and hard work put behind this team."
'Rubber Doll' hailed the club's management for their support.
"Anything you achieve there is a different emotional impact but this is a great emotional impact for the bunch of guys I work for. It has been an absolute pleasure," he said.
"People asked, 'you are coming from Bafana Bafana [as an assistant coach] and taking a step back'. But I knew these people believe in me. I believe in them. Sometimes you have to take a step backward in life and go three forward. Hopefully, there are still good things to come."
Highlands will receive their NFD trophy on May 6 after they play their last fixture against Stellenbosch FC at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.