Eccleshill United head coach Lee Duxbury feels the Eagles are still flying despite last weekend’s bitter disappointment at Valley Parade.
Their mix of locals and prospective overseas talent (from the Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy) lost out in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Cup final.
It was, however, a defeat on penalties after they had matched Knaresborough Town for 120 minutes.
It was also their second visit to Bradford City’s stadium in a month, having lifted the West Riding County Cup there in early April.
Duxbury said: “My lads have been awesome this season – the local lads and the (mainly) American boys. They have learned a lot, taken things on board, achieved things and been a credit to the club.
“I’m so proud of each and every one of them. It has been a good season and one defeat – on penalties because we didn’t lose the match – should not take the edge off it.”
Eccleshill’s director of football Mark Ellis, like Duxbury a former Bantam, said: “To get to two big finals from our position is like City getting to Wembley twice last season.
“But what pleases me is that we’ve done it playing good football. We play the right way and you only have to look at some of the teams we beat to get to the finals to see that, because quite a few of them have been from a higher level.”
Committee member Brian Bell added: “It was disappointing to lose at Valley Parade but what a season it has been.
“I know Mark and Lee are frustrated by missing out on promotion but getting to two finals at City’s ground raises our profile and brings a lot of hope and expectation back.
“Things are going well for us after a lean time and I think we will be challenging again next season.”