ANDY MORRISON’S dreams came true when Connah’s Quay Nomads were crowned 2019/20 Cymru Premier champions.

And that’s because he will be leading Nomads into the Champions League after wrestling the title from The New Saints’ grasp for the first time since 2012.

The Football Association of Wales opted to end the Welsh domestic campaign immediately on Tuesday, finalising the standings on a points per game basis.

When the Cymru Premier was suspended Nomads were four points clear at the top of the table - and subsequently the Flintshire club have their name on the trophy for the very first time.

And Nomads now have the chance to mix it with the best Europe has to offer when Champions League qualifying takes place.

“It’s what we dreamed of,” said Morrison of Champions League qualification. “I’ve always been a dreamer and it’s great to get the chance of Champions League football.”

Nomads are set to take their place in the first qualifying round, where Scottish Premiership champions Celtic are potential opponents.

“I’ll take that!” declared Morrison, whose side famously knocked Kilmarnock out of the Europa League last summer.

“We don’t know when the draw will be, but it’s something to look forward to.”

Champions League football is only possible for Nomads because of their title win. And their title win is only possible because of hard work.

Morrison and his backroom staff put hours of work into planning for matches, before the players go and carry out the instructions on the field of play.

“I’m very fortunate to have the group I’ve got, I’ve always said that,” said Morrison. “From the backroom staff to the players.

“The changing room looks after itself. I check in every now and then, but the senior players like Danny Harrison, George Horan, Michael Wilde will squash anything that isn’t productive from happening.

“If the lads that come into the club don’t adhere to the standards we set as a club then they don’t last long with us.

“We’ve got a great core of experienced players, which Callum Morris, John Disney and Danny Holmes are part of, and then there’s the lads who we’ve brought in like Jamie Insall, Callum Roberts, Priestley (Farquharson) and Craig Curran, who all have the right character.”

Character is important to thriving at Nomads with Morrison accepting that he asks a lot of his players.

“You’ve got to be strong,” continued Morrison. “I’m incredibly demanding and there are no punches pulled.

“But the players buy into what I want because they see the results that come from doing what I ask.

“We’ve got stronger and stronger, the evidence is in the results we’ve managed to achieve.”

In terms of results, Nomads had won 16, drawn eight and lost just two of their 26 completed matches.

Interesting, it’s one of those defeats - a 2-1 loss at The New Saints on January 18.

“There’s been key moments,” reflected Morrison, whose side did the domestic double by beating STM Sports to lift the League Cup. “The pivotal one was when we went to Park Hall and lost 2-1. It was very, very unfortunate, it was a result that didn’t reflect the game in any way.

“The reaction of the players afterwards was incredible and it was very, very humbling for me.

“There was no-way they were going to accept what went against us on the night, they made some vows there and then and over the next five games we won five, scored 17 goals and didn’t concede one.

“They did their talking on the pitch and that momentum, with the League Cup win, carried us into the second phase and we were incredible. We were at the top of our game and we were winning. When you get into that pattern it’s a great one to be in.”

While Nomads savour their success, Saints’ owner Mike Harris has questioned the legitimacy of the Flintshire club’s title win.

He said: “At the end of the day, the only way I can describe it is as a bit of an empty championship. If that’s what they want to do, that’s what they want to do.

“All I can say is congratulations to Connah’s Quay Nomads, but they won’t be keeping the title next season.

“There’s no sour grapes, it’s just it is what it is. I don’t really know what further options there were really. I probably don’t agree with the way the decision has ultimately been made, I’ve said before that I wouldn’t have been happy even if we were awarded it in this way.

“Technically, if there would have been any chance for it to be played, that option should have been kept open. I think the difficulty of a full return would have been costly, but there must have been a more sporting way to decide the season.”

Saints boss Scott Ruscoe congratulated Nomads on their win, saying: “It’s not a shock or a surprise, but it’s disappointing because seasons don’t finish on 26 games. But we’re not in a position to carry on for safety and everything that goes with it.”

“We’ve underachieved this season – we’ve lost games in the league and we we’re inconsistent, through injuries and a loss of form.

“You have to take your hat off to Nomads and other teams because they’re improving year-on-year, and the boys had a reality check.”