David Healy in conversation with Linfieldfc.com
“I’m absolutely delighted for everyone associated with Linfield Football Club that we’ve been confirmed as champions by NIFL this evening.
The past few months have been challenging, both on and off the pitch and I’m just so pleased for everyone that we’ve been rightly crowned as champions tonight.
The aim at the start of the season was to end up as league winners and so it’s great that this aim has been achieved.
I’m so pleased for our players who’ve been left wondering and waiting on news, if we'd get back to playing and they were imagining all sorts of possible scenarios.
Full credit goes to the players. Around a year ago we set out on a journey in pre season and that journey has effectively ended today.
There were a few wee dips in form along the road but the players have been an absolute credit to the club.
We were 4 points clear and we have earned the right to be confirmed as league winners in the circumstances that we, and indeed other clubs in Europe, found ourselves in.
We were having to play catch up after an incredible run in Europe but I’ve no doubt we were worthy league winners and earned the right to be confirmed as champions.
I would like to pay immense tribute to Coleraine. They have won the League cup and were pushing us hard in the league. It’s so sad that we weren’t able to play out what was shaping up to be an exciting end of season and I’ve no doubt they will be serious challengers again next season.
Of course, we would have loved to play out the final league games and win the title in customary fashion but we just had to accept that it wasn’t possible, due to these sad and unfortunate circumstances we have all found ourselves in.
We’ve spoken quite a lot with Oran Kearney and Colin McKendry in recent times and they’ve been a real credit to their club. I have so much respect for the dignified way they have conducted themselves through these difficult few months.
While the triumph has been achieved by our players and staff, I also want to give thanks to the board for their steadfast backing.
I also want to thank our supporters who I know have missed their football as much as we have.
These have been unprecedented challenging times across the world and many of our supporters have lost family members and friends due to this awful virus.
I hope tonight’s news gives those supporters some joy, happiness and comfort.
I also want to pay tribute to our NHS staff and key front line workers who have helped get us through these challenging and tough times.
It’s been a long road but hopefully, we are starting to get back to some form of normality.
We look forward to getting back to training in preparation for another crack at UEFA champions league football.
In the meantime, everyone connected with Linfield FC can hopefully enjoy this success and celebrate in a safe manner tonight.”