Ross County celebrate rise to SPL

Ross County are the Division One champions
Image caption Ross County have been congratulated by SPL champions Celtic

Ross County entered the Scottish Football League 18 years ago and next season they will be playing in the Scottish Premier League.

The club won the First Division title without kicking a ball, after challengers Dundee were held to a draw at Queen of the South.

The Dingwall club's manager, Derek Adams, paid tribute to his "outstanding" players after the win.

Scottish Premier League champions Celtic have congratulated the club.

Prior to the 1994-1995 season, Ross County were playing in the Highland League, a competition they won three times. They have now risen through all three divisions of the Scottish Football League and will play next season in the SPL.

In 2010 they reached the final of the Scottish Cup, losing to Dundee United.

Derek Adams said: "To finish and win the championship of the First Division with five games remaining, there's not many teams that can say that. It's been an excellent effort from my players this season, they have been absolutely outstanding."

Derek's father, George Adams, who is director of football at Ross County said he was proud of his son after the historic win.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland he said: "I'm proud of my son, very proud of him but I'm also proud of the players, the staff, the directors of the football club and the supporters, they've all played their part throughout the season on the journey we've been on."

"Hard work beats a lot of things and when you've got a group of players, a manager and a board of directors all together: it's a unique football club."

Highland derby

Ross County entered the Scottish Football League in 1994, in the same year as local Highland rivals, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who played in the Highland League as two teams.

And George Adams said he was excited about the prospect of a local Highland derby next season.

He said: "You can't beat local derbies can you? We've seen so many over the years and it's something we would cherish and look forward to."

Ross County said preparations are underway to make their Victoria Park stadium SPL-compliant.

However, the club has received permission to groundshare with Inverness CT, should the work not be completed in time.

SPL champions, Celtic Football Club have congratulated Ross County on their achievement.

In a statement on their website, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said:

"On behalf of everyone at Celtic, I'd like to congratulate Ross County on their magnificent achievement in winning the First Division title, and I'm sure they will be a worthy addition to the SPL.

"Ross County are an excellent, well-run club, both on and off the park, and the welcome we received when we played up in Dingwall earlier this season in the Scottish Communities League Cup was first-class."

Ross County supporters will have a chance to celebrate the club's promotion when their team travel to Ayr United tonight.

However, George Adams said there was still work to be done on the pitch.

"The celebrations have been put on ice" he said. "We would like to continue undefeated".

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