By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
An ankle injury meant Remie Streete couldn't play against Barnsley as Newcastle's under-18s clinched the Premier Academy League Group D title, but the regular Academy skipper hailed a "great achievement" by the young Magpies.
The 17-year-old defender has been sidelined since he was hurt while on duty for the Reserves against Sunderland last month, meaning Louis Storey has led the team out for the run-in.
But he was at Little Benton to watch the 1-0 win which clinched the championship and spoke to nufc.co.uk about a magnificent campaign from Dave Watson's side, who were managed by Joe Joyce until October and have led the table for almost the entire term.
"I think we've done well over the whole season," said Streete, whose father Floyd played for Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1980s. "Like they say, the table doesn't lie and we have been the best team over the full season.
"Probably Leeds will have a shout that they've beat us twice but the second time, the team had a lot of injuries and the first time we didn't play very well. We've been the most consistent team and that's the reason why we've won the league.
"It's a great achievement and it's what everyone wanted to do. Since two months back everyone's been looking to see who's behind us, who's in front of us, who's close to us and now finally it's over.
"You want to win every game that you play and in the early games, you don't think about winning the league; you just think about winning and enjoying it. But we've managed to enjoy our football and win the league, so it's been a successful season."
That success has came despite key players like Streete, England under-17 international Adam Campbell and playmaker Dennis Knight missing through injury in the final weeks of the season.
But the likes of Alex Kitchen and Steven Logan have taken their chances to shine, while Lee Toland, Jonathan Mitchell, Will Turton and Jamie Smith have all played key roles at differing times during the campaign.
"The lads that have came in have done well," said Streete. "I got injured which was a chance for Kitch to play and he's been doing well and has played for the Reserves.
"At left-back Michael Riley's not been there and Dennis has been missing but people like Alex Gilliead, who's only 16, have came in and done well.
"Everyone's stepped up to the plate and done what everyone knew they could."
The national play-offs, which will pit United against winners from the other three Premier Academy League groups, follow Saturday's last game of the season against Middlesbrough, and Newcastle will bid to become overall Academy champions next month.
But Streete already has half an eye on next season, when he'll be back to play for the under-18s and, as he has done more and more regularly this season, the Reserves.
"Everyone hates being injured," he admitted. "I've had a few little injuries but this is my first serious injury but I've just got to enjoy the time off and hopefully get my ankle better.
"There's never really a good time to get injured but obviously I've had two months until the end of the season and then I'll get a month off on holiday so by the time I come back there's three months of my injury gone.
"It's a four-to-six month injury depending on how it heals, so the timing's not too bad. I don't think I'm going to be back for pre-season, although if I'm lucky I might. It depends how it heals but I'm probably looking at the end of pre-season.
"But when I'm fit, I hope to keep playing for the Reserves and hopefully play in the first-team as much as I can. I'm just looking forward to getting back to playing football and seeing where it takes me."