Cape Town - Golden Arrows coach Shaun Bartlett heaped praise on his players, stating nothing less than automatic promotion was what they envisioned at the start of the season.
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Abafana Besthende secured promotion back to the Premiership on Sunday after a 1-1 draw against Cape Town All Stars, sealing a return to South Africa's top division at the first time of asking.
The point meant Arrows accumulated an unassailable lead of 57 points in 29 National First Division fixtures.
Arrows left the other league challengers in their wake as they peeled away to top-flight qualification with a game to spare.
"It was a difficult season for us because we are a young team, but we are ambitious still," said Bartlett, according to SuperSport.
"The players showed again their hunger to win. We didn't win but we got the point we needed for promotion.
"Credit has got to go to the boys. They made my job a lot easier. Carrying out instructions can be difficult but once they do we can always be successful.
"Automatic promotion was our plan from the beginning of the season. We said to the players and that's what we fought for from the beginning.
"Every time we had a hiccup we came together and restored the self-belief and confidence.
"This is a continuation of what we started and the foundation that we put in place.
"Time and time again the players have surprised me. They have showed resilience and have been relentlessly fighting for each other. I am just proud of the boys."