CALUM MCINTYRE declared himself “exceptionally proud” after Chester Under-19s were crowned National League Alliance Academy North Division champions.

The National League Alliance management committee agreed to end the current campaign on an unweighted points-per-game basis.

Chester were in fifth place when the action was brought to an abrupt halt, but the unbeaten Blues were only four points behind leaders York City with five games in-hand.

Based on the PPG resolution, Chester were crowned champions and left academy head coach McIntyre delighted.

Talking the the club’s official website, McIntyre said: “This was unbelievable news to receive this morning and I am ecstatic for the lads. It is a superb achievement and one that must be celebrated even in the unique circumstances in which the boys have been crowned champions.

“It was absolutely right to curtail the season given the coronavirus pandemic and I was so proud of the manner in which the boys accepted the realisation that the season was likely to be null and voided.

“This must have been crushing for them given they were enjoying an unbeaten campaign and had just reached a National Cup final which to be fair, the competition would still like to play. When you look at the fixtures, we had travelled to all of the top four away from home and won three of those games and had barely played a home game for one reason or another.

“This is first season that this level of football has existed and it has been a real test for everyone. The standard of football has been immense but equally, the commitment from everyone involved has been huge.

“Those away trips to Hartlepool and Solihull are demanding for both players and staff but this group kept at it week after week and they deserve this recognition. I am at risk of becoming a broken record – but I am exceptionally proud of them and I am so, so pleased that they have something to show for a season that they worked so hard throughout.

“Last minute goals at Guiseley and Solihull and as good a performance as I’ve ever seen from a Chester side away at Fylde have been recognised and I am delighted for the boys. This is a small bit of good news in a season that has ended early for so many clubs and teams and I am determined that the lads are recognised and enjoy this. I am so proud of them.”