Mike Harris, owner and chairman of The New Saints, said their title win at Barry Town United has helped him bury some long-held ghosts in his tenure at the club.

A fledging Total Network Solutions of Llansantffraid were humiliated 10-0 in 1997 by Barry, who were then the dominant force in Welsh football.

But as Harris watched his beloved TNS seal an eighth-straight, he believes he can finally lay what has haunted him for more than a decade to rest.

“This is absolutely what I live for every day,” he said.

“But today is the first day that I have been to dispel the ghosts of 1997 when I stood in a corner of the ground and we lost 10-0.

“The burger van – that’s still here – offered me a burger for every goal they scored and that’s probably why I was so-and-so. But fair play to them, so on the 10th I thought I had to have it.

“But I thought I’ll come back one day. Our hosts today have inspired us to do what we have done and we have dispelled those ghosts.

“And I hope that we’ve now been able for them, if they ever win it, to say we inspired them.”

Harris was praised within the Welsh game for his continued confidence in Scott Ruscoe’s ability to deliver what is an expectation at the club – the title.

With a run of defeats in the early stages of winter, including being knocked out of the League Cup semi-final by lower league opposition, Ruscoe admitted he was in difficulty.

But Harris insisted he and the club do not have a sacking culture, adding that he will back Ruscoe in the transfer market this summer.

“I’m so proud of Scott but you have to know that our fabric is not about sacking managers,” he added.

“I’ve had five in 20 years: Andy Cale, Ken McKenna, Mike Davies, Cale again, Craig Harrison with Carl Darlington and now Scott.

“But our club is about succession; it’s slow. But we made something that took a long time to get there but we have something that would take a long time to break up too.

“We’ll have challengers sometimes, but we’ll be back every time – I’ve said that to many clubs who have challenged us in the past.

“But I do think that Barry Town United will be our biggest challenge going forward – they will be tough.

“They have set the standard but over time I think we have, over time, taken that on, but we won’t be resting on our laurels.

“This club will be investing in case teams go up a level because this league is getting better and better.”