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Page last updated at 22:28 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 23:28 UK

Inverness boss Terry Butcher hails promotion to SPL

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Players had hunger for title - Butcher

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Terry Butcher has hailed his squad after they clinched promotion to the Scottish Premier League.

Dundee's 1-0 defeat by Raith sealed the First Division title for Butcher's side and the jubilant boss expressed relief.

"It was the longest night of my life," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"It's a complete contrast to this time last year when we lost a lot of people at the club through cutbacks. This championship is for them as well."

Inverness were nine points clear of second-placed Dundee, with Gordon Chisholm's side going into Wednesday's clash with Raith in the knowledge that anything other than a win would end their title hopes.

Dougie Hill scored the only goal of the game to confirm Inverness as First Division champions and ensure they went straight back up after suffering relegation from Scotland's top flight last season.

"Now we've got there, it's just an incredible feeling to bounce back straight away," Butcher added.

Inverness were 15 points Dundee at one stage this season, but embarked on a 19-game unbeaten run to leapfrog the shell-shocked Tayside club at the top of the table.

Ross Tokely, Inverness's longest serving player at the club, said clinching promotion was one of the sweetest moments of his 14-year career in the Highlands.

"I'm absolutely delighted for us to get back to the SPL and for us to do so after a year is an amazing achievement," he told BBC Radio Scotland.

606: DEBATE

Tokley, who made his 500th appearance for the club earlier this year, added: "I've won the First Division before but I have to say, with the challenge we've had this year, it's the best feeling I've had at the club.

"Everybody wrote us off at the start of the season and it did take a while to get going.

"But the team has bonded well and grown every week. We've picked up some great results and to win the league is amazing for myself and the club."



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see also
Raith Rovers 1-0 Dundee
21 Apr 10 |  Scottish League
Butcher looks to preserve squad
17 Apr 10 |  Inverness CT


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