COMPETING in the top rung of competition is a matter of pride for football clubs.
And for Mount Druitt Town Rangers the youth team is the big achiever.
The boys' Under-15s youth side has competed in the National Premier Leagues NSW division one, a huge accomplishment and validation for a club that punches above its weight.
The final round of the season was played during the weekend and the Town Rangers' side finished in a very respectable seventh place; especially for the first year competing against stronger outfits.
Jacob Newman, a 15-year-old St Paul's Grammar student and team member, said it was more difficult than playing other divisions, but was a point of pride.
"It's hard in the first year but for the club it's been a pretty big deal," he said.
"It shows that we are a better club."
The team has been successful, winning Under-12 and Under-14 championships that qualified them for first division honours this year.
The competition has been tougher in 2014 but the players knew that going in.
"Everyone has stepped up and raise the bar of their own play in the team, too," Newman said.
"Everyone knew it wasn't going to be easy but they all worked on their games.
"We lost a few players and the team really stuck at it to finish the season well, and it probably bought us closer together."
In the off-season the team used a coach's connection to Portugal and made a trip to test themselves against some of the world's best clubs.
"That trip helped us along; we got to play some of the biggest Portuguese clubs' youth teams like Benfica Academy, Sporting Lisbon and Real Betis."