Howard Stubbs said the Northern Inland under-12s played some "outstanding football" at Coffs Harbour as they procured their best-ever finish at the State Skill Acquisition Program (SAP) Championships for boys.
The three-day tournament was played over the long weekend, and also featured under-11 sides from across Northern NSW.
The Northern Inland under-12s finished second behind Mid North Coast, with four wins, a draw and two losses.
"I'm more than happy with what they did over the three days in Coffs Harbour," Stubbs, who is the technical director for Northern Inland Football and was the 12s' assistant coach, said.
"The boys played some outstanding football.
"They did extremely well."
He said they could have potentially won the tournament, just a couple of mistakes in a couple of games hurt them.
They beat the eventual champions 1-nil, and also picked up wins over the Emerging Jets, North Coast and Hunter Valley.
"Technically with the ball and tactically they did extremely well," Stubbs said, adding that they coach Matt Endemi was "particularly pleased with not only the way they played but their attitude on and off the pitch".
He attributed their success in part to their involvement in the under-12s SAP metropolitan league.
"They're training two nights a week and playing together every week," Stubbs said.
"The foundation of good football is playing together."
"Being in this league has really improved them."
The boys will be back in action this Sunday at Scully Park when they host Macquarie. They will be looking to get some redemption after drawing 1-all with them at Coffs Harbour.
The Northern Inland under-11s finished without a win but did have a 1-all draw with the title-wining Newcastle side. They also drew 1-all with Mid North Coast.
Northern Inland teams
U11 boys: Josh Patterson (GK), Jack Casey, Mitchell Hayward, Isaac Edgar, Lincoln Budden, Riley Jones, Hamish McWilliam (Tamworth), Jacob Miller, Luke Schmude, Alex Wain, James Lawry (Armidale), William Browett, Evan Burgess (Inverell), Liam Debraceny (Boggabri).
U12 Boys: Adam Davis (GK), Ben Cini, Cooper Budden, Jordan Byrne (Tamworth), Tommy Schaefer, Austin Johns, Liam Best, Byron Kollosche, Miller Harwood (Armidale), William Barwick (Gravesend), Jayden Bender, Noah Davis, Ash Garnham(Gunnedah), Conor Wilkins (Inverell).