Town boss: We’re aiming to push on and win the division

Longridge Town FC manager Anthony Keefe

Longridge Town FC manager Anthony Keefe

Have your say

Longridge Town FC manager Anthony Keefe is going all out to give the club a problem.

But the dilemma that Town officials could have at the end of the season would be a pleasant one.

Having won the West Lancashire League First Division last term, Town are second in the Premier Division and have the chance of clinching their second promotion in successive seasons.

The next step up the football pyramid is the North West Counties League, which would be an amazing achievement for a club which was playing in the Preston and District League just five years ago.

However, that would create something of a problem for club officials, as considerable investment would be needed to bring the ground up to the standard required by the higher league.

Floodlights, a turnstile for fans and a wall around the ground would all have to be provided.

“Obviously, the club would not want to stretch itself too far, but at the same time you cannot rest on your laurels in football. My task is to produce the results that give the club the opportunity to continue to progress,” said Keefe.

“As a Longridge lad, having been brought up in the town, I am delighted by the success the club is having at present.”

Town are second in the league table to Charnock Richard, behind only on goal difference and with a game in hand.

They are also through to the semi-finals of the Lancashire Shield for the second year running.

The Town boss admits that after winning promotion last season he was prepared for a season of consolidation, but has been delighted with his side’s success.

“My aim at the start was to keep us in the division, and hopefully finish in the top half. We are joint top, so now the aim is to push on and win the division.”

The success is all the more creditworthy because the squad this season is largely that from last term, with the addition of five new signings.

“I felt we already had a lot of quality in the squad, but realised that we would need more strength in depth playing in a higher division,”said Keefe.

Two of the new signings, Rick Merch and Mick Donnelly, have been influential in midfield, while Sam Dean, another of the newcomers, is weighing in with goals to support the club’s established strikers, Richard Coar, a regular 30-goal a season man, and Garren St Vall.

“But the success is really down to the squad as a whole.We are also getting good support from the reserves, with several players pressing for spots in the first team and the likes of Danny Wilkes breaking through to the senior squad.”

January will be a tough month for Town, with all the games away from home, starting with Crookland Casuals this Saturday, January 5.