Garstang FC director believes the Riversiders have firm foundations in place for the future

Andy Payton was unveiled as Lee Baker's successor at Garstang FC last week
Andy Payton was unveiled as Lee Baker's successor at Garstang FC last week
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Garstang director Dave Graham has paid tribute to the work done by former boss Lee Baker in taking the club forward.

Baker resigned as the Riversiders’ boss at the end of last season with Andy Payton named as his successor last week.

Baker’s exit came at the end of a reign which saw Garstang playing at their highest position in the football pyramid as well as reaching round two of last season’s FA Vase.

Graham said: “At the end of the day, it’s all about helping the club to try and improve on where we are.

“We were delighted to finish seventh in the league and we did well in a number of cups as well.

“You’re always disappointed not to go further but we’re happy to have achieved what we’ve done.”

Just as pleasing for the club’s hierarchy is the way in which the reserve and youth set-ups have developed.

The second string ended the season eighth in division two of the West Lancashire League, while the youth side lost a play-off for their title.

Success at that level will always be welcome but the aim is to establish a pathway which sees those younger players progressing before eventually forcing their way into the senior set-up.

Graham said: “The reserves have jumped up two divisions to play against mainly first teams which isn’t a bad thing.

“Probably 10 or 11 youth team players have played in the reserves this year which is what we’re looking for; we want young players to develop into senior players.

“They have had a taste of it and some have played regularly for the reserves.

“Although the youth team lost their play-off after finishing joint top of the league, to finish as runners-up is a very good season.

“We want a successful youth team but we’re looking for local players to move up from there into thereserves and then, ultimately, into the first team.

“To do that with local players is the ideal scenario but, at the end of the day, we just want players who want to play for Garstang.”