Football: Staffs County champions in bid to join higher league
STAFFORDSHIRE County Senior League champions Hanley Town have applied to join the North West Counties League.
Colin Stair's free-scoring side have asked for their ground to be reviewed to see what improvements would be needed to make the step up the football pyramid from level 11 to 10.
Town are already erecting floodlights and expect to be asked to also install hardcore around the pitch before needing to do their talking on the pitch to secure promotion.
They are in at least a five-way fight for the Staffs title again this term, but chairman Paul Legge says it is important to keep showing a will to progress as a club, even if the move does not come off straight away.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
He said: "We are getting the floodlights up and we've applied for a ground inspection to see what else we need to do, and then we'd have to finish high up in our own league.
"To me, there's no point carrying on unless you want to keep bettering yourself and going up higher."
Manager Colin Stair has built a strong team at Hanley, with Theo Stair, Michael Edwards and Danny Tainton all near the top of their league's scoring charts this season.
Stair said: "We feel the side is young enough and good enough to challenge itself at the next level.
"We missed out when we wanted to do it 10 years ago when we had Phil Parkes and Micky Morton here, but as a team we would like to do it this time.
"It is sometimes hard to keep hold of the best players, but a few might not have been ambitious enough to make the step up on their own.
"If they can stay together as a team to try it, then so much the better."
Stair admits the club would be stretched financially as they tried to hold their own in a division which contains local rivals Leek CSOB and Eccleshall.
But he has no fears about his side competing at the higher level. He said: "Financially it might be difficult, but I am sure we would find a way. After all, you attract good players and support when you are doing well.
"I think there are a few teams in the top division of the Staffs County Senior League who could do well stepping into the North West Counties League.
"The likes of Wolstanton United and Redgate Clayton are well run, it is just a case of making sure you do not overstretch yourselves.
"Paul (Legge) does a lot of work to make sure we are in ship-shape condition off the pitch. It would be quite exciting for the club to get the nod."