Chairman Alan Bartlam believes Vauxhall Motors enter this season in a much better position – and he wants to see the club return to the North West Counties League for 2017.

Motors took the decision to resign from Conference North in March 2014, citing the financial pressure of competing against clubs with far bigger crowds and budgets.

The club opted to drop down to the West Cheshire League and finished fourth in Division One last season under manager Alan Schumacker.

Bartlam expects Motors to fare better this term and said the club had made great strides off the pitch over the summer, giving him confidence that a return to the non-league can be achieved.

“The decision we took was a question of safeguarding the youth and junior section so that we could keep producing players, whether they go on to play for us or at a higher level, and that’s what we have done,” said Bartlam.

“There has been lots going on at the club and we’re moving in the right direction right from our under-5s through to the first-team. Everything is coming together and it’s long overdue to be honest because the club had been down in the doldrums a little bit but we’ve pulled up our bootlaces and are making progress. Most definitely we want to be in the North West Counties League in the next couple of seasons. We still need to batten down some of the finances but we are getting to a stronger position.

LOOK: A look back at some of Vauxhall Motors high points

“We will take things steadily but I will be a little bit disappointed if we’re not back in what I consider the non-league pyramid in the next 24 months, if not before.”

Schumacker and his team kick-off the 2015-16 season at home to Heswall tonight (6.30pm) before hosting Helsby on Saturday (3pm) while Capenhurst Villa start with back-to-back home games against West Kirby & Wasps and Chester Nomads.

Motors finished pre-season with two big wins, beating Mold Alexandra 4-0 and then defeating Waterloo Dock 5-1, and Bartlam says the mood of the club is positive.

Bartlam said: “I think the place is buzzing if I’m being honest. Pre-season started a bit slow but the past couple of games have been very pleasing. We look to have the makings of a strong squad that can improve on last year. I’d like to think we can do better this season.”

WATCH: The day Vauxhall Motors defeated QPR

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