VAUXHALL Motors are setting their sights high as they gear up for their seventh successive season in Blue Square North.
The Rivacre Park outfit has finished in the drop zone in two of the last three seasons, but have avoided relegation due to other clubs around them falling into financial difficulty and being either wound-up or demoted.
Motors chairman Alan Bartlam runs a tight ship – and he is hoping the team will not have to rely on others’ misfortune to survive this time.
Bartlam said: “We could actually be looking towards the very top end of the division. Past history tells us how competitive the league is, but we will look to punch above our weight.”
Motors, who kick off the season at Ilkeston Town this Saturday (3pm), have had to get used to punching above their weight since winning promotion to Blue Square North six years ago. Despite small home attendances and a modest budget, they rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in non-league football – the likes of Northwich Victoria, Telford United and Blyth Spartans.
And Bartlam is confident there is plenty of potential within the squad boss Carl Macauley has assembled.
“Last season we did exceptionally well against the better teams,” said Bartlam. “Where we fell down was against the teams around us, the physical sides, that’s where we struggled.
“We have plenty of quality, but we lack a physical edge to our game. We need some players who can deal with that sort of level of physicality.”
The Vauxhall chairman has not ruled out another summer transfer, saying that there was the “possibility” of an unnamed midfielder joining the ranks.
Scott Tynan, Andy Taylor and Paul Brown have been added in recent weeks, but it was the loan signing of Wrexham striker Obi Anoruo which really caught the fans’ attention.
The Motormen hope the 18-year-old, born in Nigeria but raised in Liverpool, can give the team an added goal threat.
Bartlam says Anoruo had been “on the radar for a long time.”
He added: “We are delighted the lad’s come on board and we see him as an excellent acquisition.”
Motors’ first home match of the season is next Tuesday (August 17), when Telford visit Rivacre Park (7.45pm kick-off). Under 16s will be admitted to all home league games free of charge.