CARL Macauley and Alan Bartlam have praised their Vauxhall Motors team after they finished in the top-half of the Blue Square North – their highest ever league finish.
“We have a small squad and the games caught up with us in the end,” said Macauley.
“But the players did fantastically well. They came in to training and worked hard, they did the right things off the pitch and it paid off.
“We didn’t have a relegation battle to fight for the last seven weeks of the season.
“I’ve been at this club for six years and this is the best we have done, because we have had the best quality squad we could afford.
“We are unlikely to get a bigger squad but I would like to keep these players together to see what we can achieve next season.”
Last August, Motors had been relegated to the Unibond Premier and had set a season’s budget for that level of football.
But a late reprieve pitched them back into the Blue Square North as the smallest team with the smallest budget.
Expectations outside the club were that they would be fighting a third consecutive relegation battle, but inside the Motassist Arena there was an air of confidence.
“Early results were not encouraging, but we were always a threat,” said chairman Alan Bartlam.
“There were a couple of pieces missing, and when Leigh released Tom Field and Rob Marsh-Evans, they returned to help the team realise it’s potential.”
Motors enjoyed two significant runs of form, an 11-game unbeaten run over Christmas and an eight game run from March to early April.
They ensured that Motors finished in 11th place, four positions higher than their best-ever league finish.
There is good news for next season, as hotshot Karl Noon is under contract for another season with the Motormen, as is Macauley.
“We need to sit down with Carl in the summer and see what we can do next season,” said Bartlam.
“If we want to move forward we need more sponsorship and a greater fan base.
“I would like to double our attendances, which currently fluctuate between 160 and 220, in order to take the club forward.
“Hopefully this season’s performance will help us achieve that.”