Golcar United are gunning for promotion by getting it right on and off the field.
Ambitious United have made half-a-dozen quality signings this summer and are strongly tipped for success in the North West Counties Division One North.
But the chance to build a good squad on the field is only made possible by a good team off it, led by chairman Peter Gledhill, president Ian Whitehead and fellow trustees Ben Senior and Andy Naylor.
The club, based at the Skye Direct Stadium, kick off the new season on Saturday, July 31 with an away trip to Holker Old Boys followed by another away game on Tuesday, August 3 against Campion.
Fans will have to wait until Saturday, August 7 for the first home game against Nelson.
Golcar have signed the likes of Ash Flynn, Dan Naidole and Leon Henry to strengthen an already useful squad and Mr Gledhill is confident about the prospects for the season ahead.
“After two frustrating seasons which have been curtailed we are going for promotion,” said Mr Gledhill.
“We have told Ash and Gavin Connor, our managers, that we want to get this club into the Conference league, that’s our five to 10-year footballing ambition.
“We are in step 6 in the pyramid at the moment and we want promotion into step 5 next season. We are four promotions away from Conference level but I don’t think we’ll get four promotions in four years! It might take a little longer.”
Golcar have sold a record 185 season tickets and are hoping for average crowds of between 300 and 400 this season. They had a record 780 for the pre-season game against the Huddersfield Town under-19s.
With grassroots clubs under pressure like never before, what’s Golcar’s secret recipe for success? It’s the craic, good beer, good food and – ideally – good football!
“People want to be able to watch a game of football and have a beer and you can’t do that at bigger clubs like Huddersfield Town,” said Mr Gledhill.
“Our capacity is probably a maximum of 1,400 but when you get 700-800 it looks pretty full and fans are close to the pitch. If you lean on the barrier you are almost on the pitch! Fans like to feel they are part of the action, you don’t get that in modern football grounds and you can’t drink beer during the game.
“People want a good time, good beer and good food. We have a good choice of beers, we have four different lagers and a good choice of food. People have a beer and want a decent pork pie and good chips. We have good pies from Bolster Moor Farm Shop. It’s just a good craic.”
That grassroots experience hasn’t escaped the notice of Huddersfield Town fans who are finding their way to Longfield Road when the Terriers are away.
“A lot of Town fans seem to have cottoned onto Golcar,” said Mr Gledhill. “There seems to be an official Huddersfield Town fan club for Golcar.”