Ashcroft hopes to continue upward curve

Lee Ashcroft is targeting further improvement following Longridge Towns record-breaking season in 2015-16
Lee Ashcroft is targeting further improvement following Longridge Towns record-breaking season in 2015-16
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Lee Ashcroft hopes to see his Longridge Town players build upon the club’s on and off-field progress next season.

Town finished fourth in last season’s West Lancashire League Premier Division campaign with a record points haul of 60 – despite having six deducted.

Managers across the football pyramid always target and improvement on the previous season’s results; something which would involve Town breaking records again.

“When I first came in two years ago, the first season was all about getting to know the league and then getting some players in,” Ashcroft said.

“We had a half-decent season that time around but last season was a good one.

“Yes, we had the six points taken off us which, if that hadn’t happened, would have put us only four points off the champions.

“It’s important that we do try and progress every year.

“We have now got floodlights up so we’re starting to look like a football club and there are some good signs ahead.”

Central to that progress is retaining the squad which played so well last season.

As Ashcroft acknowledged though, there is a balancing act between taking that next step forward and rewarding last season’s squad for their efforts.

“People always ask when the hardest time is to be a football manager,” he said.

“I always say that it’s the time between the end of the season and the next time a ball is kicked because you’re planning for next season as well as talking to the players you want to keep and any you want to bring in.

“What you ideally want to do is bring in a bit more quality but, at the same time, keep the players from last year.”