Longridge Town look to a brighter future

Longridge Town will be playing in the Hallmark Security League next season
Longridge Town will be playing in the Hallmark Security League next season
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Longridge Town can write a new chapter in the club’s history next season after being accepted into the Hallmark Security League.

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It was announced on Friday that Town’s application to join the former North West Counties League – along with that of West Lancashire League rivals Garstang – had been successful.

As a result, both clubs will play in a revamped Division One North for the 2018/19 season.

It means they will come up against teams including AFC Blackpool, Bacup Borough and Carlisle City while the other new arrivals comprise Ashton Town (Cheshire League), Avro (Manchester League) Cleaton Moor Celtic (Wearside League), Lower Breck (Liverpool County Premier League), Shelley (West Yorkshire League) and Steeton (West Riding County Amateur League).

Town boss Lee Ashcroft told the club’s website: “This is a fantastic day for the club and everyone involved with it, players, supporters, committee members, the whole lot of us.

“Hopefully this is the first step in progressing the club even further and I do feel we will have a competitive side next season.

“It’ll be great to go to new grounds, instigate new rivalries and the odd old rivalry as well with Garstang having joined us.”

Chairman Kevin Harrison was quick to acknowledge the part played by his predecessor Brian Parkinson in Town’s progression to playing at level six of the football pyramid.

“Brian will be very pleased and proud I’m sure,” he said.

“He has long championed the cause of Longridge Town and he, alongside secretary Dave Walker and the rest of our longstanding committee members, deserves all the credit for getting the club into this position.

“I’m delighted for Lee and his management team who will now get the opportunity to pit their wits against a higher standard of opponent and obviously for our supporters.

“We regularly achieve three-figure attendances and, hopefully, we can make that a stable number next season as I’m sure we will be competitive at this new level.

“We have new sponsors on board in SWC Ltd, the pitch is under reconstruction as we speak, the new stand is up, pre season fixtures have been arranged, and we cant wait to get started.”

Town’s full pre-season schedule is yet to be officially announced but Bamber Bridge have announced they will be visiting the Mike Riding Ground on July 24 (7.30pm).