THE SORE heads have gone, now the planning starts for Denton Town after they secured promotion to the top flight of the Cheshire League.
And manager Darren Saville admits elevation from League One came a year earlier than he envisaged.
Were it not for a Winter disaster that saw the club’s changing rooms flooded, they may have been going up as title winners.
Town secured Premier Division place with a last day 2-2 draw against champions Parklands, meaning they finished one point clear of Vulcan.
Now they are back in the highest division, Saville says plans to take the Whittle’s Park club forward – hopefully into the non-league pyramid – can kick on.
He said: “Promotion is massive as the goal for the club is to one day make the North West Counties League.
“In theory, we’re one division behind that now, so it’s about looking forward and putting things into place to reach that goal.
“I’m fairly sure we have to finish in the top three to apply, we have to have some sort of covered stand – nothing massive – put in too.
“We’ve spoken about it over the last few years. Now we’re back in the top division, I’m sure we’ll be sitting down with the committee and talking about what we need to have in place.
“The following has grown massively. Having spoken to the lads that go, they say, ‘We just want to watch our local team. We can’t afford to watch City or United, this is on our doorstep, so it’s perfect.’
“And the night we got promoted, we celebrate at the club for a few hours, then ended up in Denton tow centre. There were a few sore heads the day after.
But this season’s goal wasn’t really about promotion. I only took over at the end of last season – it was more about building a good squad this year to have a good go next season.
“Things changed at the start of the season when we won the first six games – promotion’s come a year early!”
To say Denton Town’s season was eventful is probably an understatement. Frozen pipes that burst and flooded the changing rooms, meaning major refurbishment work, also had an effect on the field.
Darren added: “We started off well then after the bad weather and the pipes bursting, the club was basically shut for two months.
“We had no home games whatsoever during that period and only two away games, so we lost that momentum of playing week in, week out.
“It was difficult to try and get friendlies and it was difficult to get the rhythm back as it was so stop-start.
“Once the club was sorted, we got on a run again. That kept us in the hunt for promotion – but we took our time over it!
“We were playing some good stuff but basically hit a brick wall – at one stage, we didn’t kick a ball in a competitive match for about five weeks.”
Now they are in the Premier Division again, thoughts are turning to who to bring in to make sure the squad is good enough to thrive, not just survive.
Darren’s phone and email has already seen messages from players looking for a club and there will be open sessions ahead of the new campaign.
And speaking to The Correspondent, he detailed what he wants.
He said: “I’m very open at the moment, the squad we’ve got now will hold its own in the Premier Division.
“But if we could add a couple of experienced lads who’ve played in that division, maybe higher, who want to help the younger lads out, that would be ideal.
“It’s not that they’ve not got the ability, it’s more the mind games and that experience.
“We’ll start back pre-season training at the end of June and I’m putting friendlies together, we’ll probably have games against Cheadle Town and Maine Road.
“Myself, my assistant Gavin Affleck and coach Leon Hobson, have had a chat about how we see things going forward and what we may need to the squad.
“And the week before we start pre-season, we’ll be putting open training sessions on, so anyone who wants to come down can do. I’ve had a few enquiries from players asking if we’re taking players on too.”