Nostell Miners Welfare have made strides in two years and are punching above their weight.
That is the view of joint manager Jason Dodsworth, who points to the resources available and highlights the development of the under 21 players in the first team as to why he feels Nostell have a successful future ahead of them.
Dodsworth and Simon Houghton replaced Des Hazel in December 2017 and have changed the fortunes of the club’s first team.
“If we finish eighth or ninth I would look back and be disappointed, but that’s because of the standards myself and Simon set,” Dodsworth told Non League Yorkshire.
“We set high standards. As a club I think it would be a good achievement, especially if you look where it was when me and Simon took over and look where it is now. There is a big difference, not just on the pitch, but around the place.
“I think we’ve doing a really good job on-and-off-the-field. If people knew what we were working with, they would know how well we have done, compared to what other clubs have.
“We’ve literally lifted a club off the bottom of the league. It takes time to build a team. You look at Hemsworth under Wayne (Benn). He built his team up over three years and won the league at the end of the third year.
“Nostell is a great club with great people doing things behind the scenes and for me it is a slow progression.
“We use five of Ian Walker’s under 21s on a regular basis. Amir Bechill, Danny Edwards, Nathan Hawkhead, Louis Penny Larter and Brandon Hughes Miller have or are been used. Danny Edwards and Nathan Hawkhead have obviously since got injured.
“But there won’t be many clubs at this level who could say they use under 21s players. We’re happy to use them because it is giving them vital experience and it is another example as to why it has been a successful two years because it is not just about the first team.
“We want players progressing from within the club.”
Nostell made a flying start to the Toolstation NCEL Division One, winning their four fixtures. However, a big injury list helped curtail their form at the end of September. Welfare remain in the mix, but after defeats to Winterton Rangers and Campion, they are ninth and eight points behind fourth-spot and Dodsworth admits multiple defeats are no longer an option.
“It is one game at a time,” he said.
“We have lost two big games in two weeks – away at Campion and at home to Winterton who have gone top.
“There will be a lot more twists and turns to come in this league. If you put five or six wins together you’ll find yourself back in there.
“Can we do that? I can’t see why not. End of day it is down to the lads. We can’t afford many more slip-ups though.”
Dodsworth has received some good news as his misconduct charge from the League Cup victory over Harrogate Railway has been downgraded from threatening behaviour towards a match official to using foul and abusive towards a match official.
The former Athersley Rec stalwart would have faced a lengthy ban for the original charge.
He still faces a stadium suspension, but Dodsworth, who admits he is not the Pope when it comes to behaviour on the touchline, is still relieved.
“I was really shocked when I read the report, it was like I was reading a book I had bought from a shop,” he said.
“There was no-way I going to accept the charge so that’s why I put the appeal in. By all accounts the Sheffield & Hallamshire have since contacted the referee and the charge has been changed.
“I have never been charged with threatening behaviour and I would never conduct myself like that on the sidelines. Referees have a hard job as it is.
“I have too much passion sometimes, but that’s because I work hard and me and Simon put a lot of time in. Sometimes the passion gets the better of me.”