Promotion suddenly back in view for Littlehampton Town

Littlehampton Town’s chairman is confident the club will be promoted back to the Southern Combination premier division in a big non-league shake-up.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 3:02 pm
Littlehampton Town believe they'd be deserving of promotion if they were awarded it / Picture: Stephen Goodger

The FA have revealed they are set to press ahead with a major restructure of steps four to six of the non-league pyramid across the country.

Nationally it will mean promotion within those steps for more than 100 clubs. And although many of the changes will be in the north of England, some in the south will benefit – and Golds believe they will be one to move up a division.

Results from the truncated 2019-20 and 20-21 seasons will be used to work out who deserves to go up. And given that Littlehampton were clear at the top of SCFL division one when the 19-20 campaign was halted, that puts them in pole position to go up.

Chairman Rob McAlees said it would be the perfect way to mark what had been a strange 125th anniversary season for the club.

“We deserve to go up, and I don’t think anyone could deny that we do,” McAlees told the Gazette.

“We feel we’ve shown we’re good enough for the premier division and if the FA are going ahead with this restructure, then common sense is prevailing.

“Last year we were fighting a lost cause to be promoted and we felt this year might go the same way, but now it’s looking good.”

Golds’ ground is in good order for step five football and new floodlights are due to be installed next month after a successful fundraising campaign.

And McAlees said manager Mark Bennett and his squad would relish the challenge of premier division football – and felt they could do well in the higher division.

“We were relegated a few years ago, and deserved to be, but now we are ready to go back,” the chairman added.

“We wouldn’t be going up just to survive. We’d be going out to win it.

“Mark is keen to stay on and manage the team next season and we have a good squad that we’d probably look to add to.”

When fans are allowed back in, Littlehampton plan a couple of pre-season friendlies to christen the new floodlights and celebrate their 125 years.

There’s talk of a visit from Bognor – and possibly even a game against a Football League opponent.