Chorley’s long-term target is league title success

Chorley stand-in skipper Alex Howarth believes the club are laying the foundations to become champions of the Northern League – if not this year but certainly in the near future.
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The Windsor Park club appointed South African Brett Pelser as their first-team coach at the start the season.

The veteran of more than 90 First Class games was brought in to shake the club up, especially after last season’s campaign which almost ended in relegation.

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There has certainly been a marked improvement this summer with the team operating in the top half of the table.

Chorley wicketkeeper Harry Barclay.Chorley wicketkeeper Harry Barclay.
Chorley wicketkeeper Harry Barclay.

And they also claimed the first silverware of the campaign when they defeated Fulwood & Broughton in the T20 final earlier this month.

Chorley have perennially always been a strong cup team but the Holy Grail remains the league title.

It was 1980 when the club was last crowned champions – and Howarth admits 42 years is far too long for a club like Chorley to go without winning the league.

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"That is the aim since Brett has come in really,” said Howarth, who is likely to deputise for injured captain Andrew Holdsworth at Kendal this weekend.

"The aim was not to win the league this season in the first year of asking although that would be nice.

"The plan is to put processes in place, professionalise certain aspects of the club a bit more so that we are doing the right things more regularly; doing the basics well.

"If we can do that then ultimately, we will be looking to challenge for the league in the next year or so.

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"Rome wasn’t built in a day but with the playing squad that we have got, youngsters like Alfie Dobson, Louis Johnson, Harry Barclay now coming to the fore, we should really be looking to challenge for that league title.

"We are a little disappointed this year that we are not nearer to leaders Garstang but to go from being one point off relegation last year to still being up there in the top half this season is a vast improvement.”

Fixtures; Northern League – Fulwood & Broughton v Vernon Carus, Garstang v Blackpool, Kendal v Chorley, Lancaster v Penrith, Longridge v St Annes, Netherfield v Leyland.

Palace Shield Premier Division – Barrow v Euxton, Croston v Great Eccleston, Kirkham & Wesham v Torrisholme, Morecambe v Eccleston, Penwortham v Thornton Cleveleys, Preston v Fleetwood.

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