The Toolstation Western Football League
Published 7th January 2012
.....hold for another year after "reluctantly" deciding against applying for a promotion place this season.
The £15,000 cost of bringing their Plain Ham ground up to Grade E standard under the FA's National Ground Grading Requirements prevented Larks from moving up a level after they won the Western League championship for the first time in their history in May. They are well poised to challenge for a top-two spot again under new boss Lee Collier, lying third in the table with games in hand, but the club's management committee and trustees agreed at a recent meeting that progress still needs to be made off the field in order for Larks to climb to the next rung of the non-League ladder.
A statement from chairman Jim McLay read: "The decision was taken reluctantly and reflected several things; the work that is outstanding to satisfy the relevant FA Grading requirements, an in-house assessment of the likely additional operating costs that promotion would entail, and the opportunities to cover those costs in the coming year noting the current downturn in the economy."
McLay, however, insists the Larks remain an ambitious club and that all efforts are being geared towards the first team kicking off the 2013/14 season in the Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South & West.
He added: "The development programme to prepare the club for the next level is alive and well and as a part of this a financial allocation to install additional covered standing was made by the committee. Sizeable grant income for other improvements is also in the offing.
"The immediate focus on the field remains the same and that is to retain our Western League Premier Division trophy and to progress in the three cup competitions in which we are still engaged– the FA Vase, The Les Philips Cup and the Somerset FA Premier Cup.
"Should we enjoy success in any of these it will be down to excellence on the field supported by the application of unsurpassed effort and resources right throughout the club.
"These are the goals and we are up for the challenge."