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New boys Basford can tie the Evo-Stik NPL in Notts!

MARTIN CARRUTHERS wants to put Basford on the footballing map as the ambitious club aim to continue their charge up the Pyramid.

The Nottinghamshire club earned their third promotion in four years with the Midland League Premier title last season.

Former Aston Villa, Stoke City, Peterborough, Southend and Scunthorpe striker Carruthers joined United three years ago as a player but moved into the dugout and led the club to Step 4 in his first full season in charge.

It’s no wonder they romped to the Midland Premier championship with 127 goals when taking a look at the squad.

Former England international Lee Hendrie is joined by fellow experienced ex-pros such as Burton defender Aaron Webster, keeper Saul Deeney, who played for Notts County, and Stoke City veteran Marc Goodfellow.

And boss Carruthers is confident of another successful season in the competitive Evo-Stik NPL Division One South, with his club kicking off with a difficult trip to Gresley.

He said: “It’s a new league and we’re full of optimism. We’ve been given a tough start but it’s a level playing field at the beginning of the season.

“We’ve progressed in a short space of time so we’ll be a bit of an unknown quantity and some clubs may take us lightly.

“We definitely haven’t come into the league to make the numbers up. We’re here to show this level what we’re about and have a real go.

“We want to progress even further and put Basford on the footballing map. I think we’ll cause a few surprises this season.

“Last year was tough as we were everybody’s cup final. We’ve got ex-pros like Aaron Webster, Lee Hendrie and Saul Deeney so teams raised their game. That pressure will be gone this year for us and it’s a blessing in disguise.”

Riding on the crest of a wave, the Greenwich Avenue outfit will no doubt provide difficult opposition.

The majority of last year’s champions have stayed on with the addition of Mickleover Sports midfielder Ash Grayson, Gino Kelleher from Rainworth MW and ex-Nottingham Forest youngster Jake Wholley.

“We’ve kept 95 per cent of last season’s squad,” Carruthers added. “When I made my signings last summer, I brought in players that had played at Evo-Stik level.

“I knew they could get us there and when we did, we’d have a squad that were experienced and what was required from this level.

“In an ideal world we’d like to get off to a good start and be comfortably mid-table but who says we can’t try and sneak into the play-offs?

“If we end up consolidating then we’ll go and have a real go at promotion the season after. It’s a two-year plan for us and the future is very bright.”

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