'Anybody can beat anybody' - Kittrick's Basford targeting success on NPL return

Basford United manager Steve Kittrick is confident that his squad can challenge at the right end of the Northern Premier League table in 2023/24.

The Lions returned to the northern section alongside Ilkeston Town following lateral movement between the divisions, having finished 15th in the Southern League last time around.

Their new-look squad boasts a number of new arrivals, but Kittrick admits himself and his squad are quietly confident of what they can achieve when the new season begins on August 12.

In an extended interview with the club's official YouTube channel, he said: "I'm watching people getting signed at certain teams, and certain teams that we're playing against early on have gone big and strong and will play ugly football.

"Then you look at teams like Hyde and Macclesfield, who want to play expansive football but will want to win games.

"It'll be what it'll be. I'm not going to say where we are [going to finish] - I know the teams that are going to be strong.

"We're going to be organised, strong, play in the right areas and win football games.

"My expectation is that we will be successful. We will have peaks and troughs in there, but we've got to deal with it."

Kittrick took the reins at Greenwich Avenue back in March, bringing with him a wealth of experience at Northern Premier League and National League level which has been accumulated over a career spanning more than 25 years.

His former clubs include Scarborough Athletic, AFC Telford United, Matlock Town and Guiseley - with whom he gained promotion to the National League North back in 2010 and the first round proper of the FA Cup two years later.

The Basford boss' pedigree speaks for himself, and despite only tasting eight games of Southern League football at the end of the previous campaign, he is convinced that the club will need to raise their game upon returning to the NPL - with their league opener coming at home to Morpeth Town this weekend.

"The Northern league, for me - there's a lot of strength in depth," he said.

"Anybody can beat anybody at this level. A lot of people have filtered down from the Conference North and Conference into this league, so it's very, very strong.

"It's a tad tougher in the north, that's my assessment. You've going to have teams that will be at it every week. There'll be a lot of good football players and it'll be really tight this year."

Where next?

Ilkeston Town land Scunthorpe duo Ilkeston Town have signed defender Ross Barrows and former Chelsea youth player Habib Makanjuola.
Duo through the door at Brighouse Brighouse Town have confirmed the signings of Shohaib Nazir and Harry Garman ahead of the upcoming season.

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