Bootle look ahead at next target

Bootle manager Brian Richardson says the play-offs is their target next season.

The Bucks enjoyed a solid first full season in the NPL, finishing 7th in the West Division.

In a Q&A on the club’s official website, Richardson said: “Our initial target was to keep the club in the (NPL) in year one and to make the play-offs in year two.

“The first one was achieved with relative ease as I had inherited a good side, it only needed a tweak here and there to improve results.

“The first (task) was to improve the fitness of the group and secondly to improve the strength and depth of the group as for two years COVID had not allowed players to complete full seasons and tiredness will always lead to injury. The side was good but the depth wasn’t.

“The second task will be more difficult as the league will be strong next year with teams who have underachieved coming stronger and Macclesfield, Skelmersdale and Witton Albion adding to the strength of what is a good league.”

Bootle drew just two games all season, but their play-off push was halted by a run of five straight defeats through March and April.

They may also struggle to keep hold of highly-rated defender Michael Carberry, who has been on loan at Southport and is attracting interest from other clubs higher up the pyramid.

Richardson added: “The highs were many, there were some excellent performances from the team with great football being played and lots of goals.

“The low point was Runcorn away which took us away from the play-offs and was followed by our five match slump that disappointed us all. I have never lost that many games as a manager or player and it was hugely disappointing.

“We would hope to bring players in to compete for places to get the best out of our current squad. We know play offs is our target and we can hopefully enjoy trying to hit that target.”

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