NORTH Leigh boss John Brough is targeting a play-off place after a busy summer spent rebuilding his squad, writes David Pritchard.

The Millers kick off their Evo-Stik South West campaign on Saturday at home to newly-promoted Bristol Manor Farm.

They completed pre-season with a 2-0 victory at Eynsham Park against Easington Sports, thanks to George Seacole’s double.

Building on last season, when they finished sixth and enjoyed club record runs in the FA Cup and FA Trophy, is easier said than done, but it is Brough’s goal.

He said: “My aim will always be to improve on what we did the season before.

“If we do that it means we will be in the play-offs and if we do better in the cups it will bring some money into the club.

“I think it will be a tough league again. Hereford and Tiverton were very strong last season and have gone, but Evesham have a good squad, so do Taunton and Salisbury will be the favourites.

“I keep saying it’s about consistency in performance and selection.

“Hopefully we can keep a settled side.

“There has been a lot of change in the summer, but we’ve had a reasonable pre-season, winning four of our six games.”

The side which starts on Saturday will look very different to the one which finished last season by lifting the Oxfordshire Senior Cup.

Jamie Cook and Stuart Hole have retired, while Wayne Turk has dropped a division to reduce his travel commitments.

Brough said: “They are always going to leave a big hole to fill, being three key players down the spine of the side.

“Over the summer there have been lots of calls and meetings.

“We have got what I feel is a competitive squad, with the option of possibly bringing in a couple more once the season starts.

“We used the loan system quite well last season, getting two in from Cheltenham Town and another two from Oxford United.

“That’s something I will look at down the line.”

Connor Thompson, who left in February, is back in goal, while one of the new faces is Ryan Paddock, who can play in defence or midfield and skippers for the British Army team.

Sean Wood (Evesham United), Eddie Stevens (Swindon Supermarine) and Sam Mendes (Shortwood United) are in a new-look midfield.

Up front there are high hopes Seacole will form a dangerous partnership with Connor Waldon, who was a regular scorer for Swindon Supermarine last season.


Matt Grade, Elliott Keighley, Sam Mattock, Sam Mendes, Ryan Paddock, Eddie Stevens, Connor Thompson, Connor Waldon, Sean Wood.


Jamie Cook, Stuart Hole, Matt Sysum, Wayne Turk, Lance Williams, Aaron Woodley.