AFC Liverpool manager Matt Potter has revealed that they defied expectations in the North West Counties Premier Division this season.
The Reds finished in a commendable sixth place, making it their highest-ever finish in their history in the current division. For much of the season, they battled at the upper reaches in the league despite pre-season predictions suggesting they would struggle.
Potter made the step up from his role as Chris Anderson’s assistant as the AFC manager made the move to National League North side Chorley to be Andy Preece’s right-hand man.
“Very enjoyable, when I took over it was two weeks before the start of the season and if you asked me how we would’ve finished the season, it wouldn’t have been the position we were in,” he told Off The Park.
“We managed to finish sixth, the highest in the club’s history, it’s a big achievement and one I’m proud of then we’ve broken records along the way. It’s been nice, the club has benefitted from the consistency, I’m made up to finish where we have, I’m made up with it.
“It’s been a long season, I’ll enjoy the summer because we’ve reaped the rewards from the hard work and effort we’ve put in.
“The aim at the start was to stay up and stay up comfortably, which we did by November, then see where we got to by the end of the season,” Potter said. “Again, where we finished, no one would’ve put us there, the teams in and around us they should be up there.
“We were competing with Vauxhall, Avro, Wythenshawe and Bury who were big teams with big resources.
“To compete the way we did was very good, we learn a lot from what we did in terms of the duration and for us it’s been finding that consistency from start to end. Our home form was second best in the league, it’s another starting point for next season and develop our away form as well as we can.”
After a record-breaking campaign for AFC Liverpool, they are now looking to continue their rise but Potter suggests the task will be greater following the change to league system that will see playoffs in place for the very first time.
He continued: “Next season, the league changes a lot with the playoffs, it’s a better chance of promotion and I think in general this league is one of the hardest ones to get out of.
“Now, you’re thinking towards the end of the season, you might have an outside chance of getting into the top five. So I can see it being a lot more competitive, it’s going to be difficult, very very difficult.
“Teams will be playing all the way through the season so there won’t be that lump where you get into midtable early and there’s nothing to play for so for us, I’d love to say we want to build on sixth and if we do that means we’re in the playoffs but the whole dynamic will change.
“For us, it’s about being competitive, setting our own values, how we perform and how we play, we have points in the season where we look at where we are and we adapt accordingly so we have another season that makes the fans and club proud.”