Leon Mettam believes Worksop Town have a good enough squad to challenge for the play-offs next season.
The striker returned to the Tigers this summer after their promotion to the Northern Premier South East Division, a league containing sides he knows from recent experience.
He says there’s little for the world’s fourth oldest club to fear and wasn’t particularly impressed with what he saw last season – even from the champions.
“Personally, having played in the league Worksop are going into, I know it’s changed a bit but I think with the squad we’ve got and the unbeaten run the club are on, I don’t see any squads that are better than what we’ve got,” he said.
“Morpeth, who won it last year, I didn’t think they were anything special in all honesty.
“We really, really struggled at Spalding, we had a very young squad, not much know-how, not really any players who had done anything at that level and it was a tough time.
“We went to Morpeth and for 65 minutes we were the better side at 0-0 and probably should have taken the lead, but went down to nine men and ended up losing the game.
“But they won the league quite easily.
“I’ve gone to Worksop this summer and seen the squad and although you obviously can’t keep 21 players together, it’s too many, but the nucleus of the squad is very, very good.
“I don’t see why, if we get on a run early, we can’t be right in and around the play-offs, at least.”
It was Worksop’s return to the Northern Premier, after five seasons in the NCEL, that proved the catalyst for Mettam’s Sandy Lane comeback.
He scored 50 goals for Tigers in the 2013/14 season before spending time with Tamworth, King’s Lynn Town and Spalding.
His previous success in Worksop colours, and a fond relationship with the fanbase also played a part in his decision to become a Tiger again.
“It’s a strange one really, I didn’t know the gaffer at all,” said Mettam.
“He contacted me last year asking what my thoughts on (a return) were and I said I’d love to come back at some point, I enjoyed my time there.
“I think he kept that in mind and when they got promoted, we both thought the time was right.
“He tried to get me in at the back end of the NCEL season but that was probably why I stayed where I was until they got back in the Evo-Stik which is obviously a good level and a level I want to be at for the remainder of my career.
“I wanted to go somewhere I knew I’d enjoy it. The fans know what I’m all about and capable of.
“That was probably the main factor for me, in the twilight of my career and coming to the end in a couple of seasons probably.
“Throughout my career, I’ve had to try and impress for the first half of the season, but at Worksop it’s common knowledge what I did and it’s a really enjoyable place.”