BARNSTAPLE Town manager Barry Yeo believes applying for promotion to the Southern League shows the club’s ambition.
Barum sit sixth in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division (Step Five) but are only nine points off top spot, with five games in hand.
Fourteen teams get relegated from the Step Four leagues, while the winners of the Step Five divisions go up and Yeo said it was a chance they had to take.
“Promotion was the last thing we ever thought about at the start of the season but it is all about your position and I am never one to miss out on an opportunity,” he said.
“We have got a long way to go but we didn’t want to miss the chance if it arrives because we didn’t apply for promotion.
“If the opportunity arrives then why not? It may not arrive again.
“We are not saying we will go up, but we have done what we can to put ourselves in the mix.”
The clubs who finish first in their division will have to be deemed acceptable by the FA leagues committee and meet Evo-Stik League criteria in order to gain promotion.
If they fail, the team finishing second or third will be nominated – subject to the same criteria. This means Barnstaple could end the season in third and gain promotion.
“We are under no illusions it will be extremely hard to do it, but we are all in it together and we don’t want it to pass us by if it comes our way,” said Yeo.
“The foundations are all set, there are certain things we have to improve but that is why we put the application in – to find out what.
“We don’t want to throw ourselves ahead too far but if the opportunity arises, can we do it? We have all agreed we can.
“I am an ambitious manager, the players are ambitious and the club is ambitious.
“We are all enjoying our football and this shows where we are trying to be.”
The Western League clubs who have applied along with Town are Brislington, Bristol Manor Farm, Buckland Athletic, Odd Down, Melksham Town and Street.