BARNSTAPLE Town have earned the right to be a Southern League side, according to manager Barry Yeo.
He also warned opponents not to take his team lightly despite this being their maiden campaign.
Following a tough start at the highest level in the club’s history, Yeo’s men have found their feet and gone six matches unbeaten in all competitions.
“We have had good reports from a lot of teams and I think sides know it won’t be easy against us,” said Yeo.
“On our day we know we can compete with anyone and I think any side that take us lightly will realise that.
“We feel we have the right to be here, have worked extremely hard to get here and will continue to work extremely hard to stay here.
“Hopefully this club can be a Southern League club for many years.”
Barnstaple’s impressive run continued on Saturday as they held promotion-chasing Mangotsfield United to a 1-1 draw.
Yeo was particularly impressed with his front two – Kyle Paine and Scott Sharp – who were playing in the North Devon League last season.
“We have come a long way in a short period of time,” said Yeo.
“It is about putting in performances and showing people that no matter how much money you have got, or the stature of your club, you can mix it.
“Our two centre-forwards played four divisions below (Mangotsfield) last year and they were fantastic.
“I’m proud of my lads, they have grown up a lot. People can come and watch local lads do their thing.”
Barnstaple will be at home to Salisbury in the League Challenge Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday after Salisbury came back from 3-1 down in the 90th minute to beat Shortwood United 4-3 in added time.