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Story posted: Wednesday, 19th May 2004

Norton looks for promotion
Gary Norton

Gary Norton

Manager Gary Norton is setting his sights on a promotion challenge in Gresley Rovers' first season in the UniBond League First Division.
Both Norton and chairman Mark Evans are confident Rovers will be in a position to mount a serious promotion challenge next season.

At the end of the 2004/05 season, the top two in UniBond First Division will be promoted automatically while a third club will go up via the play-offs involving the other four teams who finish in the top six which is where both Evans and Norton want to be.

Norton said: "We have set a minimum target of a top-six finish, which would represent a realistic step forward.

"We have had two seasons of finishing in mid-table and I have a full season behind me now we have got to come up with the goods.

"The Gresley supporters will quite rightly have high expectations for next season and I have high expectations anything less than a top-six finish would be a major disappointment for me."

Evans reiterated his manager's desire to be challenging for promotion, but expressed his belief that UniBond First Division will be tough.

He said: "We will not be resting on our laurels, but we have to be sensible about it at the same time.

"When have a plan and we will continue to work to that plan in terms of finance, marketing and from a footballing point of view.

"We will try and bring in the players we feel we need and with the top six being involved in the play-offs, we have got to believe in ourselves that we can be amongst those I believe Gresley are a good footballing side."

Norton said the club are already in advanced talks with potential new signings and with existing squad members who the boss wants to keep.

He did say it would be inevitable some players would leave, but said he wanted "70 or 80 per cent" of next season's squad in place by the time they return for pre-season training on June 26th.
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
12 Spalding United 40 -5 50
13 Peterborough Sports 40 -8 48
14 Loughborough Dynamo 41 -18 46
15 Belper Town 41 -42 45
16 Sheffield FC 40 -22 42
17 Kidsgrove Athletic 40 -19 41
18 Carlton Town 39 -7 40
19 Gresley 39 -32 40
20 Newcastle Town 41 -26 36
21 Romulus 41 -37 34
22 Market Drayton Town 39 -49 33

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