South Liverpool FC manager Martin Ryman is excited by the prospect of promotion, as his side prepare for Saturday’s play-off semi final visit to Atherton Laburnum Rovers.

South secured their top-five spot in the North West Counties Football League First Division North with an entertaining 4-3 victory over AFC Blackpool last weekend, while LR finished second in the league following a stellar campaign.

Speaking to MerseySportLive, Ryman said how pleased he was with his team for landing a play-off spot: “(I am) delighted, absolutely delighted.

“The plan was always to try and stay in contention, and maybe pinch or get into the play-offs, whatever terminology you want to use, that was always the plan.

“So, when a plan comes together, I’m absolutely delighted, not just for myself, but for my staff, obviously all the players, all the committee at the club, and the volunteers at the club, I’m delighted.”

Ryman admitted that Saturday’s encounter with Dave Jones’ men is a tricky fixture: “(It will be a) very, very tough game, they’re a good side, a very good side.

South Liverpool FC manager Martin Ryman Photo by Ed Bazeley
South Liverpool FC manager Martin Ryman
Photo by Ed Bazeley

“We won at their place very early on in the season, 2-1.

“They beat us a little bit later on at Jericho (Lane), in January 2-0.

“So yeah, (we’re) anticipating a really, really tough game but as a club, and as a group of players, it’s important that we’re not just going there to make the numbers up.

“We finished fifth, the lowest ranking side in the play-offs, in our division, but we’re not just going there to make the play-offs, we’ve got to believe that we can go there, win and not just win on Saturday.

“We can actually get promotion, by beating Atherton and then winning the final as well.

“We’ve got to have that belief that we can do it.”

The South Liverpool boss recognises what his side can achieve: “You can’t plan to fail at the start of the season to fail, no one plans to get relegated, no one plans to have mid-table mediocrity.

“We’re all planning on trying to hit the play-offs, trying to win leagues, we’re all trying to plan to get promotion.

“So, of course, if we won it, it would be a massive thing to us, considering we were a step seven club only three years ago.

“So, to be in step six now, and to be competing at the top end of the division is great.

“But to get promotion into step five, it would be fantastic for the club.”

If South Liverpool earn promotion, they will be the second Merseyside club to move up from the tenth tier to the ninth after FC St Helens won the NWCFL First Division North title, and will compete in next season’s Premier Division.