Horsham YMCA are daring to dream about promotion back into the Bostik League.
The Gorings Mead outfit currently sit top of the Southern Combination League and are gearing up for a tense promotion run-in.
They are aiming for a return to the higher ranks for the first time since 2010/11 when they were relegated from the then Ryman League into the SCFL and have been targeting stepping back up ever since.
Numerous challenges have never quite come to fruition in recent years, but YM are now the best placed they have been yet for a title challenge and promotion place.
A Step 4 restructure could see as many as three teams promoted at the end of the 2017/18 campaign as opposed to the usual one and while YM are currently in pole position, Peter Buckland knows there is still a long way to go.
The YMCA boss believes his side deserve to be back in the Bostik League South Division and said: “First and foremost, no medals are handed out in February and I keep telling everybody that.
“There are 11 games to go and there will be ups and downs for everybody.
“Everybody keeps talking like it’s just between YM and Haywards Heath, there are six clubs in it, that’s how much it will chop and change and it will.
“We are still focussing on each game at a time. This isn’t pressure, pressure is when you are struggling in a relegation battle, this isn’t pressure, this is enjoyable.
“If we get across over the finish line at the end it will be even more enjoyable, but what we have achieved so far this season, we have proved this group of players can achieve it.
“It’s where a club with YM’s facilities should be and it’s long overdue.
“It’s achievable and somewhat in our hands but as I say it’s a funny old game football. I expected that Haywards Heath would win on Saturday but it just shows the strength and depth in our league.
“There is still a lot of football still left to play but it’s certainly been our main priority from August to get promotion.”
YM had a six-point lead at the top of the table over Haywards Heath, who have played two games less, but have put together a run of six straight wins and ten games without defeat.
On their chances of going the rest of the season unbeaten, Buckland said: “We have spoke about it and I see no reason why we couldn’t barring injuries, which are always at the back of your mind.
“It’d be a very big ask. Second should be good enough to go up, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but at this point third would be disappointing.”
Some of their lead could disappear this weekend as YM are without a game. They will have had two week’s off by the time they travel to Worthing United on February 24.
Buckland said: “It’s somewhat annoying as when you get a head of steam you want to carry it on, momentum is what it’s all about.”
“We will probably try slot a friendly in to keep ticking over.
One blow is that recent signing Dan Mobsby will miss the rest of the season after suffering a muscle tear and now requires an operation.