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Not out of their league: can Salford City win another promotion?


Back in 2014, Salford City, or The Ammies as they’re affectionately known by fans, found themselves the subject of a takeover by ex-United footballers The Class of 92 and their backer, Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim.

After spending most of last season in the spotlight thanks to an FA Cup run broadcast on TV and a second series of the BBC documentary Class of 92: Out of Their League, Salford City are now back in the all too familiar position of being out of the national headlines.

So how are they doing this season?

One of the stars of the BBC documentary, Gareth Seddon left the club for Ramsbottom United after two years’ service. Following a busy transfer window, the club introduced no fewer than seven new players including experienced defender Simon Grand from Barrow AFC and creative midfielder Sam Walker from Halifax Town. They also retained the services of key players James Poole and Jordan Hulme who have contributed to 32 goals and assists so far this season.

The club started the 2016-17 season in incredible fashion and were unbeaten in their first nine games.

“We prepared for the season quite thoroughly,” says club secretary Andrew Giblin. “Training started at the end of June and the managers had a list of players they wanted to sign. We must have been doing something right as we hit the ground running back in August.”

But if football has taught us anything, it’s that it can be unpredictable. Just ask Leicester City fans.

Two wins in their following eight fixtures brought Salford crashing back to reality, with the team dropping down to 6th in the table. Clearly they weren’t going to have it all their way.

There was no repeat of last season’s glorious FA Cup run which took them to the second round. This season they were beaten 2-0 by Stockport County in the third qualifying round.

But after a shaky period, they have got back to winning ways.

A 3-0 win over FC United of Manchester completed the double over their local rivals and a 5-0 drubbing of league leaders Fylde saw them move back up to second place, on course to win promotion for the third successive season.

Following a 3-2 loss to Gloucester City, they currently find themselves third in the Vanarama National league North, ten points behind league leaders AFC Fylde with just 13 games left.

So what are the chances of promotion to the next tier?

Only the champions automatically gain promotion under the league’s current rules, with teams placed between 2nd and 5th entering into a play-off competition.

The play-off winners will then earn promotion alongside the play-off winners of the National League South, as well as each league’s respective champions. That’s four teams in total for anyone struggling with the maths.

With the results coming together on the pitch, work has begun on new 5,000 capacity stadium renovation show the club’s intentions for the coming seasons.

Which is just as well because promotion to the Vanarama National League – just one tier below the EFL – could see them playing clubs with plenty of EFL experience like Macclesfield, Dagenham & Redbridge and Tranmere Rovers.

If the two nailbiting BBC Class of 92 documentaries are anything to go by, expect an exciting run-in to the end of the season.

Our money is on another fairytale ending with Salford getting promoted to the National League via the play-offs with a last minute winner.


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