Welcome to Longridge Town
Thu 12th July 2018 | Longridge Town | By Ian Templeman
Longridge Town's step up from the West Lancashire League this coming season is the latest step in the Club's development, which has seen them progress from the Preston and District Football League to the Hallmark Security League in less than ten years.
The Club's third place finish in the West Lancashire League Premier Division last year followed on from their Premier League title win in 2016-17 with a last day win at their closet rivals Blackpool Wren Rovers (1-0) to clinch the title.
Despite losing a number of players from the title winning squad, a third place finish was a big boost in their quest to bring Step 6 football to the Mike Riding Ground, which is named after the current Club President.
The whole Club has seen an overhaul recently with ground improvements, new sponsors and longstanding Chairman Brian Parkinson stepping down at the age of 80. Brian had overseen the club's tranistion from the Preston & District Football League to the West Lancashire League, and handed over the reins to former Longridge player Kevin Harrison.
Manager Lee Ashcroft, formerly an England U 21 international as a player with Preston North End, West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic is entering his 5th season as manager at Longridge having brought silverware to the Club in each of the past two seasons.
Lee,who has also managed Kendal and Northwich Victoria, is eagerly looking forward to the coming season.
"Last season was one of consolidation for the team on the pitch but, for the Club off the pitch, it was one of huge progress", he said.
"A lot of hard work went into getting the ground to the condition it is in now, before our Ground Grading visit took place, and we now have a covered 100 Seater stand, turnstiles in place, planning permission to extend the Clubhouse, and a new new pitch laid by Richard Peel Goundcare so there is lots to look forward to. I just need to win some games now!"
New Chairman Kevin Harrison echoed Lee's thoughts, whilst trying to ensure that their is a pathway through to non league football for local lads.
"Last season we re-established our Reserve side and the majority of the lads are under 21 years of age. Half the side made first team appearances for Lee, many of them Longridge lads, and it's vital that we continue to 'grow our own' and give them the incentive of playing at a good non league level.
"The coming season is so exciting for us, going to new grounds, new rivalries, new experiences and it's one we are all looking forward to very much.
"I played for the Club in the mid 80's when we were still Longridge United (before the 1996 amalgamation with Longridge St Wilfred's) and have followed the team home and away over the past 10 years.
"It is a Club very close to my heart, as I'm sure is the case with all Chairpersons at this level, and I was extremely proud to be asked to replace Brian as only the third Chair in the Clubs' history."
"Our manager Lee is very experienced at non league level and, whilst having managed at other Clubs, I would like to think that he has found his natural home here at The Mike Riding Ground.
"We have had excellent support from local business who recognise the achievement we have made, particularly from Ben Lee at SWC Ltd, our new Club Kit Sponsor and regularly attracted 100+ crowds at West Lancs level. The key now is that we push on, raise awareness of the Club in a growing community, and give the locals a reason to be even proud than they currently are of Longridge Town".