Potters Bar Town confident dream of reaching National League South is more than achievable

PUBLISHED: 20:10 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 20:10 16 July 2020

Adam Waller (third from right) says Potters Bar Town plan to be in the National League South within five years. Picture: GEORGE PHILLIPOU/TGS PHOTO

Adam Waller (third from right) says Potters Bar Town plan to be in the National League South within five years. Picture: GEORGE PHILLIPOU/TGS PHOTO

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

It may seem like a flight of fancy to some but Potters Bar Town are confident that they will be in the National League South within the next five years – sooner if technical director Adam Waller has his way.

Potters Bar Town took the lead away to Barnet in their FA Cup replay. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar Town took the lead away to Barnet in their FA Cup replay. Picture: DANNY LOO

The progressive club have been moving in one direction since gaining promotion from the Herts County League in 1991.

Winning the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division title in 2005 put them into the top four steps of the non-league pyramid for the first time and a further promotion in 2018 moved them into the Isthmian League Premier Division.

Last year the club enjoyed a record attendance with 2,011 with the visit of Barnet and the BBC cameras in the FA Cup. It proved that they are capable of hosting the big occasions.

But their sights are still set on moving forward, both on and off the pitch, and Waller believes the plans already in motion will take them up the ladder once more, regardless of what any doubters may think.

Potters Bar Town fans celebrate the draw in the FA Cup game with Barnet. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar Town fans celebrate the draw in the FA Cup game with Barnet. Picture: DANNY LOO

He said: “The short-term aim in the league is to do as well as possible. I think we have to have that stance no matter what.

“The club historically has always improved and we’ve never been relegated before, but our minimum aspirations for this season is to finish in the top six. We want to be in the play-offs.

“People will look at what I’m saying and think that it’s a small club and it’s not possible for us.

“However, I feel like we have really hit the nail on the head in the last couple of years with the way we have operated and now clubs respect us a lot more.

Andy Lomas celebrates his late equaliser as Potters Bar Town drew with Barnet in the FA Cup in front of a record crowd. Picture: DANNY LOOAndy Lomas celebrates his late equaliser as Potters Bar Town drew with Barnet in the FA Cup in front of a record crowd. Picture: DANNY LOO

“With the squad that [manager] Lee [O’Leary] is building, I see no reason why we can’t hit the top six next year.

“[Long-term goals] have been helped by the introduction of the new sponsors.

“Pakex obviously are a more long-term partnership but with Scott de la Fuente at LA Construction, who is really into the running of the club, we have a two to five-year plan to get to a National League South standard.

“People can read into that as much as they’d like but we have already started with that and are between halfway and three-quarters of the way through that process.

Potters Bar Town manager Lee O'Leary. Picture: DANNY LOOPotters Bar Town manager Lee O'Leary. Picture: DANNY LOO

“But I would absolutely love to take the club into the National League in the next two years.”

To help they are introducing an U23 development team which they believe will improve the quality of players available.

He added: “This is also really good for the youth at the club because we have access to 10 to 12 youth teams all leading up to U18s.

“We now have the development side. A lot people like to call them reserves but I don’t like that word, they play in an U23 league and it is like a reserve team that will feed into the first-team and vice versa.”

Off the pitch their Parkfield ground has been going through a period of maintenance, especially since lockdown ended.

A new state-of-the-art sprinkler system has been installed, boosting the irrigation of the pitch, while a new perimeter fence has also been added.

There are plenty of other projects ongoing, most in various states of completeness.

The main stand has been painted from red and blue to maroon and white and although that highlights the need to change the seat colours to match, Waller is hopefully they can raise the funds needed.

He said: “We’ve been very busy this summer, mainly because we’ve had the time to do works on the ground.

“It’s mainly down to the volunteers at the ground with Lee, Kevin Grimsey, John Robinson and myself all hands-on deck at the moment.

“The perimeter fence looks lovely and is one of the main improvements going on at the ground. It really has changed the way the actual pitch looks.

“It is quote, a bit messy at the Pakex at the moment, but you can see what we’re doing and that helps.

“Once it’s finished and polished off, it’ll be really good.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times