DEARNE and District have missed out on promotion this season but are still hoping to become one of the biggest clubs in the area.

They are set to finish second in the Central Midlands League behind runaway champions Retford while they are still working on improvements to their Goldthorpe ground.

Dearne had hoped to be promoted to the Northern Counties East League where Worsbrough Bridge and Penistone Church play.

Chairman Antonio Jamasb said: “We have been told they are only taking one from our league which was gutting, but we’re trying to focus on the positives. We’re building a club which is community-orientated.

“We want players to come through our grassroots teams into the first team, while also going up the leagues.

“There is no limit to how far we can progress but we want to get into the NCEL first which will give us a good platform to progress from.

“If we had been in the NCEL this season, we would be in the top five club for attendances. We get 150-180 per game and the highest has been 280.”

Dearne lost 3-1 at home to champions Retford on Saturday. Rieves Boocock had put Dearne in front. Dearne are second. They can either finish in that place or third. They have five games left, all due to be played over 12 days from Saturday until May 4.

“It’s been a really successful season. If Retford, who have won nearly every game, hadn’t been in the league, we would have won it.

“We finished mid-table last season so there’s been a big progression in our second season. We got to the Montagu Cup final for the first time.

“We just want to go one step further in both next season, but it will be difficult.

“Anyone in the top five this season could win the league next season.”

The club recently had a ground-grading with the NCEL.

“They showed us areas to focus on and things we hadn’t thought of.

“We put the paths in the wrong place so we have to move them.

“We need to finish the standing stand and move the changing rooms.

“Hopefully we can get it all sorted for September so then we know for definitely that, if we win the league, we will go up.”

Dearne are looking for a new manager after Keelan Hall resigned late last week.

Jamasb said: “Keelan has done a lot to raise the profile of the club and what we’ve achieved this season has been down to him.

“Hopefully we can build on that and change the structure a bit to involve our development teams.

“John Stancliffe will take the team as caretaker for the rest of the season then we will sit down and discuss who will be in charge next season.”