The owner of Shaw Lane Aquaforce says the club has made more strides to develop on and off the pitch throughout the off-season.

The Shaw Laners won promotion to Evo-Stik Division One South last season after a tremendous run of form saw them crowned champions of the Northern Counties East League. This continued the meteoric rise of the club from a Sunday League outfit as they registered a fifth straight promotion.

Now they are the highest ever placed Barnsley non-league team but there is no desire to put the buffers on just yet. Owner Craig Wood wants the team to be competitive but admits the largely Midlands-based league will present them with new challenges.

"I'd be foolish to make a bold prediction this season like I have done in the past," said Wood. "I won't make any promises but I want us to be competitive. The manager (Craig Elliott) thinks we have a side that will be capable of being competitive at this level. "It's the unknown for us because we are playing a lot of new teams."

A raft of early signings including Gavin Allott, who was top-scorer for Frickley in the league above their current level, and Gibraltar international Adam Priestley have singled the Ducks out as a team to watch. To complement them, former Red Neil Austin has signed a deal in the short-term and the club remain in talks with his old team-mate Martin Devaney. The club have also invested in other departments next year but their tickets will remain the cheapest in the division.

Wood added: "It's a chance to watch attacking, attractive football for the people of Barnsley. Our prices are the cheapest in the league so it's affordable too. We have a new PA system and a lounge and we are hoping that all our pitch problems have now been alleviated."

Aquaforce kick off their campaign tomorrow away at Tividale but they host Sheffield FC, the oldest club in the world, at their ground on Tuesday evening. "We're really looking forward to Saturday," added Wood.

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"To get where we are now in such a short space of time and to also be playing the oldest club in the world is something to be very proud of."