The only way is up says Lions chairman Moore

Darren Fox may not be playing so much for the Lions this season.

Darren Fox may not be playing so much for the Lions this season.

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Peterborough Lions chief Andy Moore has National League promotion at the top of his agenda as his side prepare to roar into another season at Division Three level.

Last season, the club’s first in the National League, was very good. The Lions finished third and were still in with a chance of clinching a promotion play-off spot going into their final game of the campaign.

“To achieve what we did achieve in our first season in the National League was outstanding,” said club chairman Moore. “Now, with a much stronger squad, I fully expect us to better that and win promotion.

“We identified areas where we needed to strengthen from last season and our coach Darren Fox has done just that.

“He’s done a fantastic job on recruitment during the summer. He’s brought in some great players and there’s going to be some real excitement down at the Lions’ den this season.”

Fox has brought in a wealth of quality forwards with experience at a higher level.

Darrell Ball, Marius Andrijauskas, Nico Steenkamp, John Harlock and Chris Cutts all arrived early in the summer while Conor Gracey joined the club only this week.

He’s a back row player who turned out for the Cambridge first team and Loughborough University last season and could be seen as Fox’s ideal replacement.

Fox, a former Northampton Saints and Bedford star, played almost every game last season but has hinted that he might not be quite so active this time round.

He said: “We’ll play it by ear and see how we go but now we’ve brought in some players who can lead the group I might not be needed that much on the pitch.

“I can keep my eye on the bigger picture far better from the touchline and it may give us a better balance.

“I can start doing what I was brought in to do and that’s develop the club ready for National League Two.”

And Fox is confident his team can mount a serious promotion challenge once again starting with a trip to Longton on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

“I’m happy with the squad but we’re always looking at other players,” he added.

“We now have more players with first team potential and some are going to be disappointed when the team is announced every week. But if we’re to do what we say we’re going to do then we have to have plenty of competition for places.

“You need a competitive environment to succeed at any level and to maintain a winning mentality.

“When I was playing at a higher level everybody had that drive and hunger to succeed. I’d love that to be the case at the Lions, but I realise it can’t be as consistent as say it was at Saints. Players have different commitment levels often determined by their jobs and I appreciate that.

“But we are in a far better position than last year so that’s a big plus.”

Borough don’t start their Midlands Division Two East fuxtures until the following Saturday (September 12).