Nelson boss Andy Harrison believes the future is bright after difficult few seasons

Gareth Hill scored for Nelson in their 8-1 win over Daisy Hill
Gareth Hill scored for Nelson in their 8-1 win over Daisy Hill
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Nelson boss Andy Harrison draws the line when asked if he will go on Davina McCall’s ITV show “This Time Next Year.”

But the Admirals chief is convinced the future is bright, and his side will push for a top half finish in the North West Counties First Division North next season.

The Blues, in 15th, thumped next-bottom Daisy Hill 8-1 on Saturday at Little Wembley, with Gareth Hill scoring four.

And Harrison points to the example of Bacup – who are currently seventh after finishing 17th last season – as a benchmark of what can be achieved.

Harrison feels the club are back on the up after a testing few seasons, and he said: “If we can get another full back and a striker to add depth to the squad in the summer, this time next year I think we will be talking that we’re not too far off.

“Bacup were in the same boat, and they’re seventh.

“From where the club has dropped from, we feel there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’ve spoken to the chairman (Fayyaz Ahmed), and we’ve agreed on a lot ot things and solved some underlying issues - things like making sure we have a groundsman week in, week out.

“Trevor Stansworth has done an unbelievable job with the pitch, which allows us to lay a certain way, which can only help.

“There’s a good feel about the place again, my coaching staff Guy Heffernan, Marco Bellanca and Joseph Almond are singing from the same hymn sheet, and there’s a great team spirit.”

Harrison was delighted with his players on Saturday, as they more than earned their evening out in the Ribble Valley.

Nelson were 6-0 up before Daisy Hill pulled one back, and two more Hill strikes made it 8-1.

Daniel Fagan, Keiran Demaine, the returning Yves Zama and an own goal rounded off the scoring, as former Rimington man Hill moved onto 17 for the season – his first at this level.

Harrison has been delighted with his progress at a higher standard: “I don’t think lads can just turn up at this level and show you 100% of their ability straight away, it takes time to adapt.

“There is a difference from the West or East Lancashire League, and coming here was a gamble.

“I think he found it difficult the first few games, then scored a hat-trick in the FA Vase, and then moved to Barnoldswick Town where his brother was.

“It was running before he could walk, but I’ve stuck by him and said as long as he keeps working hard, and we are creating chances, the goals will put them away.

“He’s got a good few now, although there were four Saturday, a hat-trick, two against Garstang – he’s scored his goals in about 10 games.

“That consistency will come.”

Nelson will look to pick up the points again tomorrow when they travel to Crilly Park to face bottom side Atherton LR, and Harrison added: “They are struggling and will probably go down, but, for us, it’s another chance to try and push up the table and see how high we can finish.”