AFTER completing their first season at semi-professional level, Steeton manager Roy Mason has called for further progress for his side.

The Chevrons finished their debut campaign in Hallmark Security League Division One North in 15th place after a 2-2 draw with AFC Darwen on the final day on Saturday.

It brings the curtain down on Steeton's first season, which has also included the club playing in the Buildbase FA Vase first round proper for the first time in their history, losing 3-2 to Avro in October. They won and drew 11 of their 38 games this season.

After an encouraging opening campaign where 45 players were used, Mason says he wants the whole club to kick on and continue to expand its profile.

He said: “The first season at this level has been everything we hoped for.

"The standard has been good, the opposition has been good every week. We have been playing like-minded clubs.

"It's great how much we have improved this season, how professional it's been.

"We have had some real highs and lows this season. There was a long stage where we did not win this year. We've drawn too many matches, more than any other team in the league.

"But if you'd said to me at the start of the season that we would finish 15th, I would have taken it.

"We were stepping into the unknown. A lot of people wrote us off and thought we'd bitten off more than we could chew. Around the town, people were saying we would not win a game this season. We have proved a lot of people wrong.

"We are professional in what we do. Reaching the first round proper of the FA Vase was a moment we will cherish. Holker away and winning our first game at semi-professional level really gave everybody a boost.

"We used 45 players this season and every one of them has been magnificent. Everyone has stepped up from being an amateur to semi-professional footballer.

"They have travelled all year. People have not cried off, making excuses that they are working."

When making the step up to the semi-pro game, Steeton decided they needed a new environment to match the quality of football.

They signed a deal to ground share with rugby league side Keighley Cougars’ at Cougar Park as they also had to keep the official standards set in place by the league in mind.

Mason added: "We had 187 at our game on Saturday, that was the eighth-biggest crowd at Step 6 in England. We are enjoying a whole new fanbase at Cougar Park.

"We need to kick on, we need more supporters and more volunteers.

"We do really need more businesses to get behind to help us out with sponsorship. There is a rise in costs for us to run a team at semi-professional level. Our costs have almost triple really.

"We are a really friendly, welcoming club. People are now turning to non-league football. Keighley is a big town. There is a lot of potential in the area.

"I would like to thank all of our volunteers this season. Behind the scenes people have stepped up to the mark and taken on more responsibility."

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