Ryhope CW are hoping to bounce back from their demotion to the Wearside League with promotion at the first attempt.
They were told last week by the FA that their appeal against their relegation from the Northern League had been unsuccessful.
The demotion came after their ground failed to meet the league’s Grade G criteria.
They finished second in Nothern League Division Two last season and should have been looking forward to a season in Division One but they now must try and gain promotion from the Wearside League.
Team manager Martin Swailes said: “I’m really disappointed to be honest but we had an idea that it was coming.
“It’s happened, we know where we are now and have just got to try and go again next season and try and get promotion.”
And he thinks the saga over the state of the ground had an impact on the team’s performances towards the end of last season.
He said: “I think we did lose a bit of impetus at the end of the season. We ended up finishing second but I think we would have won the league at a canter if it hadn’t been for all the other problems.
“I think the lads were playing with a bit of pressure towards the end of the season and I think it showed.”
The work on the ground is now close to being completed but unfortunately for Ryhope it has come just too late.
Swailes said: “The ground should be finished by the end of August so we’ll have a Northern League ground and a Northern League team, just playing in the Wearside League.”
But the club have managed to keep the squad from last season largely intact and are hoping they can gain promotion at the first time of asking.
“Everyone is saying we’re going to walk it but I don’t want to put too much pressure on the lads,” Swailes said.
“We’re just going to give it a try and see how we get on, what will be will be but we’ll give it a good go.”
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