CHAIRMAN Mark Deaville has backed Rocester to improve on last season's sixth-placed finish in the Midland Alliance.
The Romans elevated themselves to the heady heights of second with Monday's 3-2 win over Heath Hayes. And Deaville is confident the Hillsfield outfit can maintain their push throughout the 2012/13 campaign.
"I'm delighted with the start we have made," the chairman told Post & Times Sport. "I'm delighted with the squad Dave (Langston) has put together. It's not only a talented squad but has a good blend of youth and experience - and they're also good lads as well.
"It's not only the results but the way we have achieved those results as well. We play football the way football should be played. Attractive football that's good to watch.
"We finished comfortably high up the table last season and hope to improve on that. We'd be disappointed not to improve. We can certainly come very close to winning this league."
Langston added the goal-scoring talents of Edwin Asante-Ahenkorah - who has already bagged six in all competitions this season - to his squad in the close season. The Romans boss also brought in experienced defenders Nick Ward and Wayne Johnson towards the latter end of the 2011/12 season and enticed former skipper Carl Allen back to the fold for the current campaign.
Deaville said: "It's nice having a young side but you need the likes of Ward, Johnson and Allen. The experienced players have been absolutely fantastic. We've just got that nice blend of youth and experience and it's working very well."
And the chairman paid tribute to Langston for resurrecting the fortunes of Rocester on the field. He said: "I think Dave is to be congratulated on all he's achieved. Through his networking he's picked up some fine young players. I think he's got a love for Rocester - and that then goes right the way down through the club. He's shown loyalty, shrewdness in attracting players and is a real motivator. The manager really gets the best out of his players."
Rocester suffered a disappointing cup exit at the hands of higher league Chasetown on Saturday and "definitely deserved a replay" according to Deaville. Attentions now turn to the FA Vase and tomorrow's trip to top flight West Midlands League outfit Sporting Khalsa. The prize on offer for the winner is a home tie against Castle Vale JKS.
The chairman added: "The Vase is really important to us this year. We are looking at a very very good competition in both cup and league."
A money-spinning cup run would add to the feel good factor currently enveloping Rocester both on and off the field. Deaville said: "The team off the field are working damn hard. The pitch is like a picture. Everyone is pulling in the right direction and there's a real buzz about the place. We've a programme of fund-raising events in the pipeline and there's a feel good factor that's not been felt to this degree for several years."