Steve Wilkes believes that he’s got one of the best squads in the North West Counties Premier Division on paper.
And recent form shows that the Arbories boss may have one of the most talented groups of players out on the pitch too.
The Storks may be seventh in the table, 16 points off Runcorn Town in top spot, but an accumulation of 22 points from their last eight league games is more indicative of the prowess that Padiham behold.
Wilkes’s only wish, though, is that he had the same options at his disposal at the beginning of the term when a slow start hindered their hopes of an Evo-Stik return.
“We’ve won seven of our last eight league games now which is phenomenal form,” beamed Wilkes. “We’ve got such a good squad now but I just wish that I had this group in August.
“I believe we would have been much higher up the league, we’d be close to the top, because we’re playing some very good football at the moment.
“It’s a great group on paper and they’re translating that on to the pitch.”
The gulf from the summit is significant at this stage but it certainly isn’t unassailable. The Storks have a game in hand on the leaders and still have Chris Herbert’s men to play twice.
“We should really have beaten Darwen too in this run when taking a point but our form is good,” said Wilkes.
“I told the players that we needed to embark on a run and that’s exactly what we’ve done.
“We’re 16 points from top with a game in hand and we still have Runcorn Town to play twice.
“I’m not saying that we’re going to win the league but we’re certainly not ruling it out.
“We just need to keep chipping away at that deficit, picking up three points as often as we can, and if we continue to play like this then we will be okay.”
Padiham’s quest continues tomorrow against Winsford United at St Luke’s Barnton Stadium, kick off 3 p.m.
“It will be a tough game,” Wilkes said. “They are a big, strong, physical side. We played them at home the other week and they made life difficult. We won the game 4-2 in the end.”
l Padiham Football Club is holding an evening of boxing at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhaulgh Hotel on Saturday, May 6th.
Prices for the black tie event range from £450 to £750 for a table accomodating 10 people which includes a three-course meal.
Anybody wishing to find out more about the event, or wanting to purchase tickets, can email firstname.lastname@example.org.