GILLINGHAM Town manager Adrian Foster is hopeful that his side will be promoted to the Toolstation Western League Premier Division despite not finishing in the automatic promotion places of their own league.
The division is currently four teams short of the FA's preferred number of 22 sides, so an extra team may be promoted from the First Division.
After finishing behind Cadbury Heath and Melksham Town this season, Foster believes promotion for the Gills would be deserved because of the hard work of everybody involved at the club.
The 42-year-old said: "All we can do is wait and see but it would be massive for the club. Since being promoted the aim was to establish ourselves as a top flight Toolstation League side. Everyone has worked very hard and hopefully the reward for that will be promotion.
"We try to do everything in the right way. We train hard and we work on keeping the ball and passing. The aim was to build a passing side that plays football properly and I think we have done that.
"I am chuffed to finish third out of 20 teams but it was a bit disappointing until we heard about the possibility of third place going up – that helps to soften the blow.
"The plan was to finish first or second but over the season we have not had a full squad often enough and it has made things difficult especially when we have come up against the better sides. When we have a full team I think we have got the best team in the league but we have not had a settled eleven for a lot of the season and you cannot afford that.
"The difference between us and the top two sides is that they are well organised and physically strong and we have not had enough of those types of players in the team."
Foster, who has previously managed at Chard Town, also believes his side's defensive shortcomings have cost them automatic promotion this season, but reckons a few summer additions to the squad will help to fix their leaky back line.
He said: "Going forward we are excellent but we need to tighten things up at the back. We have conceded some bad goals and whether it is down to experience or naivety, 52 goals is too much for a top three team. You would expect that from a mid-table side. 15 goals less might have seen us win the league.
"I have spoken to three lads already about joining us and if they do it will definitely make the team stronger. We are not far away and we just need a little bit more strength.
"But we don't want to change too much. It would be nice to take this squad into the Premier Division. The club is amazingly run. We probably just need three or four players to keep people on their toes."