Going up! Colney Heath will accept promotion as part of non-league restructure
- Credit: JAMES LATTER
Colney Heath will accept promotion if and when it is offered to them - after the FA opted to push on with the planned but delayed restructure of the non-league pyramid.
The Magpies are the top-ranked club in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division based on the FA's qualifying criteria, which involves combining last year's voided results with those gained in the curtailed season this year and using an unweighted points-per-game formula, and will be invited to apply for promotion to step four.
Acceptance is not mandatory but chairman Martin Marlborough says there is no way they will turn it down.
He said: "Yes, we’ll accept it. It’s what we’ve been fighting for over the last couple of years and it would be wrong to deny anybody’s ambition to give it a go [at the higher level].
"We haven’t had any confirmation yet. All we’ve seen is the FA guidelines that it is going to be on merit over the last two years."
In total there will be 110 promotions between steps four and six of the pyramid, with Colney Heath expected to be part of 20 clubs moving up from step five.
There will be another 60 from step six, the equivalent of the Spartan South Midlands League Division One, and 30 from the level containing the likes of the Herts Senior County League Premier Division.
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The spaces required for these promotions are being catered for by the creation of three new divisions, one at step four and two at step five.
The FA didn't mention relegations at all in their statement and there is no official indication of where the Magpies would be placed either, although educated guess work says they could face familiar foes like Welwyn Garden City, Hertford Town and Berkhamsted.
Marlborough though is just looking forward to the challenge.
He said: "We’ll give it our best shot. There’s always going to be sides at the bottom but I can’t see why that should be us.
"Over the last four years or so since Ryan [Thompson] has been there, we’ve stabilised.
"The squad is still young but there’s five or six of them have played at higher levels previously.
"If we went up I’d expect us to be at least mid-table."