CHAIRMAN Jimmy Evans says success for Knutsford A was a highlight of the club's season, writes Matt Turner.

While the first team struggled to defend their Cheshire League Premier Division crown, Jamie Mottershead’s side swept to the Reserve League One title.

His charges lost only twice in the league all season, and were narrowly beaten by higher-ranked Mersey Valley in the Altrincham and District FA Senior Cup final.

Evans expressed his pride at what Mottershead’s players had achieved, but warned a step up to the first team would be difficult.

“The A team saved our season, in effect,” he said.

“Their performances in the league were brilliant, and I thought they were unlucky to be beaten in the final.

“It was pleasing to see some of those lads make their debuts in the first team towards the back end too.

“A big part of our philosophy as a club is that we promote local, young talent and I’d say 95 per cent of our A team is made up of that.

“The trouble with asking them to step up three or four levels to play for the first team is tough for some of them.

“Ideally, we would be taking six or eight players every year from the A team, but we’re not at that stage yet.

“Two or three  are ready, and they will play a part next season I’m sure.”

Those players will likely feature in the first team’s summer friendlies, which see them take on the likes of Stockport County and 1874 Northwich.

“We had a poor pre-season last year, but we will be better prepared this time,” Evans said.

“Those games will be a big test of our capabilities.”