THE future is bright for Bradford (Park Avenue) despite dropping out of the play-offs, according to manager Mark Bower.

He spoke of his pride for the squad's efforts, describing them as being "top drawer" throughout the season.

Bower said: "We've got to congratulate the players on a fantastic season.

"When you're in a play-off, whether you finish fourth or seventh, it doesn't matter - you're in there.

"It goes to a one-off game and in a one-off game you can be the better team but lose to a moment of quality like they had and a few things not going your way. The lads will learn from that experience.

"Hopefully they'll take that sort of pain and almost injustice that they're probably feeling now and use that as fuel for doing well in the future, whether it be here or somewhere else."

There were a number of strong performances in that 1-0 loss at Spennymoor Town in the Vanarama National League North Play-off eliminator round.

Youngsters, such as Jamie Spencer, Lewis Knight and Jake Beesley, put in assured performances, alongside solid showings from others like Conor Branson and Danny East.

Something to build on over the summer, but at least one of those names may not be here come the start of the 2019/20 season.

Top scorer Beesley will return to his parent club Salford City.

Bower has spoke of his desire to bring the prolific forward back next season, but he knows better than most that ins and outs are just the nature of the beast.

He said: "There'll always be changes wherever you're at - Man City right at the top or at the lower ends of non-league.

"In the summer there'll be changes and people will come and people will go.

"But, you look at the teams that have done well this season - Stockport, Chorley, Brackley, Spennymoor, the top four - they retain a large core of their players that have got them into good positions and I hope we're in a position to be able to do that and obviously add some quality around it.

"We'll probably be a little bit more youthful next year.

"There have been plans in place for that for a little while, but they're on the backburner a little bit when you finish off the season like we have been doing. That comes to the forefront now.

"There's no time for rest. We've got to move on and see where we go from here."

Avenue's efforts throughout the campaign have been matched by work off it and Bower says the club have done Bradford proud.

He added: "The players have done the club proud. The club have been fantastic in terms of putting us on the map and raising the profile.

"There's a lot of good things going on - the team's done well on the pitch to finish in the top seven.

"The initiative next year with the season ticket offer is fantastic and hopefully we'll have a fence going round the pitch, get people close to the action.

"Hopefully we can put a good team on the pitch next year to add to that and help push that on."