MANAGER Vill Powell believes Brighouse Town have the ability to reach the National League after he extended his contract with the club to the summer of 2023.

Ahead of the season’s curtain-raiser in the FA Cup preliminary round , Powell put pen to paper on a new two-year deal.

The news will certainly breathe confidence to the fans and the former Sheffield Wednesday pro was quick to heap praise on their “fantastic support.”

He also admits staying was something he always wanted to do as the future looks bright.

Powell said: “It was an easy decision going into the final year of my contract. I did not have my eyes on anywhere else.

“There is a lot of potential within the squad, and still a lot to achieve.

"We have to be ambitious and I think we can potentially get to the National League at some point in the future.”

Brighouse concluded their pre-season programme with a fairly lacklustre performance in a 2-1 victory over Handsworth.

Powell added: "I am disappointed in the performance, certainly the second-half performance.

"I know what we are up against in this league and if you start taking your foot off the gas and start believing the hype, then you will soon be brought back down to earth.”

However, Powell was buoyant on the overall reflection of his side's preparations, stating, “it couldn’t have gone better.”

Brighouse were unbeaten in seven, including a great 0-0 draw against new Football League team Harrogate Town, and kept five clean sheets.

Town's opponents today (3:00pm) are lower-league Runcorn Town, who knocked out Bradford side Thackley in the previous round.

Brig go into the game as favourites, though Powell insisted: "We must approach the game at full throttle and impose ourselves on the opposition.

"Anything can happen in the cup.”

A week later, Town will kickoff their Northern Premier League Division One North West campaign at home to Clitheroe.

Powell has made his intentions for the new season clear from the onset.

He added: "We want to be knocking on the playoff doors, that is something we are trying to achieve. That’s our first target and then see where we can go from there.”

Elsewhere, Silsden will want to repeat their 3-0 stuffing of Eccleshill United in the previous round with a similar result at home to Bootle.

Albion Sports, who beat Campion last time out, travel to Runcorn Linnets in their FA Cup fixture.

While, Steeton will try redeem themselves, after their 3-1 defeat to Harrogate Railway Athletic on Thursday, by putting up a better fight at Thackley in a friendly.

Harry Williams