THERE could be two Warrington teams playing in the North West Counties Football League next season.

Rylands and Daten, who both ply their trade in the Cheshire League, have both applied to take a step up the non-league pyramid.

The NWCFL is expanding to include a further division with greater regionalisation, with the changes coming into force for the 2018-19 season.

Warrington has not had a team in the NWCFL since Warrington Town were promoted from it in 2004, but that could be about to change.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but its perfect timing. It just shows that the club is committed to pushing on,” Rylands chairman Mark Pye told the Guardian.

“With the league expanding, we thought we couldn’t miss out on the chance to apply.

“We feel like it’s the right thing to do at the moment. We’ve got bigger things to come in the future, but it’s the next step for us.

“There’s no guarantees we’ll get in so we’re not getting too hung up on it, but we feel like we’re ready to move up.”

While Rylands play their football in the Cheshire League Premier Division, Daten are in the league below.

Manager Paul Anderson admits that may count against them but hopes the facilities at their Charnock Road ground in Culcheth, including what he describes as “the best pitch in Warrington” will win them some favour.

“We looked at what we have already at the club and we looked at the other teams applying,” he said.

“I’ve been in the Cheshire League for 10 years now and I don’t think any of the teams applying have anything better than what we have.

“The chairman, Stuart Nightingale, has got bags of ambition. We looked at it and thought ‘why not?’

“If we were in the Premier Division, it would probably happen and that may be what goes against us.

“I think we have the best football pitch in Warrington. We’ve got the best facility in terms of the clubhouse and changing rooms of the teams in and around us in the Cheshire League.

“When we think of what it will cost us to take another step, it wouldn’t be as horrendous as some people would imagine. The infrastructure is in place.”

Warrington Guardian:

Daten, here in orange taking on Eagle Sports in a Guardian Cup semi final in 2015, are currently second in Cheshire League One. Picture by Dave Gillespie.

Both clubs will have to commit to making improvements to their grounds if they were to make the step up.

With financial backing from  sports agent Paul Stretford, whose clients include former England captain Wayne Rooney, Rylands chairman Pye is confident Gorsey Lane will be fit to host step six football soon.

“We’ve got some referee’s facilities and some hard standing around around the ground to go in,” he said.

“We have the majority of things on the checklist, but it’s just a case of tweaking to get things right.

“We just have to wait now. I think there’s six teams from the Cheshire League that have applied, and 20 in total, so we just don’t know.

“Hopefully we’ll be alright, but you never know.”

Daten boss Anderson says the floodlights at Charnock Road are the biggest issue, but says grant money would cover most of the cost of upgrading them.

“We’re under no illusions that there’s money to be spent, but we thought we’d see how far it stretches,” he said.

“The biggest item is floodlights, which will be around the £40,000 mark.

“If we get some grant money for them, which would bring the cost down to about £10,000, it is doable.”