MALVERN Town’s promotion has finally been rubber stamped and chairman Chris Pinder cannot wait to get stuck into a new-look league.

The Hillsiders head to the Hellenic League Premier Division after boasting the best points-per-game (PPG) in Division One West.

They are joined by Hereford Lads Club and Thornbury Town in a league that has spread it footprint to Bristol due to geographic changes across the National League System.

Former Western League duo Calne Town and Corsham are the other promoted clubs in a 22-team division that includes Cribbs and Westbury United, both top-six sides in the Western Premier when 2020-21 was curtailed.

Malvern Gazette:

The patch takes in much of the old Hellenic footprint, including Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire as well as Herefordshire and Wiltshire.

“We had an inkling we would be promoted, we have a well-ran club with our paperwork and accounts in order and the ground grading is fine to meet the criteria,” said Pinder.

“The one thing we did not know was whether we would be in the Hellenic League or the Midland Football League and we are pleased to be where we are.

“We have enjoyed being in the area we have been geographically, every team and everything was new after so many years in the West Midlands (Regional) League.

“This is just what the players and everyone behind the scenes deserve, all of the volunteers and people who have given up so much time over the years to get the club to where it is now.”

It comes after two disrupted campaigns in the Hellenic that followed five years of frustration in the West Midlands (Regional) League where they went close to promotion without getting over the line.

And while there have been suggestions that the switch handed Town a simpler route up the pyramid, Pinder insists being judged too far south for a place in the Midland Football League Premier Division with Worcester City is not dodging a bullet.

“You tend to find clubs based closer to cities give you a tough test,” he added.

“By moving up and being closer to Bristol, this league is going to be just as challenging in my opinion.

“I wouldn’t say it was easier, although I would say some of the grounds may be a bit more picturesque.”