Barnstaple Town’s new chairman has confirmed the club will remain in Evo-Stik League South West next season.

Peter Woodhams has been appointed as the club’s new chairman, filling the void left by Jasmine Chesters, who stepped down earlier this month.

He revealed the club had discussed dropping down to the South West Peninsula League for the upcoming season, before deciding to hold on to their position in the Southern League.

Last season saw Barum finish 21st in Evo-Stik League South West at the end of a turbulent season, narrowly avoiding relegation back to the Western League.

Mr Woodhams said: “We discussed dropping down a couple of levels into the South Peninsula League next season but it was felt by the committee that this would be taking the easy option.

“A great deal of hard work and investment on the ground has been put in over the last four-to-five years not to mention two promotions from the Western League to attain our current level of football.

“This achievement should not be dismissed lightly and in my view a town the size of Barnstaple should be able to support a Southern League team.

“The transition from Western League Football to Southern League Football is quite a step up and we need to be better equipped both on and off the pitch to cope with the higher standards required.

“We have to become more professional in our activities as a club at this level.”

Kevin Darch and Dave Griffiths will stay on as managers next season, with Mr Woodhams calling the 2018/19 season a ‘fresh start’ for the club.

He added: “They care passionately about Barnstaple Town FC and deserve the opportunity to continue managing the team.

“They want success for the club and are under no illusions about the task facing them. They are already making plans to strengthen the squad in readiness for next season.”

The club is also looking at ways to bring more people in to Mill Road on a Saturday and generate much-needed income.

New commercial manager Richard Edwards said the club had ‘relied too heavily on the kind generosity of benefactors’, and has launched a new weekly club lottery.

The club is also offering a discount on season tickets until the end of June, with an adult ticket for all home league games costing £99.