Macclesfield’s Edd Stobart believes his side have the potential to emulate 2012 league champions Jersey and earn promotion to the Championship next season.
Blues have had a mixed campaign in National League One, finishing sixth in the third tier of English rugby, but Stobart is confident they can be in contention for the title in 12 months’ time.
"I don’t see why we can’t as we’ve shown this season that we can mix it with the best in the league, especially beating Ealing at their place and getting a draw at home," insisted the 21-year-old.
"We just need to work on our consistency at times, which has been our biggest problem.
"If we can concentrate more at key times, we can be there or thereabouts."
Stobart has had a mixed season, which included being dropped to the second team. He responded well with a hat-trick, before coming through as one of the form players of Blues’ run-in; form he attributes to the change in conditions in recent months.
"It’s been a difficult season for me at times this year, I started well before a bit of a bad patch and I had a spell in the twos," he added.
"That did me the world of good, and I showed what I could do, and gave myself the belief that I was good at it.
"The harder ground has definitely helped, I am a much more confident runner on a firmer surface and it brings the best out of my game."
Stobart has been a shining light of late, scoring twice in defeat to Blackheath, before adding another in the draw against runners-up Ealing Trailfinders, taking his tally to nine for the season; including two off the bench in wins over Barking and Coventry.
The draw with Ealing, as well as a comeback win over Cinderford at Priory Park either side of a disappointing defeat to Jersey have been the displays Stobart feels can provide a catalyst heading into the 2013 pre-season and beyond.
"We could have had more against Ealing but the draw was a fair result in the end," He said.
"We have been putting in good performances, despite some unfortunate results, and we just need to carry the form on into next season and we will be fine.
"The same goes for me, I just need to do the things I am doing at the moment and the tries will come.
"It has been frustrating at times but I just have to remain confident and keep on going."