WORCESTER Raiders co-owner Jason Whittingham has expressed a desire to use the club to "galvanise" football in Worcestershire.

Raiders, who are now jointly owned by the Worcester Warriors owners, play their home games at Sixways and were hoping for promotion during the FA's restructure of the non-league system earlier this year.

Instead they were shunted into the Hellenic League Division One from the West-Midland Regional League Premier Division for the 2021/22 campaign.

Having been second in the league last season when it was curtailed due to the pandemic, the feeling is that good times are around the corner for Raiders.

"Worcester as a county is very fragmented in terms of football, the biggest club nearest here is probably Kidderminster Harriers," said Whittingham.

"But then what you have here is lots of small, non-league system clubs and what we want is to galvanise football support in the county and the region if we can.

"I think it's great Worcester City are now back at Claines Lane. I would have loved for us to have gone into Step Five and played them because it would have been the derby everyone would have wanted.

"Hopefully Chris (Cornes, manager) can do an equally good job here with us this season and get us into Step Five and hopefully we get to play city again."

Whittingham and business partner Colin Goldring bought the Worcester-based football club during the first lockdown in 2020.

Many speculated the motive behind the purchase but Whittingham said it was "the right thing to do".

"In terms of Raiders, it doesn't cost a penny, it washes it's face," he added.

"None of the players are contracted, they are on a pay-per-play basis. We only need to get about 300 people in at about five pound a ticket and that pays for every game.

"The whole point about raiders it that one; it's the right thing to do because we have a stadium that only has 16 home games a season, now we have another 23 games on top of that.

"But also we have an opportunity with Raiders to grow it in a sustainable way.

"We bought Raiders in knowing that it wasn't going to cost any money, it wasn't a burden to anyone or anything. It takes no money from Warriors, no money from me or Colin, it washes it's face.

"There is no cash burden but the plan is to build Raiders into something that can be sustainable."

Raiders are in action this weekend away at Dudley Town in their latest pre-season clash before hosting Penybont FC on Tuesday.