WORCESTER Raiders’ boss Karl Gormley insists his side “are not there to make up the numbers” ahead of the club's first ever game at Step 5 on Wednesday night.

Their 2022/23 Hellenic League Premier campaign kicks off with a trip to Fairford Town as the non-league season gets back underway this week.

Gormley’s side missed out on promotion from Division One via the conventional play-off route after losing the final, but a reshuffling of the leagues above meant Raiders jumped up a division.

“It was a nice surprise,” admitted Gormley.

“We worked hard to get promoted and we were so disappointed not to make it but we got some luck and got up through the side door, we were over the moon with that.

“Going up into a new league, we will want to consolidate ourselves in the league of course but we aren’t there to make up the numbers, we want to go up there and challenge the top sides.”

Gormley will be ably supported by new assistant manager Tyrone Henderson this season, after the former Littleton boss joined Sixways in the summer.

Henderson echoed the comments of the gaffer, insisting the club are confident they can mix it with the best in the league.

“We got the surprise promotion and we want to give it a go,” he said.

“We don’t want to be scrapping around at the bottom, we want to be pushing top six and giving it a good go.

“A club like this with the facilities and the infrastructure, we need to be pushing on and we will.

“I think with the players we have, we will be up there but what we want to build this season is the right group of players. We want a group that is about us, not about individuals.

“What we don’t want is to chop and change throughout the season, we need to stick together and build that togetherness.

“We wont be coming back down that’s for sure and we are all excited about it. Playing against good sides, it’s an exciting time for the club.”

Following their league opener, Raiders will play their first ever game in the FA Cup on Saturday as they make the trip to Daventry Town in the extra-preliminary round of the prestigious competition.

The winner of that tie will play the winner of Worcester City versus Malvern Town, which takes place at the same time on Saturday afternoon.