PORTLAND United chairman Matt Lucas has revealed the Blues are ready for Step 4 football in the future should they achieve promotion from the Wessex League Premier.

Portland won the Wessex Premier in 2016/17 under Gary Bailey but did not climb a tier due to various factors, leaving second-placed Moneyfields as the sole promoted side.

The Blues have since undertaken extensive improvements to their ground, notably an extension to the clubhouse, and are confident of making the step up should the opportunity arise.

At the end of this season in Step 5 football, the winners of each of the 16 nationwide leagues will be promoted.

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Positions two to five will then contest a play-off system to decide the second lot of 16 promotions to Step 4.

Promotion spots are subject to each club meeting eligibility criteria, including independent ground grading.

And Lucas is confident of meeting those grades if Portland gain promotion.

He told Echosport: “I would like to think the club, if promotion was to come our way, is in a position where we could do that.

“One thing for sure is as a club we’re certainly not in any shape or form preparing ourselves for promotion.

“Everybody in the area can see what we’re trying to do as a club, and that’s promote youth and give players a chance.

“This season has been a really productive one for us as a whole club and we’re very assured we’re going in the right direction.

“There’s certainly no talk in the club of promotion of any kind, but I do feel from a club perspective we’re in a position off the pitch that we could progress if our performances dictated that.”

On the 2016/17 title win, Lucas said: “Certainly, when Portland won the Wessex League, I’m sure the good people involved at the club would’ve looked at everything intently.

“It’s important every club is safeguarded at any time. I’m sure excellent decisions were made for the sake of Portland United then, and it’s no different now.

“We will look at everything as a collective. Off the field, I would like to think we would achieve that, definitely.”

With a dramatic rise in expense involved in competing at Step 4, not least due to increased travelling, Lucas maintained his belief Portland would be well catered for.

He said: “Whatever we do as a club, whatever level we play, the budgeting is always looked at intently, as you would expect.

“We’ve got a great financial director in Alan Rodgers, he’s a brilliant guy to have on my wing. He’s a great football man and I feel totally assured to have him.

“We’re also in a great place commercially. Vic Holland does a great job and we’ve got an excellent social media corner that Josh Barton heads up.

“The club is in a great position to move forward.”