"IF Yeovil Town can reach the Championship, who's to say Bridgwater can't operate in the higher echelons of Non-League football?"

Last week we heard from Bob Buckingham, who is taking over from Adrian Byrne as Bridgwater Town chairman, as he traced the club's journey from Southern League relegation in 2016/17 to the arrival of former AFC Bournemouth co-owner Adam Murry late last year.

READ MORE: Murry's arrival 'a massive boost for us'

This week we are looking ahead, with Buckingham targeting progress both on and off the field.

That progress must be achieved in a sustainable and community-focused way, Buckingham believes, rather than throwing money around.

Even so, some changes have already been made at Fairfax Park, a couple of new players have come on board, and the club is looking to launch a youth academy in May 2021, which has received "extremely strong interest" from the local area.

The changes around the ground are "cosmetic" at this stage, with some more modern graphics greeting fans at the turnstiles (as soon as Covid-19 restrictions allow them to return), and some tidying up taking place.

The longer term goal is stadium redevelopment, with some of the Fairfax Park infrastructure outdated now.

"We have continued to operate in a stadium not designed to last as long as it has, since the late 1980s and early 1990s," Buckingham told the Mercury.

"We've been patching it up but we hope to be in a position to change.

"We are looking at opportunities to develop the stadium to replace the outmoded accommodation - the clubhouse and changing rooms - which is past its sell-by-date, and we are seeking finance to achieve that."

Another target is growing the team's fanbase, and an expanding population in the local area is something the club hopes to capitalise on.

Buckingham points to the EDF development at Hinkley Point C, and Gravity at Puriton, and added: "The population is only going one way, so we think the potential is enormous.

"Our average gate was 230 last season, and is the same this season despite [crowds] being restricted by Covid-19.

"Subject to success on the field, we believe there's no reason that we can't double that average crowd to 400-500 people.

"Our ground capacity is 2,500 and our all-time record crowd is still the 1,112 we had in for a game against Taunton Town in 1997."

Buckingham is well aware that the best way to attract more fans is winning football matches, saying: "The key is getting people excited about what's happening on the pitch."

Bridgwater currently play in the Western League Premier Division - Step 5 in the National League System - while neighbours Taunton are a couple of levels higher, in Southern League Premier South (Step 3).

That is where the Robins can aspire to, Buckingham believes, with their potential to climb the divisions over the next five years being "vast".

He said: "If Yeovil can reach the Championship, who's to say Bridgwater can't operate in the higher echelons of Non-League football?

"Who knows what the world will look like in five years' time, but there's no reason we can't look at achieving two promotions from where we are now [to Southern League Premier level] and be pushing for National League South.

"We would also like to progress in national cup competitions and make people take notice of us.

"But it needs to be sustainable and engaged with the community - we want to get people to buy into what we are looking to achieve."