MIDFIELD enforcer Nathan Hayward believes teams in Southern League Division One Central are now beginning to take notice of what Bromsgrove Sporting are achieving both on and off the field.
Since winning the Midland League Premier Division and making their Step Four debut on the non-league ladders, the Rouslers have continued topping the attendance charts and now top the league table after five games, winning four and drawing the other.
Their 2-0 victory over Welwyn Garden City last Saturday moved them to the summit of the table after Peterborough Sports and Thame United dropped points.
That winning feeling of back-to-back championships is still within the dressing room and the confidence is flowing out onto the pitch, according to Hayward who insists Sporting have what it takes to go for a third successive league crown.
“We have not come into this division as underdogs but I think a lot of teams were not expecting us to do this well,” said the 26-year-old.
“There is a great bunch of lads here and there is plenty of quality in the squad.
“I have every confidence we can do very well in this league.
“We are here to make a statement and our main aim is to progress.”
Hayward, who joined the Rouslers from rivals Worcester City in the summer, is loving life at the Victoria Ground and now has two goals to his name after scoring the opener in the 2-0 win over Welwyn.
Hot-shot striker Richard Gregory notched the second.
“I was worried I was going to miss and if I had, I would have walked straight off the pitch and not said anything,” joked the former Malvern Town maestro.
“I don’t get as many goals as it is because I only got two for Worcester throughout the whole of last season.
“However, I got one in pre-season and already have two in competitive games so personally it’s a very good start for myself.
“But I am more bothered about the team doing well and the main thing was to get the win.”
Hayward hopes Sporting can maintain the winning groove when they make the trip to Aylesbury tomorrow (Saturday) in a re-arranged fixture after their clash against Corby Town was postponed due to Corby’s involvement in the FA Cup.
“Regardless of their league position, Aylesbury will be a tough test for us but we want to keep our momentum going.”