COLWYN Bay may be flying high in their first season back in the Welsh domestic system, but they are already laying the foundations for a possible title push next term.

The Seagulls’ have exceeded expectations in JD Cymru North, firmly establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in a very short space of time and becoming a huge positive for the league thanks to the interest generated and large average attendances.

Manager Craig Hogg stated prior to the campaign that it would be ‘wait and see’ for his squad, who had a significant bullseye on their back having been given second tier status by the Football Association of Wales.

This is something they have coped well with besides the odd blip, and things are definitely looking up for a side that currently lie in third position and still in the JD Welsh Cup at the fourth round stage.

The Bay management team seem determined not to rest on their laurels that could hamper their progression in the weeks and months ahead, which is further evident by an extremely busy January transfer window.

Gifted wide player Cai Owen has joined from second-tier rivals Rhyl, prolific striker Callum Parry arrived from Llanrwst United and Sam Downey penned a deal following a spell at neighbours Llandudno.

Add to this the signings of Connor Heath and Beau Cornish, and this represents a considerable long-term investment for a club that is aiming for JD Cymru Premier football at the earliest possible opportunity.

These new signings will undoubtedly improve their fortunes for the remainder of the campaign, but it also indicates that Hogg and director of football Neil Coverley already have half an eye on next term and a possible title challenge.

There are plenty of other things to consider in the coming weeks for the Bay, who saw this season as a free hit with little pressure. Something that will noticeably change next time around.

Keeping influential figures such as skipper Tom McCready, Will Bell, Darren Thornton and Mitch Bryant in the fold will be pivotal for their continuity and fortunes on the field, and returning figures like Joe Chaplin, Damian Ketley, Julian Williams and Morgan Owen from spells away are also decisions that will have big implications on the squad.

Although Heath will probably go back to Crewe Alexandra following his loan spell, in Owen, Parry, Cornish and Downey they have players who will already know the system and there is no telling what impact they can make with a full pre-season to familiarise themselves further, providing each impresses during the business end of the season.

The community reaction that the Seagulls’ received to their move back into the Welsh system has gone from indifferent to immensely positive, and they have to make the most of it sooner rather than later in order for the club to progress.

Hogg and Coverley are fully aware of this, and their early planning for next season could pay dividends in the best possible way.