PROMOTION to League One is Barrow AFC’s long-term goal, says co-owner Tony Shearer.

With AFC surviving its first season back in the Football League after 48 years last season, the club’s largest shareholder is already looking to push further up the pyramid.

He told the club’s official podcast: “We need to be a stable, successful EFL club, League Two club definitely, and if we get League One even better, but one step at a time.

“We have to got to be quite sensible, I think an established League Two club is great, but I do think League One is definitely achievable.

“We are not going to settle for mediocrity in League Two, not at all, we have got to be pushing for the play-offs and hopefully get promoted, but once you get there you have go to stay there, we don’t want to be a yo-yo club.

“I think other clubs have shown you can do it, Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood Town and even clubs like Exeter City, I like their model in terms of developing players.”

Notably, The Grecians are responsible for producing young talents Ollie Watkins and Ethan Ampadu, who are both now plying their trade in the Premier League for Aston Villa and Chelsea respectively.

But with The Bluebirds unveiling their plans for a Category 4 EFL Academy last month, the club’s hierarchy will now be hoping to develop their own top-level performers.

Shearer said: “We want Barrow people playing for Barrow.

“That FA Trophy winning side of 1990 and before, I am guessing half of the team was from Barrow, which is great. We might not get half now, but we have got to get more.

“If we want to create self-sustainability, we need to develop players and move them on, this area of football has been done well at EFL clubs that have bypassed us.

“The idea is that it's local area people in the Furness area first.”

A South Carolina resident, Shearer says he is hoping to watch Mark Cooper's side at Holker Street six or seven times next season.

Shearer revealed he was excited for the upcoming 2021/22 campaign and has full faith in the new manager.

He commented: "I am very confident with Mark, he is very sensible and experienced, he has been around the block a few times, and he loves Barrow.

"But Mark Cooper is not here to tread water, he is very ambitious and we need to match that ambition off the field and I think we can, so I am looking forward to next season, it can’t be any worse than last season, but it will be better."