Boroughbridge boss Daz Ekin believes the West Yorkshire League has pulled alongside its rival league, the West Riding County Amateur.
Ekin’s Bridge play County Amateur Division One top side Ventus Yeadon Celtic at Aldborough Road on Saturday in the County Challenge Cup second round.
And ahead of the encounter, the gaffer said he feels the quality of West Yorkshire Premier sides has matched top class clubs in the alternative league.
“Historically, the County Amateur teams have been better,” Ekin said.
“But, over the last few years I think we have caught them up.
“The West Yorkshire League is now very strong.
“Last round, two West Yorkshire teams knocked two Amateur teams out. Hopefully we can draw on that.”
Mark Burniston will hope to continue his fine form after a man of the match showing against ten-man Kippax on Saturday.
Burniston scored twice in the 4-0 win, his second a special wind-assisted strike from 35-yards.
“It would’ve graced any game,” added Ekin.
Danny Webster and Levi Crombie were also on target, but Bridge missed several chances to turn the victory into a humiliation.
“They were certainly the worst West Yorkshire team we have played this year,” the boss added.
“They have been struggling and with it they have lost their discipline. They could have had three sendings-off, not just the one.
“You fear for them. At the moment, the only way is down.”
Ekin hopes Ben Jones, Martin Hutchison, Marcus Phillpott and Ben Mudd will be back in the squad for Celtic’s visit.
But he said changes would be at a minimum after his players earned their shirts during the Kippax clash.
Should the Blues win against Celtic, West Yorkshire rivals Ripon City or champions Bardsey would await in the third round.
“They are the type of games you want to be involved in,” said Ekin
“But this Saturday is going to be a tough game. I looked at this fixture when it came out and thought it is going to be a huge test.
“We haven’t got any aspirations in the County Cup. We are going to go out, enjoy it and see how far we can get.”
Saturday’s victory moved Ekin’s men up to sixth, and the gaffer saluted a different feel to the club from last season.
Bridge’s reserves thrashed Otley Town Reserves 7-3 on Saturday. ‘Bridge A also smashed six past Wetherby A to complete a second club winning treble in a row.
“The club is absolutely buzzing,” he said.
“They are smashing goals in left, right and centre.”
However, ‘Bridge Sunday’s crashed out of the Claro Sunday League Challenge Cup in the first round after losing an 11-goal thriller to Hornblower.
Burniston scored his third of the weekend and Steve Paffett, Jake Fletcher (2) and Kyle Wall also made the scoresheet. But Hornblower edged the clash 6-5.