LIAM MacDevitt has set himself a target of 20 goals this season and insists the best of Bury AFC is yet to come.

The attacker wants to give Tom Greaves a run for his money in the goalscoring charts although he admits he has given the prolific striker a healthy head start.

The 26-year-old opened his account in the 5-1 win at Garstang at the end of last month while Greaves already has 10 goals to his name.

It is that competition for goals, not to mention competition for places, that MacDevitt believes will spur the phoenix club on to bigger and better things in their inaugural season in the North West Counties Football League.

AFC went in to the Covid-enforced suspension of the league in second place and as the highest scorers in First Division North.

The Reading-born forward now wants a better goal return and is glad he can return back to action when the league resumes on December 5 after his red card against Golcar last time out was rescinded on appeal.

“I want to give Greavesy a run for his money, I don’t know if I can catch him but I have set myself a target of 20 goals and I will be a bit disappointed if I don’t get it,” said MacDevitt. “I am playing a slightly different role here as I usually play more centrally but I back myself to score goals.

“I won a few leading-scorer awards when I was playing down south so scoring is something I know I can do.”

Bury AFC can provisionally return to training on December 2 and are set to be back in action at AFC Blackpool just three days later looking to build on their impressive start to the season of three wins, a draw and a losing one.

And MacDevitt predicts there is more to come once the team get back in to its stride.

“I think we are only going to get better and stronger as the season goes on,” he said.

“We are still getting used to playing with each other, getting used to how certain players operate, what runs they make, but that is improving all the time.

“You have to remember, this is not just a new bunch of players, everything is new, a club that has been built from scratch. Take all that in to account and we have had a really good start and I am very excited about what is to come.

“The season has been a bit stop-start for us, even before the league was suspended, so we haven’t really been able to build up any momentum.

“But once we put a run of games together I think you are going to see big improvements.”

He added: “We know there are certain areas to work on, not so much cutting out silly mistakes, but the goals we have conceded have all been very similar so we know that is something to address.”

MacDevitt admits it has been tough not being able to train or play with the AFC squad, who like the rest of non-league football below National League North level, are midway through the lockdown.

“Not playing is awful and I am probably speaking on behalf of every player in this league,” said MacDevitt, who is able to train with team-mate Tom Whitehead.

“We have all been given fitness training programmes to follow set by our strength and conditioning coach and that is a big help.

“Thankfully Tom is in my training bubble and lives close by so we are allowed to train together.

“That definitely helps when the nights are getting darker and colder and you need to push each other to get out there running.

“But is is not the same as coming together as a group. Playing or training, we see each other four times a week and we are building up some great camaraderie but that has been put on hold.

“But I am sure we can carry on from where we left off when we are back together. We are all counting down the days.”

MacDevitt was a regular scorer in AFC’s pre-season build-up but injury restricted him to appearances off the bench in the opening three league games.

However, he has started the last two games and is now looking for  a run of games in the starting line-up – something he can build on thanks to the red card he received against Golcar last time out being rescinded.

“It was a joke,” said MacDevitt of the sending off. “I don’t like to have a go at referees because it is the hardest job but I just don’t know how he came to that conclusion.

“I’m delighted the red card has been rescinded, it had to be, and that is massive for me because I don’t want to be missing matches.”