HEREFORD United would be a prized scalp in Southern League next season, according to former Westfields forward Alex Sykes.

The Bulls have been accepted into the Premier Division for 2014-15 after being expelled from the Football Conference for failing to pay debts.

Hereford are without a manager and only have two contracted players – Cory Williams and Billy Murphy – while recruitment consultant Mark Ellis has been overseeing training sessions with trialists.

However, their recent history and heritage would make them the biggest club in the league.

Sykes, who has played in the Premier Division with Gloucester City, Bath City and Forest Green Rovers, said: “Hereford will be a big club in the division and every team will be looking to beat them.

“They will be a side which every club will be raising their game against. Playing Hereford will be their cup final.

“The Southern League Premier Division is competitive. I played for Gloucester, Bath and Forest Green in the Premier Division and it is a very difficult league to get out of.

“There are clubs like Cambridge City who are desperate to climb out of the division and then there are the likes of Bideford and Poole who are also competitive clubs.”

Sykes, joint-manager of Shortwood United, who play one tier below the Premier Division, added: “A big difference between the Conference and the Southern League Premier Division is the level of football and the standard of the grounds.

“But the biggest difference is the level of attendances. Hereford could go away from home on a Tuesday night to one of the smaller clubs and play in front of fewer than 100 people.”

Meanwhile, club photographer Steve Niblett has left Edgar Street after 12 years.

Linda Richards, who worked in the accounts department, and Mick Loader, who helped with sponsorship, have also left along with media officer Jamie Griffiths and Mark Farmer, who ran the official website.