The Cobblers have confirmed they have no plans to enter a team in a reserve-team league at any point in the near future.
Town’s second string resigned from the Central & East division of the Football Combination in 2009 as a move that was primarily a cost-cutting measure by then-manager Ian Sampson because of a number of budget restrictions he was working under.
His successor Gary Johnson harboured no designs to re-join a reserve league and the policy has been continued by the current boss Aidy Boothroyd.
Towards the end of the club’s time in the Combination, their fixtures (which were open to the public and attracted crowds of around 200) were contested by sides largely made up of youth-team players and the odd senior professional, usually ones returning from injury.
And Boothroyd says the format of a structured fixture list of reserve-team games does not fit his policy of a small squad, and prefers to arranges games as and when they are required.
“My opinion is the best way to spend our budget is to get the best players we can for the first team and I’ve got 15 or 16 players that I’d be comfortable with putting in the team,” he said.
“Then you supplement that with younger players and sometimes you get one break through, like we have had with Lewis Hornby this season, who is doing excellently.
“I wouldn’t want us to go into a reserve league. I think we’re better off spending the money on players and then setting up matches against bigger clubs and gaining relationships with them so we can nick some of their players on loan.”
And he added: “We organise practice games on an ad hoc basis and a lot of the time, because our squad is so small, we end up dipping into the youth team to get enough players to play those games.
“So we’ve got to be careful because we don’t want to damage the first team and the youth team by playing matches for the sake of it.”