Tooting & Mitcham United striker Jake Baxter turned his back on the Ryman Premier Division to help fire the Terrors’ own promotion ambitions.

The 27-year-old committed himself last month for another season at Imperial Fields after last season ended on a high.

Although the Terrors finished 17th in Ryman Division South, Baxter ended the season with a London Senior Cup winners medal.

Moreover, the two goals he scored in that final took his tally to 31 across all competitions for the season.

But it is the team spirit and his sense of hope for next term that has kept Baxter bleeding black and white.

“I had a couple of offers from teams in the league above, and they have been good offers and I have been interested,” he said.

“But I really like everyone at Tooting and the fans seem to like me, which helps. So hopefully we can have a real good year.

“Some of the clubs were not very happy but I am a true Terror.”

The electrician by trade added: “At the end of last season I felt that the togetherness in the squad was really good.

“After we won the cup final, we all said if we stick together and play like that, then we can really push for the title, and I believe that.

“In the first half of last season we would turn up and do OK, but then get beaten.

“Then we changed and an assistant coach, Paul Dale, came in and Frank [Wilson, manager] said he wanted to play more football.

“He brought in a couple of players and it all kicked on from there – around November time.

“But we were forever playing catch-up and it is hard when you know you have nothing to play for, all you’re going to do is finish in 15th or 16th, but I believe if we had that team from the start of the season we would have been pushing for promotion.”

Having grown up together, Baxter and Wilson are friends, so the striker is in the perfect position to give the low down on a manager who was under pressure in the early part of the season.

Baxter was watching from the sidelines as Tooting endured a stop-start run to November, but then he got his chance, and it combined perfectly with an up-turn in fortunes.

The former Combined Counties League man said: “I was watching and eager to get on and prove myself, but where I am had come the league below I understood why I was not getting picked straight away.

“But once it all clicked, I though it went very well.”

He added: “Frank is quite laid back, he has lost his temper a couple of times during the bad spell, especially in the 7-2 home defeat to Chatham - but he gets on with all the players and they all like him, which helps.

“He is not one of the lads, but everyone likes him enough to call him that.

“He knows his stuff, he tells us exactly what he wants and he never presses you into worrying about what you’ve got to do – it is always about relaxing and doing your best.”