Reputation is a funny one. None of the Bandits starlets were wanted or bidded for throughout the season, which seems to suggest that the reputation of 1 (obscure, although they’ve all now become local) really does prevent the bigger clubs hearing of them. Maybe it’ll take a cup run or league football for them to be noticed.
You've started them as total unknowns it'll take a while for any unknown to be taken seriously - especially if they're playing at a low level (as they'll be seen initially as a 'flash in the pan' and even after a few seasons clubs will 'doubt they can make the step up').

As you've guessed some impressive cup runs will help get them into the spotlight a little earlier - be interesting to see if they manage it or not.