Pontarddulais Ladies captain Jenny Thomas has backed the club’s decision to appoint Gwynfor Edwards and Gareth Evans as the new management team.
The duo who manage the Kidwelly Town’s men’s side have now taken their first job in women’s football and are hoping to bring their skills to the West Wales League.
Gwynfor Edwards, who is the First Team Manager at Kidwelly Town, is being assisted by his right-hand man Gareth Evans once again. Evans has coached the Kidwelly Town seconds’ team.
Jenny Thomas, who founded the club, identified Gwynfor and Gareth as the two men to lead the club forward and has given them their full backing as they embark on the new season ahead.
“As a team we are delighted to welcome Gwynfor and Gareth to Pontarddulais Ladies FC. Both Gwynfor and Gareth have settled in at ease and have gained the respect and trust of myself and the team.
As the founder of the team as well as the captain, I am personally over the moon to gain such experienced coaches which I know will help us with our development immensely.
Pontarddulais Ladies are continuing to grow and are very excited with what the future holds for us thanks to Gwynfor and Gar. They’ve already brought in James Northcote- an experienced defender from the Carmarthenshire league to help with the coaching setup.”
The appointment now means that Gwynfor will be a busy individual, managing both a men’s and a women’s side but that is not a worry for the club as they know he is comitted and that he has his trusted assistant.
“Between both coaches, Gwynfor having worked with many different football teams as well as being a football journalist, his experience is what will help the team develop and achieve our main goals. Gareth is a fantastic coach, and his experience of coaching Kidwelly men has already started to show throughout his sessions.
The girls are far more relaxed and confident on the ball and with Gwyn’s knowledge and Gar’s expertise in coaching, these two are bringing a bundle of experience, knowledge & x-factor which is proving to be very effective already!”
The assistant-manager has worked his Kidwelly players hard in training sessions and games and will now bring his hard-work and ethos to the Bont.
“I’ve always believed that the ethos of training hard and pushing yourself during training will pay dividends in matches. I’m a big believer in “the harder you practice the luckier you get” Gary Player quote.
There is nothing better than seeing players pushing themselves hard in training, working on fitness and the technical aspects of their game and from this work reaping rewards in matches, gaining that sense of pride and becoming winners.”
The club are two divisions away from the top flight of Welsh women’s football and Evans is now looking to bridge the gap, with a target of top flight football in the future.
“This is the fundamental ethos of my coaching approach in the mens game and I fully believe that its a perfect approach to the women’s game at this level.
From undertaking a bit of research and watching many games in the WPWL last year, the quality of football was outstanding and its obvious a lot of work was put in during training and pre-season. I fully believe that this hard work ethos will prosper in the women’s game and get the most out of individuals and bring an element of professionalism and pride to the game at this level.”
The main man of the moment, the new manager has assessed his squad and upon his appointment, many high-profile players have expressed interest in joining West Wales’ revolution.
“We’ve got a great team here already, a mixture of experience and youth- which will help us as the season unfolds- if I’m completely honest though, no manager would turn down quality players.
We’ve still got a little way to get the depth I’d like, and a few significant players have expressed interest in signing for us- which is a great sign.
We’re capable of challenging for the league, for sure – a few additions and we could do it in style. We’re making a few changes off the field though- we’re taking sports analysis very seriously and looking to implement the best available resources for our side.”
To some it may just be idle talk and a distant belief but to Edwards, the dream for him is to take his side into consideration in Europe.
“It has to be Europe doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want the highest level? We’ve got a few ambitious sponsors, and once we get the right infrastructure in place – I don’t see why it’s not possible, we will continue to work at it. We’ve got players here who are capable of playing at that level- and we’ll work our socks off to achieve it.”