Following back to back promotions, Rhostyllen FC manager Gareth Parry believes his side could be the Welsh National League Premier Division’s “surprise package”.
Parry who has taken Rhostyllen from competing in Sunday League as Middle Pub FC to the third tier of Welsh football in just 4 seasons, is expecting the club’s most challenging season yet.
Clubs like Brickfield Rangers, Buckley Town, Mold Alexandra and FC Nomads of Connah’s Quay are all involved this season and Parry is under no illusions as to how tough the division will be.
“The standard of opposition this year will be a lot tougher, looking at the fixtures there isn’t a single game where you can be 100% confident of a win.”
The manager also feels as though the squad is ready for the season following a number of friendlies and good training sessions.
“In terms of preparation we’ve had a good pre-season, the lads have worked hard in training, we laid out some tough sessions and they coped well. We had some tough friendlies, playing at Gresford was a real test for us and we played well despite the score line (4-1 to Gresford).
When talking about the Squad he’s assembled for this season, including a majority of old faces mixed with a few new ones, Parry said.
“The lads are fit and ready for the off, the new signings have settled in well and we’ve a good team spirit as always”.
“I think we’ve got a number of key players going into this division, Josh Jones in goal had a terrific season and kept us in a lot of games last year. Kev Roberts in centre midfield is the heartbeat of our team, when he plays well the team does well.
Steven Jones was our top scorer last season playing mostly in midfield, i’m hoping he’ll continue to score next season, but he’ll have Matty Williams to provide for hopefully.
Lastly Daniel Brown was my choice for managers player last season, he played across the back 4 last year and was consistently our top performer, i’m sure all 4 will be crucial during the season.”
After a season in which Rhostyllen FC found the back of the net 114 times in 22 games, Parry gave an analysis of new additions to the striker position at the club.
“For the last 2 years we’ve scored a huge amount of goals and not really had a recognised striker so my main target was goal scorer, in Matty Williams I think we’ve got one.
He caused us problems last season when we played against Penley and he’s had a productive pre season and been taking his chances and showing us what a clever player he is”.
“We’ve also signed Keiron Taylor a young striker from Brymbo, he scored regularly last season in the WNL, has pace to burn which is something we have needed up top.”
Two defensive minded options have also been added to what is already a solid a back line as the club sought new recruits to prepare for the upcoming season ahead.
“Sean Merryweather is someone we came up against 2 years ago when we were in the north east wales league, he’s a physical player who can play either centre midfielder or centre half, there were a number of teams in this league trying to sign him so i’m looking forward to seeing how he improves us. Wil Roberts has only signed this week after leaving Corwen, again he can play in midfield or defence so gives us the flexibility and has played in this league for a number of seasons which will help.”
Parry feels as though he has a very strong squad heading into the season and has set the club a good target for his side to achieve.
Nevertheless though he knows what to expect from fellow third tier opposition as he prepares his side to deal with a higher division this time round.
Every team in this league will be a tough game, we won’t be able to take anyone for granted.”
“As a club our aim is to establish ourselves in the new division.”
Although the top spots in the league will likely not be occupied by Rhostyllen FC, Parry doesn’t believe his team should be counted out as contenders for the league, in what could be a double promotion for his side.
“Personally I’m aiming to be the surprise package of the league. For the last 2 years the majority of games we’ve played we’ve been favourites to win, next year will be completely different and require a different mindset from all of us, and that’s a challenge I’m looking forward to and i’m hoping the squad thrives on playing better teams week in week out.”
And his prediction for the team that are favourites for promotion out of the Wrexham area’s Premier Division? Brickfield Rangers.
“Brickfield have invested in some good players this season, I think they’ll be the favourites going into the season.”
Rhostyllen suffered defeat in their first competitive game of the season on Tuesday night losing to Cefn Druids 5-3 in the NEWFA cup, losing the game in the last 5 minutes following a sending off. But Parry is still excited for their league campaign.
“I’m really looking forward to getting started away at Llay on the 11th (August).”
The division new boys now begin life in a higher division against Llay Welfare on the 11th August, with a whole new season ahead of them.
(Featured Image: Gareth Parry)