Pontlottyn boss Matthew Hughes has said he’s hopeful of claiming a victory over Penydarren boss Kerri Mullins this evening.
It’s a local affair for both sides as Matthew Hughes takes his unbeaten Pontlottyn side to The Bont Playing Fields in the South Wales Alliance Premier Division.
With only six miles separating the sides geographically, there will be bragging rights at stake and Matthew Hughes is hopeful of recording a win over his long-term Welsh League rival Kerri Mullins, after failing to do so in the times he’s come up against him.
“Myself and Keri Mullins go back a long time were we used to kick each other in Welsh league in our playing days! As a manager I’m yet to win against him so I’m hoping to buck the trend Wednesday.”
Hughes isn’t putting anything in particular in to his pre-match preparations as they are aware of the importance of such a local derby so early into the season but has gone on to say that a win could provide them a platform for success for the season.
“I don’t have to say much to the players to big this game up. What I will say is if we win it could provide a kick board to something special this season.”
And with that spring board, Hughes has set down some expectations for the season and feels with the work being done off the pitch, the club are preparing for the Welsh Football League
“This season we are looking to push forward to what was started last season we’ve added some great signings in areas where we struggled last season, but we’ve had a nightmare start with injuries over pre-season so our start has been even more pleasing.
As a club we have been gearing up for Welsh league football for a couple years and the feeling at the club at the moment is we could be capable of that this season!
As I’m the last local player to play for Pontlottyn in the Welsh league I’m hoping to get them there as a manager too.”
If they are to achieve their dream of promotion, they’ll have to improve on their eighth placed finish of last season, but Hughes has said that content with last season’s finish after joining the club with a new committee.
“We finished 9th the season before I believe under former manager John Gall. He left close to the start of last season so I took over with a brand new committee all new to the club, so if I was told at start of last year that we would finish 8th I would have been happy.”
Three players who could play a part in Pontlottyn’s promotion ambitions are the returning trio of former captain Matthew Rowlands, Andrew Llewellyn and Richard Davies. Some of which were part of the Pontlottyn side that lifted the South Wales Alliance title back in 2014/2015.
“They are three massive signings for us, Matt rowlands been a stalwart for us for years he’s been good enough to play a lot higher all his career but stayed loyal. Andrew is most probably one of the best goalkeepers you’ll find in lower leagues, he will give us an extra fifteen points this year.
Richard is someone that always gives 100% for the club and has been missed since he left last year so he will be welcomed back in a position that we ain’t filled since his departure.”
Fans hopeful of seeing them return today though in the all local affair between Penydarren and Pontlottyn will be disappointed though as manager Matthew Hughes has ruled them out as they work up their match fitness.
“Unfortunately they won’t be involved this Wednesday as they need to work on their fitness. I’m hoping to bring them into squad on Sunday against Brecon Corries on one of groundhop games.”