Interview: Martin Ford on Queens Park’s quest for title glory
Queens Park sit at the top of the Welsh National League Premier Division and look set for a title race. Ahead of their game against Hawarden Rangers on Saturday, he took the time out to speak to Y Clwb Pel Droed.
With 11 league wins and one loss from all games so far, Queens Park are top with 33 points, above second placed Brickfield Rangers on 31 points. Asked about the secret of his side’s success this season, he notes a squad backing his vision.
“This year my lads have totally bought in to what we’re trying to achieve at the club and are training very hard for us to achieve that, which is a joy to see.”
And Ford’s side’s success goes further than training, with the club’s policy of fielding players from the immediate Queens Park area building a strong team spirit.
“The majority of our team is local lads and this season we’ve brought in some from off of the estate, bringing the age of the team down. Our team togetherness is second to none – it’s the best in the whole of Wales on and off the pitch, something which I’m very proud of.
Having guided his side to two promotions, Queens Park are in their second season as a Premier Division club, the third tier of football in Wales. Ford notes the quality of the league and says no less than six sides are capable of lifting the league championship.
“I think the standards of this league this season are very high and the competition is awesome. Anyone can beat anyone on their day.
“Any team from first to sixth can win this league this year. Personally I think Brickfield are the favourites with all their spending power followed by last season’s champions FC Nomads.”
However, with financial influence now reaching the third tier, Ford has a stark warning for the future of football in the league.
“Three teams are already paying (players) in the league and I personally think it’s going to ruin this level of football in the end.”
Preparing to face third placed Hawarden Rangers who are on an unbeaten run, Ford is confident with a full squad to select from and the key home advantage, with Queens Park boasting regularly big attendances despite being established just four years ago.
“We’ve got a full squad and my lads are looking forward to testing Hawarden’s unbeaten league run to the max – not many teams come to our place and come away with anything -it’s not called the fortress dunks for nothing!
“From day one of this club being built the fans have been awesome all the way, we wouldn’t been where we are now without them. Most weeks we get anything from 100 to more than 300, and that’s brilliant going for a club that’s only in its fourth season and for our level.”
Asked about his long term ambitions for the club, his sights are set on the highest level in Wales as well as developing many more youth sides for the future of the club.
“I wake up everyday and think to myself why can’t we be in the Welsh Premier League. With the coaching staff I’ve got around me anything is possible, we’ve got the biggest housing estate in North Wales with nearly 15,000 people living here.
“We started a 10 year plan in the summer to have all levels of kids football right up to the our first team. It’s not going to be easy but it’s something we think that we can achieve over time at this club.”
Queens Park kick off against Hawarden Rangers at 14:00 on Saturday 10 December. Stay with all the Welsh National Premier Division action right here and on Twitter using @YClwbPelDroed.