MIKE PARKER: I WANT WPL FOOTBALL FOR PRESTATYN
It may only be January but there have already been numerous ups and downs for Huws Gray Alliance leaders Prestatyn Town.
From being days away from having to fold due to a HRMC tax issue, the club rose like a phoenix from the ashes to raise £50,00 to save their club, whilst maintaining their unbeaten record in the league. A remarkable feat, and much credit must be attributed to the hard work of the manager and players.
With 19 games gone, Parker has guided Prestatyn to 17 wins and two draws. An even more amazing feat considering the club were just a matter of days away from ceasing to exist. However, when questioned on the domination of the former Welsh Premier League outfit in the second tier of Welsh football, Parker remains humble.
“I don’t think any player, manager, club or football supporter goes into any season, in any league with that perspective. I think the perspective is or should be, the league your in is the level you are at. Results & success is mostly measured on persistent hard work, test of character and always trying/wanting to improve yourself as a player.”
The club seem destined for promotion barring any licensing issues, with Caernarfon already 11 points behind the league leaders. With 17 wins out of 19 games, 80 goals scored and just 17 conceded, it would be easy for Parker and his teammates to take credit for their success. However, he attributes the positive performances on the field to the hard work of the management and the constant support of their supporters.
“Performances are built and determined on a variety of factors, but I know that when we do play well for parts of games or for the full 90 minutes – it’s not just down to us as players. We have fantastic supporters and the majority is down to our manager who has best prepared us for each and every game we go into too. All the players trust his philosophy, buy into it and work hard implementing it. When we don’t perform well, it’s addressed then we all work twice as hard to improve and get it right.”
This season has been one of change for Prestatyn on and off the field, and it has been one of change for Parker too. Having been used in a freer role previously, Parker has had to adapt to a stricter role in the starting XI. Whilst some players might feel unsettled at being forced to change their game to accommodate the team, the midfielder has embraced the change and taken it in his stride.
“Personally, I think the transition from being more of an attacking midfielder to more of a ‘disciplined’ midfielder has allowed me to discover different parts of my game. I have played a number of positions and I am confident if called upon to play in another position, I can do a job for the team.”
Parker has been a big contributor to Prestatyn’s on field success this season, but has highlighted his performance against Caernarfon Town at home as one of his most impressive this season.
“Probably, not the best performance but biggest contribution to a game was Caernarfon at home. I missed the game away early on in the season due to suspension so felt I needed to impact the game at our place, I felt I owed the club, manager, supporters and all the lads that. I managed to score twogoals and we won 3-2. It was a big fixture, 1st Vs 2nd, Caernarfon have a good manager, good players, supporters and is t’a big club, but I remember the season before they beat us at home so I wanted to get revenge more so just because of that!”
With just over half the season gone, things are looking up for the club and they seem destined for promotion this season. After years away, Prestatyn’s absence from the top flight seems set to come to an end and Parker thinks their success is evidence of their progress and ambition as a club.
“From what Prestatyn have gone through this season so far off the field would have been enough to end any other club which speaks volumes how fantastic the community and all those from people wanting to help, people involved with the club, supporters and players have done in order for their club to keep moving forward shows how much the club wants to progress. Me personally, I want to be back playing back in the WPL with Prestatyn. But as I said earlier we are at the level we are at now and we take that seriously. As players we ensure we work harder and harder each time we train and play to give ourselves the best chance to get the points.”
“Just want to thank all the supporters that turn up week in week out home or away…PTFC”
There is a feeling of hope and ambition at Prestatyn Town once more. Years of mediocrity and instability have encompassed the club, but the current crop of players and the current management team embody the progress of the club in the last few seasons. There is a real feeling from inside and outside the club, that this is their time.