Resilient, Tough and Versatile: An insight into Dayle Selvage’s career so far
It’s the 6th May 2015 – Ammanford AFC have had the most remarkable of seasons. After being forced to play catch-up in the division, the boys in black and white have been on an amazing 15 match unbeaten run that now sees them on the brink of promotion. In the penultimate game of the season, Dayle Selvage, who is on the right of a midfield three, scores the fourth goal to make it 4-1 against Cwm Welfare. Despite a late surge from Welfare, the visitors hold on for the win and promotion is secured. Selvage has bagged the goal to send Ammanford back to Welsh League Division Two. Fast forward to 7th March 2017 – Selvage still dons the black and white every Saturday, but not with Ammanford. The utility man has moved on to pastures new, or even old, as he’s returned to his boyhood club Garden Village. Be it on the wing, in the middle of the park or at full-back, Selvage’s attitude to the game is remarkable, and has proven an asset everywhere he’s been.
Whilst times have changed, Selvage still holds fond memories of his time at Ammanford. A Division Three promotion winner, a fan favourite, and a damn hard worker, it was a learning curve and an unforgettable experience for the player. Having spent the majority of his formative years at Village, from age eight until 19 and then 20-24 years old, Ammanford were his first club away from his so called ‘home’ at Stafford Common.
Playing for Ammanford was an experience I’ll never forget. Moving away from a team I’d played for since I was 8 was a strange feeling but I was welcomed in with open arms and made to feel at home! Playing for Ammanford, you feel a part of a family.
It was a successful time too. Despite joining in the January and being demoted in the off season, the 2014/15 season was something special. A notoriously tough league due to the mixture of clubs recently relegated from Division 2 and those just arriving from local leagues, it is known for its tenacity and aggression. This made Ammanford’s run all the more special and that 15 match run will always stick out for the player.
I’ve played in some good teams and with lots of different groups of players. But there’s no feeling like winning! And that season we felt we had a point to prove! Games came thick and fast and no matter what rotation Gruff had to do, every player stood up to the plate and delivered.
The dressing room was always upbeat! A good level of banter without it ever getting personal. A bond between all the players which you cannot force! Even the players not starting always wanted the best for each other and the club which I’d never experienced before!
But, it is not his only achievement in football to date. When questioned on his achievements, he rolls back the years to tell the story of his great run in the West Wales Senior Cup with Village. In a competition littered with quality, Village made the final, defeating Carmarthen along the way, before they were defeated 2-1 by Neath. A remarkable achievement given that Swansea were in the competition.
Village has held many memories for the energetic utility man. Having spent his youth at the club, and the start of his senior career, he achieved a lot in a short space of time. Before his departure to Gruff Harrison’s Ammanford, he was the Swansea outfit’s skipper, a period he remembers with pride.
“Being captain of village was the proudest thing for me as a player! I remember Dai Rimmer breaking his wrist I think it was and he was ruled out for the rest of the season and I was given the armband. The first game was goytre away and we lost 4-1. I scored” he jokingly adds, “but it was still a very proud day.”
Whilst things may be difficult under the current conditions, with Village languishing in the bottom half of the table, Selvage remains upbeat about the club’s future with Dai Rimmer having changed the club’s plan, by placing a focus on local talent.
“I think it is positive as we are regaining our identity as a family club again! There’s a good core of local boys in the squad and a lot of promising young local boys coming through. Although the results haven’t been very good recently, we are building a good bond on and off the field within the club which I’m confident will help in the long run!”
A resilient, tough worker in whatever role he’s deployed in, the former Pontardawe man could still climb the leagues. Having played in Division One previously, his attitude sums up why he’s so reliable for the managers he’s played under and why any club in Division One would not be afraid to put their faith in the defender-come-midfielder.
“No.10 I see as my natural position but I’ve never been given a real chance to play there. And maybe being so versatile has been to my detriment. CM I believe I am competitive but managers tend to see me as a right back and I’ve had a lot of praise there so I can’t complain! I believe being versatile is a very useful tool although I believe it is down to attitude.”
At 28 years old, he’s firmly in his prime, and there’s still the possibility he could prove his worth further up the leagues. Whilst he may not be the flashiest or most prolific of players, one thing is for sure, he will guarantee you 110% week in, week out.