AFC Porth manager Stuart Brock aiming for successful future with Black Dragons
AFC Porth Club legend and newly appointed manager Stuart Brock says he has the future in mind as he leads the club in to the new season.
Brock who spent twelve seasons as a player at the Rhondda side was appointed manager of the club following the departure of manager Gareth Morgan who has joined divisional rivals STM Sports.
Rather than recruit externally, former forward who has been part of a number of Porth sides over the years, wants to see more local players and has pushed for more sides at youth level to provide a better pathway for the first team.
“AFC Porth are going through a period of change where I aim to build on what the club currently have. I am working to help introduce more teams within the youth section to progress longevity and encourage local talent, not only with youth but at senior level also.”
With more than twelve years at the club, the new man at the helm has been it all as a player, experiencing the side fall out of the Welsh League altogether, as well as a remarkable rise through the leagues after a rejuvenation, where they were just one league away from Welsh Premier League football.
Now Brock wants to mirror the success of Paul Evans but in his own unique way as he looks to deliver long term success to the club.
“Having been involved with AFC Porth for the past 12 years and I have seen the club fall out of the Welsh League and bounce back under the leadership of Paul Evans and shared successful times up to Division One. Naturally I have a willing desire to see the club progress and succeed and hope to build on the clubs past success.
I am overwhelmed with the amount of support I’ve received and have been working hard to lay foundations for a successful future for the club. Sat in the driving seat is a far different role from playing! It has been challenging but I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience.”
Instead of beginning the season as a player, Brock will be in the dugout when his side host promotion hopefuls Pontypridd Town this Saturday.
The Dragons drew 2-2 with the Black Dragons in the last outing between the two sides with Danny Hooper scoring a last gasp equaliser right at the end at Dinas Park.
This time round though, the Porth boss says that the season opener against their close rivals is a chance for his side to show their worth for the season ahead.
“Every player always loves a local derby. It gives both teams the opportunity to show their seasons intentions and I’ll be preparing the team to enjoy the occasion.”
Both sides were vying for a promotion spot last season with three sides going up. Ponty went the closest as they found out that Cwmamman United went up on the final game of their season whilst Porth finished fifth, just a bit off the mark.
But with the new season upon us, Brock believes that Ponty will be up there again and has predicted the chasing pack of Ammanford, Caldicot and Aberdare to closely follow them.
Pontypridd have always played well against us and contributed to AFC Porth not gaining a promotion spot last season. Pontypridd Town have strengthened with signings over the summer and I think will be looking a strong contender for a promotion place this season, along with Ammanford, Caldicot and Aberdare Town in my opinion.
The opening day tie has all the ingredients for a local derby with both David Burnett and Nynan Bird leaving Porth to join Pontypridd Town as they come up against their old side this Saturday at Dinas Park.
It’s not just Pontypridd who have been busy though in making transfers in the Rhondda area, with Stuart bringing back Matthew Vivers and Nicky Rees to the squad, alongside summer signings Jonny Miller, Jamie Coomes, Nick Louth and Ashton Kinsey.
“With the departure of Gareth Morgan at the end of last season, Pontypridd have gained two great signings in Nyran Bird and David Burnett. We look forward to welcoming them back to Dinas Park.
I have rebuilt a new squad this year, many of which are returning players. With a mix of new faces, experienced players and youth additions it’s great to see local talent with fantastic ability competing at this level of football and fighting for one another. And there’s a few characters to be found in there to!”
(Featured Image: Will Cheshire Photography)