Cwmamman player-manager Mark Snell believes preparation key to their success
Welsh League Division One newboys Cwmamman United are no strangers to progression. In three years, they have risen through the ranks and gone from a Division Three outfit to a Division One side who look more than capable of holding their own.
After a 2014/15 2nd placed finish in Welsh League Division Two, they achieved promotion to Division Two alongside fellow Carmarthenshire outfits Llanelli Town and Ammanford AFC.
A seventh placed finish followed and ultimately, by the skin of their teeth, in the final game of last season, the club achieved promotion to the second tier of Welsh football.
And player-manager Mark Snell feels that his side are adapting to life in the new division with a smooth transition.
“I have been really pleased with how we have adapted, as the squad that I have assembled are a very talented group with a number of players having already played and experienced that level, with a number of the younger players in the squad having been involved with pro clubs growing up. So, we are fortunate to have a very good footballing side which suits Division One and our style of play.”
Whilst the table would suggest a mixed bag of results for the Carmarthenshire outfit, one win, one loss and two draws is nothing to scoff at given the quality of Welsh League Division One.
Positive results against Cambrian and Clydach, Briton Ferry and Ton Pentre is a good omen for the season ahead and player-manager Mark Snell is confident after their start and insists planning and preparation over the last three years has been targeted towards making a step that they were always aiming to make.
“I have always planned and targeted playing in Division One and since I have been in charge over the past three seasons we have reached the semi final of the league cup twice beating numerous Division One Clubs en route. I would also fill our pre-season programme with fixtures against Division One clubs as that is the level that I have always believed our squad is at, so we were definitely ready for the step up.”
The squad was bolstered this summer by numerous reinforcements which have aided in their transition to Division One football. Much of that lies with meticulous planning by the coaching staff and their desire to recruit early so as to ensure their preparation ahead of the 2017/18 could be as efficient as possible.
“I secured the services of my main targets as soon as promotion was sealed and was really pleased with the response and recruitment for this season.
They have all settled in really well and i have been fortunate that a lot of the lads knew each other before coming to the club. We have a great Team unity and the togetherness the lads show is priceless. It was also a lot easier to attract and keep players now playing in Division One and it is plain to see that we have a really good, talented group and they enjoy playing for the club, as numerous clubs continue to try attract them.”
But, the club aren’t settled with just maintaining their status in Division One now they have reached their goal. The desire to kick on is as present as ever and Snell and his playing staff only want to continue to improve, and he believes the squad the club has assembled over the last few years is testament to their progress.
“I believe its not just the signings that signal our intent, its our whole squad that we have built which boasts quality throughout and in depth. For every club/team to be able to achieve you always need to have that next goal and hunger for success and ours certainly is not to just settle for staying in Division One!
My aims for the season ahead are to be battling it out at the top end of the table which I truly believe we are capable of doing, the bigger the opponents i am always confident you will see a better Cwmamman performance. I would also like to see another good cup run and better the two semi-final appearances we achieved.”
The club are realistic about their aims however. After achieving promotion to Division One, immediate success is not essentially on the cards. But behind the scenes work is already underway to prepare them for the next level and to ensure standards continue to grow and ascend just like their preparation on the pitch. This has begun with the appointment of a groundsman, but the work won’t stop there for the Blues, as they won’t be satisfied until they reach the top.
We are realistic, as we are a small club compared to a lot of the others and we have come a long way in a short space of time, i am fortunate that the people behind the scenes share the same passion and drive as me so we are building and always looking to improve.
Our Committee have been working really hard to ensure our facilities keep up with our success on the pitch, the ground has seen big developments and improvements this season with a new head groundsman in place which has transformed our playing surface into the best I have ever seen it and these developments will continue to ensure Cwmamman United are competing at the highest level our team is capable of.”
(Featured Image: Lawrence Malloy)