Ammanford’s Gruffydd Harrison on last season’s “very jubilant” scenes and “the test” upcoming season will provide
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Ammanford secured promotion to the Welsh Football League Division One last season, finishing third in Division Two behind Pontypridd Town and Llantwit Major.
The man who lead them to the top flight of the Welsh Leagues was Gruffydd Harrison, and he previews the new season; whilst looking back on the successful 2017/18 campaign.
The Manor Road side clinched their place in Division One with a 3-2 home win against Aberbargoed Buds on the final day of the season.
Harrison said the scenes at the ground were “very jubilant“, before adding: “I was over the moon for the players, supporters, committee and my staff who worked tirelessly all season to reach our goal. It was a bank holiday weekend so a perfect end to a long, tough season.”
The Carmarthenshire side were the third highest goal scorers in the league, behind Pontypridd Town and STM Sports.
The manager cites the “depth of the squad” as the base that allowed them to push for promotion last season, “Whoever played, whether it was one minute or every minute, committed themselves 100% to the cause and with plenty of injury problems throughout the season, people had to moved around and adapt.
The players and their top class attitudes won this promotion, I have no doubts about that at all.”
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Division One will provide a sterner test for Ammanford, but this is something that the UEFA B Licence coach is relishing: “Personally I’m looking forward to the test. The jump in class is evident and we have been working very hard on and off the field to meet the standards set.
I know the club and everyone connected is looking forward to this season. Most importantly I want us to make a mark. I believe wholeheartedly that we can survive in Division 1.”
Ammanford’s first game of the season is away to former Welsh Premier League side Port Talbot Town.
When asked about the opening fixture, Ammanford-born Harrison said this: “I always feel whoever you play on the opening day it will always be a big test as this is the point in the season when teams and players are most motivated about the task in hand. We aren’t the only squad who has been working hard through preseason and I’m sure Port Talbot will be no different.
The former Llanelli Town and Swansea City Academies player is well aware of what to expect from the Steelmen: “I know they have had a change of manager and some personnel but a club of that stature will always be strong. I know their manager Mr. Pike will have them well organised so again I’m looking forward to the test and of course our first WFL1 game in a number of years.
Two former players of ours play at Port Talbot, and two who helped shape our journey in different ways in Rhys Owen and Jake Hammond. Both helped us in promotions recently and a few years back. I’m thankful for their contributions, and I’m sure they will look forward to the game too.”
The club has recruited former Llanelli Town goalkeeper Craig Morris in the summer transfer window, and Harrison is delighted to have him on board: “His experience will be a plus for everyone at the club. He is a former player of Ammanford so is well known within the club. He has been training well and we have a group of good goalkeepers assembled.
Mark Smith our goalkeeping coach is like a kid at Christmas each training session, and the competition between our goalkeepers can only be a good thing for us in coming season.”
(Featured image: Will Cheshire)