Cresser hopeful that Haverfordwest County will “be competitive at the top end of the division” as Bluebirds look to achieve promotion
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Haverfordwest County had a positive 2017/18 campaign in the Welsh Football League Division One, finishing second, 15 points behind eventual champions Llanelli Town.
The man at the helm, Sean Cresser, is optimistic that the Bluebirds will challenge once again, as they look the take the extra step and win promotion.
The Pembrokeshire side announced the signing of Lee Trundle from Llanelli Town at the end of May, the former Swansea City striker found the net 33 times in 28 appearances for the Reds last season.
The signing of Trundle is a big boost for County, and manager Cresser believes that his side should be looking to challenge at the top once more: “To be competitive at the top end of the division is the target again, as it is every season for me, nothing more, nothing less than that!
If promotion comes as a by-product of doing that then so be it, but it’s certainly not the be-all and end-all of our targets as a club this season!”
Speaking on the club’s transfer activities in the summer window, the former Milford United player had this to say: “I wouldn’t say we’ve been busy in the transfer window, we’ve brought four into the club as we speak, but we also lost four from last season’s playing squad, one of whom, Sam Rodon, has gone to one of our rivals in the league and will be a massive loss to us.
We’re still trying to bring one or two more in, but it’s a lot easier said than done.
However, the lads that we have brought in are all, in my opinion, of a high quality but more importantly, are experienced at a Welsh League level, one thing that we lacked a little of last season.”
This season’s Welsh League Division One promises to be very competitive, after Llanelli Town strolled to the title last season.
Cresser has pinpointed four teams that he thinks will do well in the coming he season: “As alluded to above, I think Penybont will start the season as title favourites, given the players that they’ve signed and the narrative coming from the club about their ambitions of promotion this season that they’ve certainly made a big commitment to.
I also expect that Cambrian & Clydach will be a force again. They’ve got an excellent young side that have come up to the first team through the club’s youth set-up and they’re always well coached and well drilled and giving of their all every time they take to field, because of the bond they’ve got with the club and each other.
It’s a template I think every club at this level should try and emulate.
I also think Briton Ferry (Llansawel) will do well this season. They too have made a number of moves in the transfer market and for my money have put together a very strong squad, with a nice blend of both youth and experience.
Cresser, who is a former reserve team manager at Carmarthen Town, has highlighted one of the promoted sides that he thinks will make an impact next season: “I think the ones going under the radar and the team I expect to do very well this season are Pontypridd Town.
They’ve been exceptionally busy in the transfer market, using their links with the University of South Wales to bring in a lot of experienced players, the majority of whom have played at a very high level!
They may be the dark horse of the league, to those who are unaware of the inner workings that are ongoing at the club.”
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Off the field, the Bluebirds have announced the return of Wayne Jones to their backroom staff. Jones rejoins the club from Welsh Premier League side Aberystwyth Town.
Cresser, who was appointed first team coach at the Bridge Meadow by Jones back in 2013, is looking forward to working with someone who knows the club well: “Wayne has come back to the club to work alongside Tim, Mickey and myself as part of the management team. He will certainly add a different dimension to the team and the experience he’s gained from the last couple of seasons at Aberystwyth, I’m sure will prove invaluable.
Added to the great work that Tim and Mickey both already do at the club, I feel that I now have a group working with me that will go a long way towards helping me look as if I know what I’m doing!”
The Bluebirds kick off the new season against newly-promoted Llantwit Major on Saturday August 11 (14:30).
(Featured Image: Lewis Mitchell)