Abergavenny boss Bannon urges his ‘second to none’ side ahead of Bridgend Street clash
Abergavenny Town Manager Ben Bannon has hailed his young side’s team spirit, claiming it is “second to none” ahead of their clash against Bridgend Street this weekend.
Bannon has overseen a remarkable change in fortunes since taking charge of the club last year. The club amassed 38 points last season, but are flying high this season, having won eight of their 13 league fixtures.
His side go head to head against Bridgend Street this weekend in the league, with Bannon‘s side having gained a five-point lead on their opponents. But, the manager has singled out his side’s attitude to getting them there.
“The secret to our success has been a settled side and the boys will to win. Coupled with no injuries and a belief that we can win every game, with a group of young players and a couple of older heads, many who are local and grown up together who have a years experience at Welsh League Two and who any manager would love to have. It’s really a good blend.
I think as a team we pass the ball well and we work hard out of possession which are good traits to have and We have a team spirit which is second to none. They all push each other to get better but to be honest I’d take a 1-0 win every game of the season if I had too as long as we are winning.”
The club has started the season in emphatic form, and are on course for an unbeaten run of ten games should they avoid defeat this weekend.
Having accumulated eight wins and a draw in the process, Bannon has expressed his pride at the effort his side have shown to keep the run going, in particular during their last match against Swansea Uni.
“I’m proud of the boys and the effort they have given for me to keep this run going we were a little disappointed really to concede so late against STM and I know it felt like a loss to some of the boys and that’s the attitude I want really.
“Swansea Uni was a back to the wall job second half and there won’t be many teams that get any points down there but the shift and game management from the boys coupled with some phenomenal saves from Tom in goal saw us get the three points.
“This shows we can compete with the top teams in the league and hopefully this will continue for the rest of the season.
“The one thing that has got better this year is game management the boys now understand what we mean by game management don’t take risky chances to keep possession play in the right areas.
Last year we dropped so many points late in games it was unbelievable so it’s sunk in now the boys know what they have to do.”
But, the manager is now firmly looking ahead to the next fixture against Bridgend Street.
Street have lost just three games since promotion from Division Three last season, and Bannon acknowledges that they will provide a tough test for his charges, even though they are one of the division’s new boys.
“Every game is a tough one in this league with teams capable of beating everyone if you are not on your game.
“Bridgend Street will be no different this weekend we lost 2-1 on the opening weekend of the season a game I thought we deserved something out of but that’s football we didn’t have a settled side for the first month or so and our start reflects that. So we just try to put it right this weekend and get the three points.”
“The Welsh League is improving throughout the leagues I believe I don’t think there is much difference between the leagues to be honest and the lower leagues too. I believe many sides are getting stronger and stronger.
“Just look at the recent cup results this will show you that on their day any welsh league side and lower are capable of mixing with the big boys from the Welsh Premier.
“Look at Cambrian against TNS and who they beat in the previous rounds. I’ll be interested to see how Ynysddu Welfare get on this weekend against Cefn Druids and wish them all the best as I’m sure all the Gwent sides do.”
However, Bannon is not looking beyond the confines of the next game. Despite an impressive start to the season, the manager is not setting his sights on promotion just yet.
But the Welsh League Division Two outfit have begun the process of securing improvements to the club off the field, which Bannon hopes will bode well for the future of the club.
“With regards to promotion we haven’t set our sights that far just yet!
“As a club, I know there is a hell of a lot of work going on in the background to get the stadium up to the standard which is required. I don’t think we are that far off but the work that we do need is very costly which obviously requires a lot of money something we as a club struggle with due to the lack of a main sponsor.
“Although we are in talks with the council and local businesses and the support from the town has been great fingers crossed it will get better and better.
“This will also help the women’s team reserves under 18s and all youth teams associated with the club. Targets though beat last years total of 38 points then see where we go from there.”
(Featured Image: Will Cheshire)