As a club, some may considered them to be lucky to still be in the Welsh Premier after a misjudged and faltering campaign last season. Prestatyn Town still have much to prove if they can survive in the long term as a top flight club – and for player-manager Neil Gibson, that means an even bigger push towards making the top six before the league split next February.
In the Seasiders, there is a greater confidence than the start of last term – for which many factors led ultimately to their near brush with relegation. Encouraging pre-season performances have helped, but also the raft of new faces joining the fold and the departure of a few old timers – most notably, goalkeeper Jon Hill Dunt.
Having already navigated the first round of the Word Cup by easing past Conwy Borough, their first league test tonight sees a home clash with a Gap Connah’s Quay side also trying to right some of last season’s wrongs. Nomads boss Mark McGregor’s message is clear that he will not tolerate a season such as the one he went through last term. In contrast, Gibson’s approach is perhaps a little more at ease in his confidence at delivering a Seasiders revival:
”After six weeks of hard work the lads look a lot fitter and sharper than they did last season. There is also a great atmosphere in the dressing room between the players, and you can see evidence of this out on the pitch with the performances they have put in so far. The lads have that hunger back and they want to go and improve on what was a disappointing season last year, although we will have judge them fully when competitive action begins.”
“I have set a target of being in the top six by the time the split comes, but it is important that we start to make strides after last year’s disappointment, so nothing has changed in terms of our targets, which were the same at this stage last season.”