ABERYSTWYTH Town manager Neville Powell could take heart from his side’s 4-1 friendly win over Welsh League side Haverfordwest County at Park Avenue at the weekend, and he hopes to strengthen the squad with more new signings this summer.
The Seasiders, who travel south to play Neath Valley village club Ynysygerwn on Friday, followed by Welsh League division one side Briton Ferry Llansawel on Saturday, have been looking at several players on trial.
The Aber manager is keen to add experienced players in key positions, and new signings are likely to follow summer additions Jonny Spittle, Joe Phillips, James Etherington and keeper Scott Coughlin into Park Avenue.
Powell says that the club must be ready for their opening match of the season against newly-promoted Barry Town at Jenner Park on Sunday, 13 August, and stability will be crucial.
“The club just needs a bit of stability, I think, because there have been a couple of different managers over the last few years, and player turn-over has been quite high,” said Powell.
“With me, I’ve had three clubs in 30 years, so I think the board at Aberystwyth recognised that I wouldn’t be in this for the short-term experience.
“I want to go in there and be in the Park Avenue dugout week in, week out for the next five or six years at least, if I can, and the only way I can do that is if I bring success to the club, and I’m working hard to achieve that.
“We’ve got to get the right players in, we’ve got to develop a sense of togetherness - that spirit alone can bring you 10-15 points a season, and it certainly was the case at Bangor as we never had a massive budget in my time there - and that’s the key thing.
“Fingers crossed we can hit the ground running and get points on the board early on. We’ll need to treat every game like a cup final, as they say, and before long Park Avenue will become a bit of a fortress once again.
“We used to hate going there as an opposing team, it was like when sides played Bangor at Farrar Road, they were beaten before they got there, and we need to have that in Aber.
“We’ve got to make sure the fans get behind us, but we can only do that through our performances, by playing good, attacking football, being organised and not giving silly goals away, which a lot of the problems from last season seemed to stem from.
“If we can do that, there’ll be no better place to go on a Friday night than Park Avenue, with the fans there cheering us on, whilst we put on a good show of positive football.
“It’s a process to get there, but that is definitely what we have to do to take this club in the right direction.”
He added: “It’ll be desperately tough next year for everyone, absolutely, but it is important that you get off to a good start. It’s no good losing most of your opening games and improving as the season goes on, because everyone else soon gets away from you, barring an incredible run.
“I’ve had plenty of experience in this league and I’m hoping all of that knowledge will help make Aberystwyth Town a better and more successful football club. I never settle for anything less than 100 per cent.
“I often extracted even more than that for my players at previous clubs and I’ll be giving my absolute everything to turn this football club round and get it back to where it should be.”
It was another experimental Aber squad that beat Haverfordwest 4-1 on Saturday, and assistant manager Wayne Jones was able to reflect on another good work-out, following their first warm-up match against Llanelli.
Leading 2-0 at the interval, with former Airbus UK player Jonny Spittle on target for Aber, the Seasiders reeled in the changes, and the majority of the squad was given a run out.
Despite the visitors pulling a goal back, Cledan Davies netted his second penalty in as many games and an own goal sealed the win for Aber.
Bari Morgan’s Under 19s also had a 5-0 win over Porthmadog’s Academy at Park Avenue on Sunday, to complete a positive weekend for Aber.