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You’ve got to ‘hand’ it to the leaders

Created on 21/10/2010 @ 15:28


In case you have missed the opening two months of the season; something sensational is happening in Mid Wales football.
As the nights draw in and the temperatures drop, a bright ray of sunshine beams from the top of the Spar Mid Wales Division One which few could have forecasted at the start of the season.
Llanrhaeadr sit atop the league with a whopping advantage of seven points over Berriew. They have conceded just three goals in their eight wins and a draw from nine matches and have attracted crowds that most Huws Gray Alliance sides would crave for.
So what’s the secret? mywelshpool caught up with goalkeeper Darren Powell (right) to find out.
“It’s hard to explain but we have become a very difficult team to beat,” said the 27 year-old. “We have a cracking bunch of lads and we all socialise together after the game so it is not surprising we have gelled so well as a team. Teams are shocked with how we are doing and I guess we are a little surprised but we are not getting carried away and are taking it one game at a time.”
Powell is full of praise for a team which blends experienced veterans like Adam Burgess and Emyr Roberts with fresh young talent like James Vaughan.
“We play a back five with three central defenders who have huge amounts of experience and are very difficult to break down and then two younger lads out wide. But, I think Peter Jones is the unsung hero in midfield because he sits in front of them and does a huge amount of work.”
Powell joined the side last season from Trefonen after manager Mario Iaquinta “turned up at my garage” to sign him and has not looked back since. He believes the club is not getting the credit it deserves, and points to the recent Central Wales U18 side as proof of his claim.
“How James Vaughan (left) wasn’t in the team I will never know,” he said. “A lot of people at the club were unhappy with that, especially when we saw some of the players who were picked. It just seems unfortunate that we don’t get the recognition we have earned.”
Powell is also unhappy with some of the slants towards the club’s style and says they have the ability to win ugly when required but also with flare, highlighted when they trounced Presteigne 8-0 two weeks back.
“In certain games we are defensive and we don’t like the ball in our half of the pitch but there are times when we have played some good football this season. It certainly seems to be working anyway!”
With so many clean sheets, the obvious question had to be asked:
“So have any clubs come knocking?”
“Ha, no! In fact the only thing knocked was my chin when I was clean out after getting an elbow late in the game against Presteigne!”
Llanrhaeadr continue their remarkable season at Tywyn Bryncrug this Saturday and few will bet against them taking their unbeaten run into double figures.
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