The Cowley Brothers of Lincoln City have been in the headlines for the success they’ve delivered in England but here in Wales, the Welsh League has its very own story of a budding brotherly football managerial partnership.
Famous footballing brothers are steeped in its history; Gary and Phil Neville, Anton and Rio Ferdinand, Fabio and Rafael Da Silva and even Yaya and Kolo Toure. The latest story has been about the footballing leadership of the Cowley brothers at Lincoln who guided the club to an FA Cup Quarter Final tie this season against Arsenal.
But one set of brothers have become a house hold name in the Welsh pyramid system and they’re already known with some of the big names of the media industry.
Damien and Dominic Broad took over at Ponty four years ago in Welsh League Division Three, with just a bag of balls and a couple of players from the previous season. Fast forward four quick years, and the Ponty party well and truly is underway at Ynysangharad Park.
This season the Rhondda based outfit saw promotion slip away from under their eyes, with Cwmamman United sealing the final promotion place on the final day of the season by a solitary point. However, the hard work done by the Broads and the club is hardly far from memory.
With some meagre resources to start up, the Broads essentially had a blank canvas and no paint to work with. Yet, marvellously with some astute and hard work, a picture is finally beginning to take shape.
The journey started four years ago, and despite starting with little resources, with the contacts of the coaching duo, they managed to secure high profile friendlies against La Liga sides Valencia and Deportiva La Corina in Spain. Sandwiched in between were consecutive promotion pushes, in which the club managed to stroll to the Welsh League Divison Three title in the 2015/16 season.
This summer saw no trip abroad, but the Broads used their network of contacts and secured a TalkSport trophy fixture at their home ground.
But, it was not all glitz and glamour at the club, with the brothers working hard behind the scenes to secure their targets ahead of their 2016/17 Division Two campaign. And secure them they did, and it paid dividends. Hours of work on the training ground, recruiting the players that fit their system and suddenly the Dragons looked a real threat.
The real test came when they played title winners Llanelli late in the season, in a game in which they led 3-1 until the dying embers. In what, ultimately cost them their promotion after leaving a two goal lead slip, the Broads had brought a sense of unity to the club, despite this season’s ultimate disappointment.
Once again, the Pontypridd community have a club they can relate to, a trust in a managerial duo which has been repaid, and ultimately an unprecedented unity at the club.
The Broads and Ponty have made big strides so far. There are many more to go before the Broads will be content however, with the sky the limit the way they’re progressing both on and off the field.
They’ll be heading into this season full of optimism and with more than a bag of balls.
The Broads may not be artists, but through sheer hard work and determination, their masterpiece is beginning to take shape on the green canvas of Ynysangharad Park.
(Featured Image: Nicky Roberts of Pontypridd Town FC )