Llanelli Town Manager Andy Hill has spoken positively about his time at Goytre Unites as his Reds side host the Port Talbot side this afternoon at Steboneath Park.
The former striker spent a number of years at Glenhafod Park before leaving for Llanelli Town, with the two both leaving on good terms as they went in different directions.
Club director Lyndon Suhanski was the man who gave Hill his first chance in management and since then he has gone on to win a number of trophies with his side, including a double with the Reds last season.
I loved it at Goytre, the chairman Lyndon is a good man, a proper football person. It’s a local club that has hard working staff to make sure the football club has the best possible chance. Lyndon was kind enough to give me the opportunity to become a manager and I’ll always be grateful for that.”
Goytre United now though operate under ambitious young manager Lee John and for managerial counterpart, Hill feels he left the club in a good state as he handed the reigns over.
“Goytre were bottom of the league and had just sacked their manager when Robert Cook and myself took over, we kept them up despite four teams getting relegated that season but Rob left in the summer and that was when I took over, when I left for Llanelli the club was back in a good place and had just finished the season in 6th place.”
With a game of such importance, it’s important that Hill has a full set of players to choose from and the Reds will be boosted with the news that four key players are to return after missing last weeks defeat to Haverfordwest County.
Kyle Graves, Ross Jones, Lee Trundle and Craig Morris are all back from injury so there will be a total of 21 players to choose from in today’s game.
In the last few weeks, Llanelli, Haverfordwest and Penybont have all showed their intentions of being promoted from the division as they apply for the Tier One Licence. Despite being the new boys in the division, the aim for the Reds will be to at the top end of the table come the end of the season.
“Our aim is to finish as high as we possibly can, we have a target of points to hit every month which i set so hopefully we can continue to hit them and stay on target.”
Llanelli Town though did suffer defeat last time out though to one of the applicants in Haverfordwest County, bringing to an end a sixteen month unbeaten league streak, which included going the whole Division Two season without a loss.
Despite the defeat though, the former Neath man is looking back on the run with positiviy, saying he learned a lot from his sides defeat.
“Sixteen months undefeated is an unbelievable achievement but unfortunately losing is part of football so it had to end somewhere, no complaints from Saturday though as Haverfordwest deserved the three points but yes I will make sure we will bounce back on Saturday.
There were loads of positives from Saturday, that’s when you learn the most is from defeats, what we did wrong, what we could have done different, should we have done this, we should have done that, it’s about reflecting as a team and putting them things right no matter how small they might be.”
Sometimes previous meetings can be etched in the minds of players and last time out it was Llanelli Town who were playing in a lower division than today’s opponents who came out on top as they progressed past Goytre in the Welsh Football League Cup last season. This time out though there will be a number of new faces in the game that could make all the difference as both sides aim to come out on top.
“It’s very early days to be judging sides, yes they have had a good start but it’s a long way to go, I wouldn’t look to much into league positions this early on.
“We beat them in the cup last season and obviously they have strengthen but we have also strengthened, Joe Clarke, James Loveridge, Lee Trundle, Chrissy Jones, Kurtis marsh and Antonio facciuto have all come on board since that game so we’ll see if they make a different on Saturday.
For the Reds boss, he remembers the questions posed to him back when they convincingly beat AFC Porth 4-0 who at the time boasted one of the best defenses in the Division. Goytre United currently have statistically wise the best defence in the division, which may mean the Reds may have to be patient as they try and break down the Goytre rearguard.
“Patience is the key, I remember you asking me the same question last season when we faced Porth who were in exactly the same position as Goytre are now. We went on to win that game 4-0, hopefully we can do the same on Saturday.