Nicky John has been chatting to some familiar faces from the Welsh Premier. This week, she chats to Prestatyn Town’s Andy Parkinson.
Andy, the split is fast approaching and I’m guessing you’re not where you’d hope to be at this point?
Definitely not, it’s been a challenging season so far but the important thing is we’re sticking together and fighting to turn things around.
What can you put this difficult first half of the season down to?
It’s an accumulation of things, on the pitch we’ve lacked consistency and off the pitch the club has gone through a transitional period which has seen us lose a couple of senior players.
The young players that have come into the squad have acquitted themselves well and are now starting to find their feet in the Welsh Premier League, so hopefully we can put a good run of form together soon.
Which has been your most positive performance, do you think?
The recent 2-2 draw with Newtown was a real kick in the teeth when we conceded two late goals, but on reflection we played well that day and deserved to win.
Sometimes you need to look past the result and take positives from the performance and we definitely performed better in that game.
Which opposition player has most caught your eye?
Mark Connolly at Bala. He gives them positional flexibility, he’s a threat in the air, takes a great free-kick and has weighed in with his fair share of goals.
What about your own team-mates?
We’ve had lots of young players come through to the 1st team recently and it’s been a baptism of fire for them. They’ve all done really well in tough circumstances so to single one individual out would be unfair of me.
Tell us a bit about your days before joining Prestatyn. What are some of your highlights from over the years?
I was really fortunate to have a 15 year professional career before coming into the Welsh Premier League, and I played with -and against – some great players.
I was a Youth player at Liverpool before moving on to play for 8 clubs including Tranmere Rovers, Sheffield Utd, Notts County and Grimsby Town to name a few. My highlights are probably the 3 finals which I played in: the League Cup Final for Tranmere Rovers at the original Wembley, the League 2 Play-Off Final at the Millennium Stadium with Grimsby and the Conference Play-Off Final at the new Wembley with Cambridge United.
Of course, as well as that there’s also winning the Welsh Cup and playing in Europe for Prestatyn is up there too for different reasons.
What’s your earliest football memory?
My Dad took me to Anfield to watch Liverpool v Derby in the late Eighties, Liverpool won the League title that day but we didn’t get in because a Police horse trampled all over me in the queue, so we had to go home and listen to it on the radio – there were no live Sky games back in those days!
What was your first football shirt?
I had the grey Liverpool away kit with the “Candy” sponsor on it.
Who do you travel with to away games?!
Up until recently I traveled with Greg Stones and Lee Hunt, but both have now moved on so that’s left me on my own.
The vast majority of our players are local to Prestatyn so I hope I get some good CD’s for Christmas because it could be a long season otherwise!
Favourite away trip?
Airbus UK or Connah’s Quay. They’re the closest to where I live!
What do you do when you’re not playing football?
I’m a Youth Development Phase coach at Tranmere Rovers Academy.
Which 3 people would you most like to invite to dinner and what would be on the menu?!
Michael McIntyre, Jim Carey and Pep Guardiola – for a curry and a pint!
How will you be spending Christmas?
With my Wife and 2 Daughters and the rest of the family. We have the whole family around for Christmas dinner every year so the house will be full of both people and presents!
What’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?!
I haven’t really had a bad one at Christmas, although my kids are at the age now where they’re choosing what gifts to give, so this year who knows what I might find under the tree!
Any new years resolutions?!
To continue to look after my body, now I’m in the twilight of my career it’s important I manage what I do so that I can maintain performance levels.
It’s a long way off, but where will Prestatyn end the season?
As it stands i’d take 10th but if we can manage to find some consistency then I’d predict 8th.