Sgorio reporter Nicky John has been getting to know some of the players and managers within the Welsh Premier league to find out what makes them tick!
This week Nicky has been chatting to Newtown manager, Chris Hughes
How are you settling into life at Newtown, Chris?
I’m really enjoying my start to managerial life at Newtown, the transition for me has been smooth and to make it into the top 6 for the first time in the clubs history is a fantastic achievement, and one everyone at the club should be proud of
Bernie McNally was certainly a popular character not only at the club but also within the league. Do you feel you had some big shoes to fill?!
Bernie left behind a squad with the potential to get better. My role is to try and help the players improve as individuals and as a squad.
We’ve already reached one big milestone, but we don’t want to stop there. We’re looking forward to being invovled in what will be a exciting climax to the season.
Newtown were the third team to secure a top 6 place for the second half of the season – you must have been delighted to find the club in such a postition?
When I started in the job, reaching the top 6 was something that the players and myself set as a target. Now we’ve achieved that we want to make sure that we finish the season as high up the table as possible.
Whilst we’ve given some very good performances during my reign here, I feel there’s more to come from this group of players
How difficult was it to make the decision to leave Prestatyn?
It was very difficult as I enjoyed a great time at the club and formed a very close relationship with everyone there.
It was a wrench to leave, but the opportunity which arose at Newtown was too good to turn down.
Which of your players have most impressed you so far?
It would be unfair to single any player out as it’s taken a real team effort to get us into the top 6.
We’ve defended very well as team in certain games, creating a platform for the attacking players we have in our side to flourish and go on and win matches for us.
Which other players within the league have stood out to you?
Chris Venables at Aberystwyth has had a very good season so far. His change of role has enabled him to get further up the pitch and effect the game, and he’s showed this season what a good finisher he is.
Matty Williams of The New Saints gave the best individual performance from a opposition player against us this season on New Years Day, but overall I think the quality of play this season has been very good and is improving every year, as is the standard of the league.
Tom Field at Airbus has also impressed me when I’ve seen him play and has been a good addition to the league
Have any teams surprised you?
I think Rhyl have done very well during their first season back in the Welsh Premier. To make it into the top 6 like ourselves is a fantastic achievement for Greg (Strong) and his players
Who is your football hero?
As a Manchester United fan my hero when growing up was always Mark Hughes. I think it was because he was Welsh and had the same surname as me!
What was your first football kit as a child?!
The blue and white Manchester United away kit from the early 1990s!
… and the first match you went to as a fan?
Man Utd v Spurs in 1985 – it was a 0-0 thriller!!
What’s your favourite away trip, and why?
I like going to Bangor as the fans always create a good atmosphere. Nantporth is a excellent stadium with a very good pitch to play football on.
Apart from football, what’s your favorite pastime?!
Football takes up a lot of my time during the week, so when I’m not involved I like to spend time relaxing with my family.
On this day in 1911 the first ever game was played at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, home of Genoa and Sampdoria.