Category: Interviews

Kelland Absalom: “It is a move that I couldn’t turn down”

Following confirmation of Kelland Absalom’s arrival at Jenner Park, we caught up with the goalkeeper to get his thoughts on the move.

Kelland, welcome to Barry Town. How pleased are you to get the move done?

“I’m over the moon to get the deal done before the start of the season. I’m really happy to be here and I’m looking forward to what is to come.”

What was it that made you want to make the move?

“My discussions with Gav have been great. His ambitions for the season are very high, and listening to his plans for the future really excited me. It is a move that I couldn’t turn down.”

You started your career in the academies at Cardiff and Wigan, what was that like as a learning experience?

“It was really good. I lived at home when I was at Cardiff, but I was 15 when I moved to Wigan and had to live away from home, so that was a big learning curve for me as a kid. I definitely grew as both a player and a person when I was at Wigan.”

You then spent some time in Sweden, what was that like?

“Another good learning curve. I had to adapt to a completely different lifestyle and the style of football is different too, it’s certainly not as physical as it is back here. But I really enjoyed my time there and took a lot from it.”

Having signed for Carmarthen earlier this year, the Cymru South season was then unfortunately cancelled, so how excited are you to finally get back playing football?

“That’s the biggest thing for me – getting back playing. Especially with the fans being back in stadiums as well, I can’t wait to get going and play as many games as I can.”

What are your hopes and ambitions for the season?

“I think everyone has the same ambition here – hopefully finish in the top three and see where that takes us. The ultimate goal has to be to get back into Europe.”

Marcus Day: “I just can’t wait to get going!”

Following confirmation of Marcus Day’s arrival at Jenner Park, we caught up with the winger to get his thoughts on the move.

Hi Marcus, welcome to Barry Town. How pleased are you to have got the move done?

“I’m delighted. It’s a good club, there’s a really good atmosphere around the place and I just can’t wait to get going!”

You played against us for Bristol Manor Farm a couple of weeks ago, what was it that attracted you to the club?

“It was a good game and a tough test and I really enjoyed playing against Barry. I liked the way you guys played football and thought that it would really suit me. I then spoke to Gav and he was very keen to help me continue to develop and give me opportunities, and for a young player like me that’s all that really matters.”

You’ve also been training with the squad for the last week or so and played in the friendly over Undy at the weekend. How did you find that?

“Really good. It was very hot at the weekend which was a tough test and I played right-back which isn’t my natural position, but I really enjoyed it. It was great to be involved and get a taste of what the club is like.”

Looking at your career so far, you started out in Bristol City’s academy. How did you find that as a starting platform?

“Yeah, brilliant. I was there from the age of 13, so I really learnt the philosophy of the club as I grew up and found out what it takes to be a footballer.”

You’ve spent the last year at Bristol Manor Farm. How did you find that?  

“For a young player like me, all you need is minutes in men’s football to learn and get better, and that’s exactly what I did last year at Bristol Manor Farm. I feel I developed as a player and enjoyed my time there.”

For fans who might not know too much about you, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“I would say I’m a clever, jinky player. I like to get on the ball, make things happen and hopefully get goals and assists.”

Finally do you have any message for the fans?

“I’m glad to be here and can’t wait to get started!”

David Cotterill: Hopefully our quality will shine through

In the build up to Saturday’s playoff semi-final, David Cotterill gave his thoughts on preparing for the match, last weekend’s win and his experience in the playoffs in England.

How important was it to end the regular season with a win by beating Caernarfon 3-2 last weekend?

“It was vital. It was even more important because we face them again in the playoffs. It gives us confidence because we had been through a sticky patch, so it was important that we went into the playoffs with a win under our belts.”

We’re coming to the end of your first full season in the JD Cymru Premier How have you found it?

“It’s been good. Of course it’s been difficult for all football across the world because of Covid, it’s been a bit stop start and at times it has been hard to keep moral going. But we’ve got a great group here and I think it’s really important that we’ve overcome that and got into the playoffs. Now we want to go that step further, make sure we do the job properly and qualify for Europe.”

Onto the playoffs. You’ve got experience in England of competing in the playoffs with Sheffield United. What are they like to play in?

“It’s what football is all about, you want to play in the big games! Confidence plays a huge part but you just have to be patient and make sure that the occasion doesn’t overawe you. It’s important to keep a steady head and keep focused on the job at hand.”

Preparation for Saturday’s game is key and the squad had cryotherapy last weekend. How did you find that?

“It was good! I think it’s important to recover as best we can. We’ve had a busy block of games, so it’s important that we all get our recovery right so we’re ready for the game on Saturday.”

We’re in the slightly strange position of playing Caernarfon in the playoffs only a week after playing them on the last day of the season. What can we learn from that game going into this one?

“We know they’re a decent team. If we bring our A game and play to our capabilities, we’ll give ourselves a good chance. But we need to match their hard work and effort and hopefully our quality will shine through.”

Finally, what it would it mean for the football club to qualify for Europe again?

“It would be vitally important. The club has gone through a tough period with Covid, as all clubs have, so it would be massive to qualify. We need to take care of Saturday’s game first and foremost and then hopefully be in the final and qualify, that’s what we want to do. Last year was a great experience, but we always want to improve and keep doing better.”

Gavin Chesterfield: It’s a game that wets the appetite

A note from Gavin Chesterfield ahead of Saturday’s playoff semi-final against Caernarfon Town:

It has been a difficult campaign both on and off the field, not just for us but for all clubs around the world. So now the regular season has come to an end, it is the opportune time to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers.

This year has shone the light on the hard work of volunteers and how sport doesn’t happen without them. I can’t thank those guys enough for everything they do for the football club.

But hopefully we’re not done yet. We’ve got today’s game to look forward to and then hopefully one more to mark a successful end to the season.

It’s the first time we’re competing in the playoffs since facing Cardiff Met in 2018 and I learned that day that they’re not nice games to lose! We went into that one on great form and then fell woefully short and the better team won on the day. But we learned from the experience and have done really well in the years since.

The boys are in good spirits and good health; there are a few niggles here and there but every team has those at this stage of the season. Hopefully they will heal up and we’ll spring into today’s game!

It’s been great to have the full week to prepare. We’ve had a lot of midweek games which means at times we’ve not been able to work on things as much as we may have wanted. We’re a club that believes in coaching and working with players and that’s been quite difficult for the last few weeks. So it’s been nice to get that rhythm and flow back, get out on the pitch and work on a few things.

We’ve played Caernarfon four times already this season and we probably know the majority of things about each other. Huw will probably say the same. Last Saturday we showed a good intensity, work ethic and character. That’s really pleasing for me because there wasn’t too much riding on the game.

This Saturday is obviously a hell of a lot different. It’s great to be at home and our record here is very good which we’re very proud of. But we know we’re up against a good team, so it’s a game to look forward to. It certainly wets the appetite.

It’s disappointing that we’re unable to have supporters here today. I know it’s been a tough year for people and it would have been a good opportunity to have a test event. But the good thing is it’s on TV and I know we’ll have a few people tuning in and shouting in living rooms and bars. That will be hugely appreciated. We’ve missed our supporters more than most and Caernarfon can probably relate to us because we’re probably the two better-supported teams in the league.

I know we’ll be giving it our all and I know you’ll be cheering on from wherever you are.

Take care,
Gav

Gavin Chesterfield on 1-0 victory over Cefn Druids: “Winning today was what mattered most”

Credit: Mike James Photography

We returned to action in the JD Cymru Premier this afternoon with a 1-0 win away at Cefn Druids thanks to David Cotterill’s penalty in the 44th minute following a foul on Nat Jarvis in the box.

After the victory, Gavin Chesterfield gave his immediate thoughts.

On the result and performance…

“In the first half we got ourselves into a few good situations but unfortunately couldn’t capitalise and it took the penalty to break the deadlock. But I thought we deserved to go into the break with a 1-0 lead.

“The game opened up in the second half and that was perhaps to be expected with it being the first game back. It basically became a game of basketball.

“I’ll give Druids credit for the way they played but Mike hasn’t had a lot to do. We had numerous counter attack situations which we really should have capitalised on but clouded thinking let us down.

“But look, regardless it’s a good result and it was important to get the win. We wanted to start building momentum straight away and get that rhythm back. It’s difficult when everything is stop start, but winning today was what mattered most.

“First game back, away from home, three points, clean sheet. I’m delighted.”

Looking ahead to Penybont on Tuesday night…

“They’re having a good season, and won today, so we look forward to the challenge. It’ll be great to be back at Jenner Park.

“We’ll look after the boys, make sure rehab is done properly and we recover well so we’re in the best possible position to go out on Tuesday and hopefully come away with another three points.”