“I never wanted to leave Prestatyn Town in the first place” – says returning hero Michael Parker

Prestatyn Town 2016-17 champions

Prestatyn Town celebrate winning the 2016-17 Huws Gray Alliance title with skipper Michael Parker

The returning Michael Parker (left) alongside Prestatyn Town manager Neil Gibson

Michael Parker has expressed his delight at returning to Prestatyn Town and insists he never wanted to leave the club in the first place.

Parker departed the Seasiders in June last year to join Welsh Premier high-flyers Connah’s Quay, where he enjoyed a successful 2018-19 season as part of a squad which finished league runners-up and beaten finalists in Welsh Cup and Irn-Bru Cup.

However, the 31-year-old midfielder is now back at Bastion Gardens, where he made his name over 13 glorious years, the team rising from the Welsh Alliance to Welsh Premier, winning two Cymru Alliance titles, lifting the Welsh Cup for the first time in the club’s history and enjoying victory in Europe.

Parker, who is Prestatyn’s all-time record Welsh Premier net-finder with 48 goals and second-highest top-flight appearance maker for the club, said he is now looking forward to the challenge of getting the Seasiders back to the national league.

“It feels good to be home,” he said. “I’ve missed Prestatyn football club. I didn’t really want to leave in the first place. I think at that time the club didn’t want to compete any more, so I’m glad that the club are now in a position that they want to go for the league again and I’m really happy to be back.

“Prestatyn’s always been my home town club, it’s always wanted to bring through local players and Gibbo (Neil Gibson) has always tried to do that.

“I think for me now at this stage of my career maybe I can help bring back some experience for the existing players that maybe haven’t played at Cymru Alliance level, and then hopefully help bring through even younger lads as well, or just get back to what we used to do – try to get it back as local as possible and make sure we get Prestatyn back to where they belong – which I believe is the Welsh Premier League. Pre-season can’t come quick enough.”

Parker, who joined Prestatyn midway through the invincibles season of 2005/06, when the team landed the Welsh Alliance title without losing a game, was awarded a well-deserved testimonial by the club in 2016.

Michael Parker (second left – front row with captain’s armband) celebrates Town’s 2016-17 Huws Gray Alliance title win. Pic: Hollie Jones

He was asked what are the highlights of his time at the Motion Finance Stadium.

“The whole journey from the very beginning…..Dale Milne, Peter Evans, Russ Jones, Houlty (Steve Hoult), Andy Davies, Chico (Gareth Davies), all those boys….
“Literally, we just started as a group of mates, and we progressed through the leagues.

“As players got older and leagues got a bit more competitive, we changed a little bit and I played with some great players along the way – winning the Welsh Cup, qualifying for Europe….

“But it was more things like knocking Rhyl out of the Welsh Cup and when we had to go to Haverfordwest on a Wednesday night and needed a point.

“We drove down in a mini bus and managed to get that point to keep us in the top 12 (Welsh Premier was cutting down in size). So many memories, but hopefully now we can create some more.”

Quiet and modest off the field, but passionate and determined on it, Parker insists his desire to bring success back to Prestatyn remains as fierce as ever.

“The club wouldn’t want me if I didn’t want to be competitive and win things,” he said.

“I’d like to help bring Prestatyn back to those days where we were a highly-thought-of club. Hopefully now it’s in a position to do that and I more than happy to be part of that and certainly want to contribute to what the club is trying to do.”

Parker was the third former player in a week to return to the club following spells in the Welsh Premier, Kai Edwards and Rob Hughes being the others. Striker Jack Kenny has also since landed back at Bastion Gardens, while veteran Dave Hayes has put pen to paper for another season,

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