Prestatyn Town are on course to become just the second North Wales club ever to be crowned Welsh pyramid tier-two champions three times.
At present, only Caernarfon Town have achieved the feat, lifting the Cymru Alliance title in 2000-01, 2015-16 and 2017-18.
From this season, the league has become known as Cymru North, but still remains the second-tier for northern clubs.
Prestatyn landed the Cymru Alliance championship in 2007-08 and 2016-17 – now is it their time to win it again?
The Seasiders have certainly made a fine start, nine wins in 10 matches and currently seven points clear at the summit.
There is a long way to go – another 22 games to be exact – and much can happen between now and the end of the campaign.
But for the present at least, Neil Gibson’s side have emerged as the team to beat.
Since suffering their only defeat of the season so far in 13 matches in all competitions – a 2-1 reverse at neighbours Rhyl – Town’s recent form has been remarkable – seven straight victories and 28 goals scored.
In that time, they have beaten Colwyn Bay, Conwy Borough, Buckley Town, Porthmadog, Bangor City and Flint Town United in the Cymru North, but perhaps their finest result was whipping in-form Cymru Premier outfit Caernarfon Town 4-1 away in the Nathaniel MG Cup, setting up a quarter-final home clash with old rivals Bala Town.
Over the summer, Gibson, who returned to the helm during last season after a spell as part of Connah’s Quay Nomads’ management team, brought some top quality talent to Bastion Gardens.
They were all players he was familiar with, many who had gone on to bigger things – Kai Edwards, Jordan Davies, Robbie Hughes, Zebb Edwards, Michael Parker, Jack Kenny and James Stead led the new arrivals.
Gibson also retained a number of faces who had impressed last season, and have continued to perform well in the current campaign.
This has created a tremendous competition for places.
Those who come on off the bench are desperate to make an impression and lay claim to the shirt, a typical example being Ian Griffiths, who scored twice as a late sub in the recent 7-0 demolition of Bangor City.
It’s been disappointing to hear some detractors class Prestatyn as a ‘money club’ whose new captures this season signed for financial reasons.
As per usual, such comments are generally made by people totally clueless about any team’s budget and whose remarks are driven by sour grapes.
The players recruited by Neil Gibson this summer had all played for the club before. They are all mainly local lads whose talents on the whole first emerged at Prestatyn, so why shouldn’t the club reap the benefits of their development?
Had Gibson gone out and signed a group of proven players from across the north-west of England who had no affinity with the area and were joining for bulging pay-packets and chasing trophies, as has been the case for so many clubs in the past, then perhaps some of the bitter comments would have been warranted. But that’s not the case.
In the past, during their Welsh Premier years, Prestatyn did occasionally bring in outsiders to boost chances of success (and who hasn’t), but that’s not happening now.
The latest group signed because they love Prestatyn Town FC and want to build something special again, just like before.
There are many fine teams in the Cymru North, some are capable of launching a challenge for honours, but for now at least, Prestatyn Town are setting a hot pace.
Prestatyn Town results 2019-20 season
Oct 5: Flint Town United (a – lge) 3-2 (Jack Kenny, Jordan Davies, Robbie Hughes pen)
Sep 27: Bangor City (h – lge) 7-0 (Alex Jones, Robbie Hughes 2, 1 pen, Jordan Davies, Kai Edwards, Ian Griffiths 2)
Sep 24: Caernarfon Town (a – Nathaniel MG Cup) 4-1 (Jack Kenny 2, Jordan Davies 2)
Sep 21: Porthmadog (a – lge) 2-1 (Rob Hughes pen, Jack Higgins)
Sep 13: Buckley Town (h – lge) 2-1 (Jordan Davies, Danny Davies)
Sep 11: Conwy Borough (a – lge) 7-0 (Jack Kenny 4, Ben Maher, Jordan Davies 2)
Sep 7: Colwyn Bay (h – lge) 3-1 (Jack Kenny, Alex Jones 2)
Aug 31: Rhyl (a – lge) 1-2 (Rob Hughes)
Aug 27: Gresford Athletic (h – lge) 5-1 (Rob Hughes 3, 1 pen; Jordan Davies 2)
Aug 23: Corwen (a – lge) 6-1 (Jordan Davies, Rob Hughes 3 pens, Jack Kenny, Danny Davies)
Aug 16: Guilsfield (h – lge) 1-0 (Rob Hughes pen)
Aug 10: Cefn Druids (a – Nathaniel MG Cup) 2-1 (Ian Griffiths, Rob Hughes)
Aug 3: Llanrhaeadr (h – Nathaniel MG Cup) 4-2 (Ian Griffiths, Rob Hughes, Michael Parker, Khyam Wyton OG)
Rob Hughes 14 (8 pens)
Jordan Davies 10
Jack Kenny 9
Ian Griffiths 4
Alex Jones 3
Danny Davies 2
Kai Edwards 1
Michael Parker 1
Ben Maher 1
Jack Higgins 1