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Pre-season chat: Michael Cunningham (Mold Alexandra manager)

Mold manager Michael Cunningham

It’s always great to talk with Mold Alexandra manager Michael Cunningham.

The 2020-21 season (when it eventually starts) will see the Alex ply their trade in the Tier 3 Ardal North West – a seriously competitive looking division.

Grassroots North Wales caught up with the boss to see how things are developing at Alyn Park.

Grassroots North Wales

Overall, what shape are you in as a first team and club ahead of the 2020-21 season?

Mold have a tremendous team spirit

Michael Cunningham

The club is in very good shape ahead of the new season.

We achieved the tier 2 licence last season so off the pitch the club is in as good a position as it has ever been with its loyal band of hard-working volunteers driving us forward.

Over the last 18 months the club wanted to make a big effort to get more of the local community involved and bring the senior and junior sections closer together and we are slowly achieving this.

As a first team squad we are delighted with the group of players we have at the club.

We have a young, hungry squad with quality all over but most importantly we have a group of players who understand the morals of the club and are happy to volunteer when needed.

Grassroots North Wales

You’ve made a few interesting signings, tell us about one or two of your players to look out for this season

Michael Cunningham

We spoke as a management team and we didn’t feel we needed a mass amount of signings. Just the right signings for us on and off the pitch.

It wouldn’t be fair for me to single out one player as each player brings their own qualities and is important to the team.

One player I’m looking forward to seeing how he develops is young Lewis Hopwood, a local Mold lad who knows what it means to play for the club.

He has fantastic talent and has been impressive in training sessions so far and we are looking forward to seeing him step up.

Goal celebration for the Alex

Grassroots North Wales

Who do you see as the strongest teams in your division?

Michael Cunningham

Porthmadog are obviously the stand out. No matter what tier you’re playing at you expect Port to be right in the mix at the top end of the table.

Denbigh will be strong as always and Nantlle Vale look like they are assembling a very good squad.

The teams who were part of the old Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) with us will undoubtedly be strong.

Rhostyllen have added well to their squad, Saltney will no doubt be coached well by Adam Bailey – add that to their quality they will be a threat.

Brymbo has an impressive squad, and I was really impressed with Llay when I saw them last season and they will no doubt improve.

All in all it’s shaping up to be a very tough league.

Grassroots North Wales

How difficult has it been to keep your squad motivated during the Covid-19 crisis? What challenges have you had to overcome?

Michael Cunningham

From a manager and coaches perspective, it’s been easy to keep the lads motivated.

We were one of the last teams to kick a ball in anger on the 10th March and the lads have been raring to get going again.

They have all come back with a very good base fitness which they built up through lockdown with running and some zoom circuits.

It’s made it easier for us a management team as we have been able to go back to basics and focus our sessions on a technical and tactical side.

Mike and the Mold management team have a touchline discussion

Grassroots North Wales

What are your ambitions for the season ahead?

Michael Cunningham

Our ambitions as a club is to be playing at the highest level we possibly can.

When I took over I knew it was going to be a gradual process and I feel we have improved from one season to the next.

Each season we have had certain elements we needed to improve on and I believe we are close to having all those elements in place.

So our ambitions as a management team and group of players match those of the club. We want to be gaining promotion to tier 2 and we all will be pulling in the same direction hoping to achieve this.

Mold Alexandra – recent history

1988-89: Welsh National League Premier – 4th of 16
1989-90: Welsh National League Premier – 1st of 16 (CHAMPIONS)
Founder members of Cymru Alliance League
1990-91: Cymru Alliance – 12th of 14
1991-92: Cymru Alliance – 10th of 16
Founder members of national League of Wales
1992-93: League of Wales – 13th of 20
1993-94: League of Wales – 14th of 20
1994-95: League of Wales – 19th of 20
1995-96: Cymru Alliance – 15th of 19
1996-97: Cymru Alliance – 12th of 18
1997-98: Cymru Alliance – 19th of 19
1998-99: Welsh National League Division One – 2nd of 14 (promoted)
1999-2000: Welsh National League Premier – 8th of 16
2000-01: Welsh National League Premier – 6th of 16
2001-02: Welsh National League Premier – 1st of 15 (CHAMPIONS)
2002-03: Cymru Alliance – 12th of 17
2003-04: Cymru Alliance – 15th of 17
2004-05: Cymru Alliance – 17th of 18
2005-06: Welsh National League Premier – 9th of 17
2006-07: Welsh National League Premier – 3rd of 16
2007-08: Welsh National League Premier – 2nd of 16
2008-09: Cymru Alliance – 10th of 17
2009-10: Cymru Alliance – 13th of 17
2010-11: Welsh National League Premier – 10th of 16
2011-12: Welsh National League Premier – 4th of 16
2012-13: Welsh National League Premier – 2nd of 15
2013-14: Welsh National League Premier – 1st of 16 (CHAMPIONS)
2014-15: Cymru Alliance – 9th of 16
2015-16: Cymru Alliance – 13th of 16
2016-17: Cymru Alliance – 14th of 16
2017-18: Welsh National League Premier – 5th of 15
2018-19: Welsh National League Premier – 3rd of 15
2019-20: Welsh National League Premier – 3rd of 16

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