Pre-season Chat: Gaz Sharp (Llandudno Amateurs)

Llandudno Amateurs will compete in tier 5 North Wales Coast East Division One this season.

Nathan Bridges is the manager with the experienced Gaz Sharp his assistant.

Grassroots North Wales caught up with Gaz to talk about pre-season preparations at The Oval.

Grassroots North Wales

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

Gaz Sharp

As a club I think we are in pretty good shape so far ahead of the new season.

We have a big squad, but it’s something we needed, as we already know a good number of players might not be able to make it every Saturday due to different commitments, so we needed strength in depth in every position.

Grassroots North Wales

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

Gaz Sharp

Gaz (fourth from left – back row) with a past Llanfairfechan Town squad

Yes, we have made a few signings but we needed to as we lost a number of lads, which was a real shame because a number of us have been together for quite a few seasons now with my old side Llandudno United, then we joined Llanfairfechan Town and then the Amateurs.

I don’t like to single players out as I think it’s unfair to the squad, but I am looking forward to seeing Chris Smyth back out of football retirement.

His work rate and speed is phenomenal, and I’m looking forward to watching him grow in confidence.

Chris Smyth is on the comeback trail

I do feel every single player has trained extremely hard so far during pre-season training and you can see the progress in them all, so I think as a squad we are one to watch out for this season.

Grassroots North Wales

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

Gaz Sharp

I don’t know all of the teams, but I’ve got a very good idea about most of them.

From the teams I know, I feel Abergele will be strong they always are.

Machno have lost a number of players over the last couple of seasons but they will always have a strong squad, especially if they manage to get one or two lads back.

Llysfaen manager Emlyn Robert Jones

Llysfaen of course we know from last season. It’s a shame they have lost Sean Sheridan to Llanfairfechan, but Emlyn has built a good side there over the years and I think they will continue to get better.

Then you have Y Glannau and Cerrig who will be strong and a match for anyone on their day.

No disrespect to any other side in the division that I haven’t mentioned, but I don’t know an awful lot about them and I’m sure in this division everyone will be strong enough to take points off each other, so it should be interesting – when we can finally get started!!

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?

Gaz Sharp

So far it hasn’t been difficult whatsoever to keep them motivated.

They have all been really keen and self motivated. We’re training one night a week plus lads have been doing extra small group sessions on other evenings of the week with myself or Nathan.

I do feel though, whilst we still have no date to return to football, the longer it takes the harder it will be to motivate lads and keep them interested.

So I think the challenge starts in the next couple weeks, as we were hopeful as a group we could start friendlies middle/ end of September and then potentially a league start date coming middle of October.

But with that looking highly unlikely now, I do believe the longer we aren’t allowed to play for, the harder it will be for any side, especially in tier 5, to keep hold of players and keep them interested.

Grassroots North Wales

What are your ambitions for the season ahead?

Gaz Sharp

I’m very hopeful with the quality and the strength in depth in every department we have that we can push very close, if not win the league title.

Also I would like a good cup run; it’s been a couple of seasons now since I’ve played in a cup final and I do believe if the lads are fully motivated and ready to go every game, as a club we can achieve this.

Gaz in a photo displaying his sponsors

Also, as a club off the field I feel that we are growing and getting a lot of support and backing with sponsors etc. We have been trying to help out each one of them as much as we can on our social media page.
So we would like to thank all of our sponsors, for their continued or new support, it’s much appreciated.
Thanks to:
All our player sponsors
2 new kit sponsors (MAX HERZ Ltd & INDULGE Restaurant)
Tracksuit sponsor (Simply Estates)
Rain jacket sponsor (Dioxide Nutrition)
New after-match and season events venue & food sponsor (The Lilly Restaurant with Rooms)

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