It has been a difficult season at Prestatyn Town for the most part, but hard work is going on behind the scenes to get the club back on a steady footing.
The reigning Cymru North champions are currently fifth from bottom, a good start to the campaign giving way to a slump in results since late October with five defeats in six matches.
Ben Heath and his management team stepped down in December, most of the players had already left, and the future looked rocky.
However, player Paddy Hamid and experienced coach Andrew Ruscoe took the reins and immediately set about steadying the ship.
They were recently joined by John ‘Barney’ Barnes, a man with an extensive playing and coaching CV across the north west, who becomes assistant-boss alongside interim-manager Ruscoe.
The new regime have managed to bring in some more than useful players and have fitted in a couple of recent behind-closed-doors friendlies where performances and results have been encouraging.
Ruscoe is an award-winning coach and former goalkeeper with the likes of Cefn Druids and Rhydymwyn.
He is well-known for his work off the field with clubs like Brickfield Rangers, whom he inspired to national and regional awards for excellence.
Ruscoe is also chairman of the newly-formed FC United of Wrexham, has worked with the Great Britain Futsal team, but is now focused on getting Prestatyn Town back on its feet.
It is a tough task, but Ruscoe, known affectionately as “Chopper”, does not do things by halves.
He has a lot of friends in football. People will want him to do well and help him where they can. That can often be a big help.
Here is a look at some of the players he, Hamid and Barnes have brought to Bastion Gardens to date.
Steve Lewis – Striker
No introduction needed!
The Beast has a fantastic goalscoring history in North Wales football for the likes of Rhyl, Bangor City, Caernarfon Town and Holywell Town.
He was part of the Rhyl invincibles of 2012-13 which became the one and only Cymru Alliance team to win the title without losing a single game – a record which will stand forever now the league has become the Cymru North.
He also broke Rhyl’s hearts once with a famous hat-trick for Bangor City at Nantporth! Steve has also played to a high standard in the English pyramid for the likes of Droylsden, Northwich Victoria and Marine.
Andrew Ruscoe said: “Stephen wanted to come in to help the club to continue and help support the younger players so he can pass on his experience and do what he does best – and that’s scoring goals.”
Callum Roberts – Goalkeeper
Ex Wales youth, TNS youth and Cefn Druids youth who was signed from Brymbo Lodge. Callum has returned from injury after 4 years out of the game.
Daniel Slawson – Right-back/centre-back/central defensive midfield/centre midfield
Ex TNS Youth, Cefn Druids Youth, Wales Youth. Dan has signed from Brymbo Victoria, who folded last summer. Very versatile player who also is returning after a period out of the game.
Bruno Miguel – Winger/Striker
Signed from FC United Of Wrexham Futsal
Tricky little player with superb feet who’s made his name playing futsal for TNS/ Brickfield and FC United of Wrexham. Former Bellevue and Coedpoeth footballer.
Seb Kidd – Utility
Joins from Lex XI where he has netted 12 goals in 12 games so far this season.
Does an interesting line in entertainment ! 🙂
Versatile player who can play centre half centre midfield and up top.
The question does have to be asked what will these new players bring to the Cymru North?
Are they ready for the step up? What does Steve Lewis have left to give? He’ll give it 110% for sure.
Time will tell…..
It’s been a tough spell in Prestatyn Town’s history – everyone knows that.
The fans are divided and all their opinions count – both for and against the current set up.
They do love the club and want the good times back, but it’s not always easy to recreate the magic.
People who come into clubs can often inherit problems. They need time to put them right; the fact they remain on board means they want to put them right.
If they fail, they fail. But people are trying and they at least deserve some credit for that.
Andrew Ruscoe is a trier. He has confidence and self-belief and hopefully, with the help of a few experienced people alongside him, Town can turn things for the better.
Prestatyn are not in too bad a position. They might have enough points already to avoid relegation. Let’s hope they stay up as this great club, with all its ups and downs over the years, belongs in tier 2 at least.
Last words from interim-manager Ruscoe: “Results have been getting better and we have now (hopefully) developed a squad who are there for the love of the game, to prove themselves and not because money is what makes them use their legs to even turn up to a pitch.”