Prestatyn Town’s final warm-up game before their league campaign recommences this weekend promises to be an emotional occasion for joint-manager Andrew Ruscoe.
On Thursday night (January 20) Town welcome Ruscoe’s former club Brickfield Rangers to Bastion Gardens for a pre-season friendly.
To add nostalgia to the occasion, Rangers are now managed by ex-Prestatyn manager and star midfielder Gareth Wilson, who won the Welsh Cup with the Seasiders in 2012-13.
Ruscoe has a long history with Brickfield, helping the club win numerous awards for excellence as well as being a player, coach and part of the management team at Clywedog Park.
Before the serious stuff starts on Saturday, when Prestatyn relaunch their Cymru North fixtures at Conwy Borough, comes a first home friendly for Town’s new management team – with the added bonus of the fans being allowed back in to Bastion Gardens following the easing of Covid restrictions.
So, what does joint-boss Ruscoe have to say ahead of Thursday’s game?
“We now feel we have seen enough of the lads personalities to warrant what will be our best starting XI, which we will take into Thursday’s game against my old club Brickfield Rangers.
“The Brickfield game is actually a huge match for the club because not only is club legend and former manager Gareth Wilson bringing his side to us, it’s actually the return of fans too and our first home game of 2022 under the new management team.
“So, I’m hoping we can get a huge turnout on Thursday where everyone gets behind the lads.
“I’m literally asking the fans to come out and support the boys. So please let’s create a positive environment Thursday, to give the lads a proper taste of a Prestatyn Town atmosphere so that we can go and get our first win of the covid pre-season ready to take into our first league game against Conwy.
“It’s going to be a great match against a club who have produced so much talent over their 46 years of existence.
“Brickfield have gone on to produce many great players such as Robbie Savage, the Whitley brothers, Richie Rawlins, Aeron Edwards, Gareth Evans, Rhys Hughes and Prestatyn Town fan favourite Jordan Davies.
“What is even more special is we will be welcoming back Gareth Wilson, who will be the opposition manager on the night. I’m sure he will get a warm reception as the fans speak so highly of him. And in all fairness he deserves to have a warm reception. Such a top bloke.
“It will be quite an emotional night for myself though as it’s a club that I have been massively involved with in terms of their development where on three occasions I was able to help attract three playing budgets which saw the likes of Gap Personnel, Soccermillion and Educate Resourcing come in and support with first team matters.
“Even though it will be an emotional evening mine and Barney’s (joint-manager John Barnes) head will be focused on getting the lads channeled on getting a result to kick start our season, but it won’t be no easy task as the Bricky camp have some excellent talents such as the likes of my former players goal machine Andy Vale and Ben Pritchard who is solid at the back.
“But less about them. Barney, myself & the management team have been able to construct a great nucleus within our camp and it has the makings of a fantastic squad, where we have full belief in our lads.
“The lads are raring to go and they are hungrier than ever. Getting that first win under the new management team is now important to us and hopefully that happens this Thursday.
“But all that’s missing now is the fans, the very fans who have built up this amazing club, the very same fans who have made Prestatyn Town become one of the best clubs in Wales, the very same fans that this club’s foundations with blood, sweat and sacrifice was built upon.
“So this is my direct message to every single Prestatyn Town fan that reads this. Please, believe in what Barney, me & the management team are trying to do, please come to the ground this Thursday, please get behind these lads, these lads are proud to play for you.
“Let’s get a big crowd that is passionate, energetic and working as the 12th man, the 12th man that has helped Prestatyn teams of years gone by to rise to success. The very same crowd that helped put two hands on the Welsh Cup & the very same united crowd that led this club into European football.
“All we can ask for is your support and let us try to save this club for every child that is supported by our beautiful academy, which has produced so much talent over the years. Let’s unite as one for the greater good.”