Exclusive interview with former Bangor City and Rhyl player who has become a major investor in Connah’s Quay Nomads

Anglesey man and former League of Wales player Darren Pritchard has committed to a major investment in two-time Cymru Premier champions Connah’s Quay Nomads. Picture: NIK MESNEY/NCM MEDIA

Connah’s Quay Nomads owner Gary Dewhurst has announced a major investor partner is joining the two-time Cymru Premier League champions.

Darren Pritchard is undertaking a significant stake in the Deeside-based club, effective from June 1.

Pritchard, 46, played for Bangor City and Rhyl in the League of Wales during the 1990’s and later wore the colours of Mold Alexandra, Llangefni/Glantraeth and Llangefni Town.

He also represented the Ynys Môn football side which won Gold at the 1999 Island Games.

Now a successful property developer, Pritchard has always been keen to own a football club and sees Nomads as the ideal place to develop and realise his ambition.

Commenting on Pritchard’s arrival, Nomads owner Dewhurst said: “I am absolutely delighted to introduce Darren to the club.

“The first thing that struck me was his passion for, and knowledge of, Welsh football over the last 25-plus years, which is understandable given his background.

“I invited him to a few games at The Quay 3G and he was blown over with the professionalism of the set up.

“Whilst the 18 point deduction last season was a huge body blow, potentially costing the club hundreds of thousands of pounds, I hope this positive announcement allows us to put this behind us and focus on a successful 2022/2023 season and future for the club.”

Dewhurst stressed Pritchard will have a strong involvement in the running of the club – this will not be a passive investment.

He added: “As a Welshman, born in Anglesey, Darren loves Welsh football and has been involved for 25 years or more as a player for the likes of Bangor City, Mold and Llangefni, and as a keen follower. 

“He sees this as a great challenge and wants to help get the Nomads back into Europe and competing at the top level.

“He recognises the amazing impact Connah’s Quay Nomads has in the local community and the impact the club has on families.”

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH DARREN PRITCHARD

Why have you chosen to invest in Connah’s Quay Nomads?

It’s always been my dream to own a football club, especially being an ex League of Wales player. I’ve always kept an eye on the league’s results over the years, so obviously I still love watching games in the Cymru Premier.
I did my homework on Connah’s Quay and they’ve got a fantastic set-up from academy, women’s football through to the first team.

What do you think of the progress made at the club in recent years?

Since Gary (Dewhurst) bought Connah’s Quay the progress he has made is remarkable. 

Hopefully with my help we can maintain high standard football for everyone to see and I’m very confident we will be back in Europe after next season.

Do you feel, after the disappointment of this season, the club can bounce back in 2022-23 and challenge TNS again? What do you feel is needed to do this?

Obviously our aim is to win back the league again next season from TNS. We will need a few more signings on top of the squad we have to challenge for the league.
Again, I’m confident we will be challenging for the title next season.

Please tell us about your own football career. I’m aware you spent time with Bangor City, Llangefni Town, Mold Alex and Glantraeth. What was your favourite period in your career?

Yes I played for the teams you mention, but the team I wanted most to do well was Llangefni, as it’s my hometown team and I still keep an eye out for them.

My best moment in football was winning the Gold medal in Gotland for Ynys Môn in the 1999 Island Games.

Osian Roberts was a remarkable manager. He knew how to win games against a lot better sides with his tactics and formation.

I’m glad he’s doing so well with Crystal Palace now.

What do you do for a living? Please tell us a little about your business

I’ve been a property developer for nearly 20 years. I started out working in Anglesey and then moved to the Cheshire area to do building work there.

Can you tell us how much you are investing in Nomads?

Sorry no, I am bound by a Confidentiality Agreement.

How is your relationship with club owner Gary Dewhurst?

I’ve been good friends with Gary for a few years now. We are always talking about Connah’s Quay Nomads, so I know a lot about them already which is good.

Also my building firm is doing a property development for Gary now.

I believe you have committed to play for Nomads Vets? So you can still put on the boots and do a job!

Yes, I’m signing for Connah’s Quay Vets next season which is exciting. They have a very good side. I also know most of the players, which makes it easier for me to settle in.

The manager asked me about 2 weeks ago to sign, at which point he didn’t know I was investing in Connah’s Quay Nomads. Hopefully I will get a start every week being a joint owner ha ha.

What do you think of Nomads as a club? They have a vast academy, a successful women’s team and great community links – are all these things important to you?

I know Connah’s Quay has a fantastic women’s team and Academy.

This is very important to me as it helps children get off the streets to play football with friends. I think football is the best way to get children off the streets.

Hopefully one day we will have a Premiership player coming through our ranks.

Are you confident Wales can qualify for the World Cup?

I am confident Wales can qualify. To make it we will need all our best players fit as the squad isn’t the biggest.

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