With significant investment made to further improve their squad over the summer, Haverfordwest were perhaps expected to make a big step forward as the 2021/22 JD Cymru Premier season got underway, but things haven’t quite clicked for the Pembrokeshire club yet.
One point from the opening four games is not what the Bluebirds will have been hoping for, but one of their newest signings Dylan Rees outlined how there is reason for optimism at Bridge Meadow.
“We just need to keep grinding out these performances and things will come good for us. We probably got our set-up wrong against Caernarfon, which we spoke about in training afterwards, but against Cardiff Met next we were very good defensively and should have won the game.
“We were amazing in the second half against TNS and should have got something there too, and against Barry we had a real opportunity to win that game which just went against us, but those creases will iron out I’m sure and we’ll turn good performances into wins eventually.”
“We want to get better year after year.”
Rees developed a reputation as one of Cymru Football’s premier full-backs over a number of years representing Cardiff Met, marauding up and down the flanks to support the likes of Eliot Evans as the Archers enjoyed their golden years in the Cymru Premier.
Moving on to Haverfordwest this summer saw the 24-year-old Pembrokeshire-native come home, as he spoke about the attraction of joining Wayne Jones’ side.
“It is a fantastic club, with a great structure in place and clear aims and ambitions, so I felt like it was a place for me to go to. It’s a club on the up, who have great ambitions for the next three years. Every team’s first ambition after being promoted is to stay in the league, but given who we’ve brought in this summer, I think we should be aiming for a top six spot and then going from there.
“We just want to get better year after year, and we’re building in that direction. Bringing in Henry Jones, Jazz Richards, Kyle Davies, Touray and Lee Idzi, there’s so much experience there and that’ll be important to us getting as high up the table as we can.
“Our start hasn’t been the best on paper, we know that, but the performances have been quite good and the odd mistake has let us down a bit too frequently. It is a new team, so you can’t expect it to click instantly, but we’ll just keep our heads down and work to build that chemistry that can help us pick up points from these games instead of dropping them.”
“We can really start something special here at Haverfordwest.”
Showing their mettle as they returned to the JD Cymru Premier last year, the Bluebirds were strong contenders for a top six spot before an unfortunately timed dip in form saw them drop into the bottom half for Phase Two.
The club has proven to be a great platform for exciting young players in the south-west, developing a very strong core full of experienced players and youthful enthusiasm, and their new full-back gave his assessment of the team and the club.
“I thought the club were impressive last season, they had a great start to the season and were looking like favourites for the top six until we had a stop to the season because of Covid and then they were unlucky to not quite get it over the line.
“There’s a great core of players here that have represented the club for some time, and there’s good technical players here as well so we’ve got all the tools we need to play a passing brand of football, and a great group of staff to lead us. We just need to put it all into action.
“I know Wayne from my time at Aberystwyth, he’s a great motivator and knows his stuff, but he also sets us up to win, which is important. He knows the league inside-out, and I think he, his staff and the squad that has been assembled can really start something special here at Haverfordwest.”
“I’m really happy with where I’m at now in my career.”
Still with his best years ahead of him on a football pitch, Rees has achieved so much and flirted with a return to professional football given his success with the Archers previously, and the young star reflected positively on his experiences in Cymru Football so far.
“Joining Cardiff Met, Christian helped me a lot to develop my game because the jump is huge from developmental football to men’s senior football, and this league is so challenging because every team has very good players, with lots of different styles of football, and I’ve just given my best every game and tried to take my opportunities.
“Representing Cymru C was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, alongside representing Cardiff Met in Europe, and around the time of that I thought I might get a chance to go back into professional football as there were a few clubs sniffing around, but it never quite materialised for whatever reason.
“I’m really happy with where I’m at now in my career, though, and looking forward to making Haverfordwest a stalwart in the Cymru Premier with the team and the staff we have here. My game is based on giving everything, wearing your heart on your sleeve, and if I can set an example or use my experience to help then I will however I can.”
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