It’s been a couple of days since the news came through of Town’s Europa League qualification. We caught up with manager Colin Caton on how he found out about the news, his thoughts on the season, looking ahead to next season and Chris Venables’ golden boot win.
“The day that the news filtered out, I was having a chat with Nigel and then BBC Wales announced the decision by the Welsh FA on qualification through the teams that had qualified. We were waiting for confirmation via email or confirmation by someone like Sgorio as they hadn’t released it, so we were a bit unsure whether it was true or whether it was a rumour.”
“Then the news come out officially that we’d qualified and we were really happy and because we just didn’t know which way it was going to go. There were lots of twists and turns that could’ve happened so we were totally happy with our qualification which we thought we thoroughly deserved. We felt if we had to restart the season after the lockdown restarted we thought that we’d have been in a great position to push on from third spot, we were equipped, focused and the mindset of the lads that have been through the lockdown has been absolutely tremendous. It would’ve been interesting to see where we’d have finished and I don’t think we’d have finished 3rd or any lower. We maybe could’ve been a bit higher through our attitude and our approach that we’ve equipped by ourselves with during the lockdown. I totally respect the lockdown and football is not as important as anybody to lose their life through an epidemic like this.”
Colin was eager to thank his players and staff stating; “It was fantastic news that we’ve qualified as the lads have been absolutely tremendous throughout the season and I’d like to thank my coaching staff Steve Fisher and Ryan Valentine, Ffiona Evans has done a top class job as a physio, goalkeeping coach Harri Lloyd and my kitman Arwel and to our kitman in the dressing room Nigel Aykroyd and I’d like to thank every other committee member for their hardwork and what they do for the Club throughout the season, to everyone who has contributed towards us all achieving as a group – not individials and we are really looking forward to next season.”
“We have already started re-signing and recruiting, things are looking quite good. I’d like to thank every player that has played this season and the squad, it’s been a fantastic squad with a brilliant attitude. Their drive, determination and the intensity that we’ve played this season has been very good and I can’t thank them enough. As a group of players from everyone one of the squad has been absolutely terrific and a special mention for Danny Gosset aswell who’s bonded us as a group. Danny’s gone through a lot of problems and he’s shown such mental strength and such desire to overcome his cancer. Some people thought he wouldn’t, we had no doubt that he’d come through it with flying colours. The lads supported Danny through that and Danny supported the lads throughout the season aswell when he could. He’d hobble down on his crutches and he’s been a big influence in and around the Club. It’s been a total team effort by the committee, coaching staff and the team – it’s been a fantastic season. Like I say, if the season would’ve restarted we maybe could’ve got a little higher” Caton added.
“I’d like to thank all the fans for their tremendous attitude to us, we haven’t got great number of fans as most teams have in the JD Cymru Premier but they are loyal, always encourage us and there’s always a good spirit within Maes Tegid and a good atmosphere especially on Friday nights. They’ve got a big part to play aswell so I’d like to thank them.”
“We are focusing on getting ready now for the European trip whenever that may be when the government and world’s lockdown, countries decisions to get going again and we just have to wait and see when we can get going. When we do, we’ll be ready and we’re looking to announce a couple of new signings in the next coming weeks and announce a few lads that have re-signed for us aswell. We’re in talks with all the squad at the moment and we’ve got a toast on a zoom call on Monday night for all the team to just have a little drink with the zoom call to congratulate ourselves and pat everyone on the back for a good season with us qualifing for Europe.”
“It’s 6 out of the last 8 years which is magnificent. I don’t think there’s many teams in that category who can compete with that which shows dividens in what we are and that we aren’t just a team on the field but a team off it with the committee, the team of supporters and everybody who wears the Bala Town badge, we are all one so I’d like to thank everyone who’s been involved with the Club for their time and effort over the season and I’m glad we’ve had our just rewards for a really hard season but I’d like to think that we’ve been a very good side this season that’s lit up a few nights and played very well at times. Thanks very much and I look forward to seeing you all in the new season and in the Europa Cup!” he concluded.
We also took the opportunity to ask Colin about Chris Venables’ Golden Boot win which was announced this week.
“On the news that Chris Venables has been awarded the Golden Boot it’s great news for Chris as he’s been outstanding this season as he has done for every season that he’s played for us but he’s obviously stood out a lot this year in terms of his goalscoring ability and the change of position which he’s adapted to very well” he said.
“We spoke to Chris last summer about the possibility moving into an advanced position to get goals, we felt that Chris needed moving a little bit higher as we were a bit deeper as a team and Chris couldn’t get into the box as quick as what we wanted him to. Chris’ goalscoring instincts was always going to create him a lot of chances, his movement, his work throughout the week for his precision game, performances has been absolutely fantastic. He’s a top player with a top attitude he just doesn’t turn up to training, turn up to play games, he works throughout the week in preparation for training and he works throughout the week in preparation for his game and that is what I’d tell any young kid is to follow Chris Venables’ workrate, attitude and approach if they want to get on in the game. He just doesn’t turn up to perform, he works through the five days prior to the training and the games and he’s been absolutely outstanding” he commented.
Colin continued “Chris will be the first to tell you that it’s not an individual award it’s a team reward, we were 20 goals off less than what we conceeded before Christmas that paid dividens that if you are not conceeding and you are obviously going the other way, you create more chances and not just the back four, Josh did well as a goalkeeper and Ashley Morris aswell who’s been with us for a number of years.”
“The midfield and the forward line too, the chances aren’t scored if they aren’t created so if we don’t get crosses into the box and give him the supply he needs then it’s impossible for anybody to get the goals. For me Chris is obviously taking the chances and has scored some superb goals this season but it is a team reward and Chris would be the first to say that. They are a close knit group, we all are it’s a massive achievement and once Chris got awarded it this week, he was first to put in the groupchat that is was a massive achivement for all of us and he hasn’t achieved it on his own and thanked the lads. That’s the calibre of Chris and the calibre of the group. We are really happy for him as he’s critical of himself at times as he works so hard and there’s fine lines between success and failure. When everyone comes back in, Chris will at it wanting to forget what’s gone, knuckle down and make sure his preparation is right for the forthcoming season. I’d like to congratulate him but also the group on helping Chris achieve that goal, it’s a combined reward but well done to Chris on that” Colin finished.