It seems an age now since Port Talbot Town Football Club kicked a football, but recently we had some good news after securing promotion to the JD Cyrmu South following a third-place finish in last ever Welsh Football League Division One table, decided on a points-per-game basis. During the off-season, Brandon Arthur caught up with first-team striker Jack Underwood for some season reflection on the latest Talking Port.
How did you enjoy your first season as a Port Talbot Town player?
I absolutely loved my first season at Port Talbot Town! I am a bit gutted that it was cut a bit shorter than the rest of the boys due to suspension and missing the last few games, but overall I have loved it.
Did it live up to your expectations?
I always knew I’d enjoy it as the squad are a good group of boys. The coaching staff were brilliant in welcoming me into the club when I first arrived and made me feel at home right from the start.
How have you been coping without football during lockdown?
I’ve been coping quite well to be fair. I have been doing a lot of road running, cycling and most recently I have been playing a bit of golf which has helped keep me sane during what are undoubtedly tough times.
What was your personal highlight of the season?
I think my personal highlight has got to be scoring my first hat-trick for the club against Blaenrhondda. It helped us progress in the FAW Trophy so that was pretty memorable.
And if you can differentiate, what do you think was the team highlight?
I think the team’s highlight was probably consistently maintaining our position at the top end of the league table. At the start, people might have thought we would not be good enough at the start of the season, but that consistency was key in proving them wrong.
Who would you put forward as player of the season?
That’s quite a tough one to be honest. It would probably be out of Owen Williams or James Harris. Owen’s work rate is phenomenal, and I don’t think I have ever seen him have a bad game to be honest! James has pulled us out of trouble on quite a few occasions this season, apart from the 4-0 loss at home to Garden Village!
How did working under Mark Pike differ from previous managers you’ve played under?
Playing under Pikey is definitely the most I’ve enjoyed my football. He has time for absolutely everyone and wants the best for everyone which makes playing under him easy.
How would you compare Port Talbot Town supporters to other fans you’ve played in front of?
They’re a good bunch. They are always vocal, always travelling home and away, and never stop singing whatever the result might be!
What was your immediate reaction to the news that the Blues were promoted?
It is amazing for the club, especially with the circumstances of last season’s demotion. It’s a massive boost for us and is a great end to what was a pretty challenging season.
And finally, despite the uncertainty of what next season might look like do you think the club can push on from a successful campaign?
Yeah, I do. I think if we can keep the same squad, we’ve got now then we can definitely push on from our successes this year. I think we’ve got the squad and the coaches to have another brilliant season and continue to prove our doubters wrong.