Gavin Chesterfield has confirmed that a number of Football League clubs are monitoring the progress of Macauley Southam-Hale ahead of tonight’s Welsh Cup third round clash with Penybont at Jenner Park (7.45).
The 22 year-old right-back has been an ever-present in the Welsh Premier League for Barry Town side this season and Chesterfield confirmed his stand-out performances have caught the eye of clubs further up the football food chain.
“I know he’s attracting a little bit of interest at the moment, not from within out league but from the professional game,” explained the Barry Town manager.
“I can see why as well because of his spend and endurance, his fitness, his quality and his technical ability.
“It’s interesting because he’s had a great schooling; he was at Cardiff City from the age of six, left there from the age of 20, 21 and now he’s into his second season with us and you can see that he’s really benefited from playing 50, 60 games at a senior level, week in week out.”
Southam-Hales starred and got on the scoresheet in a 4-1 win over Newtown last weekend as Barry Town continued their title push.
On Friday night, Barry Town turn their attentions to the JD Welsh Cup where they welcome a dangerous looking Penybont side, managed by former Welsh Cup winner Rhys Griffiths.
Penybont sit second in the Welsh League unbeaten and with games in-hand as they look to follow Barry Town’s footsteps into the Welsh top-flight.
“Rhys Griffiths is a good friend of mine and we’re currently studying our pro-licence together. It’ll be good to pit my wits up against him,” said Chesterfield.
“Welsh Cup is a competition for massive respect for. Penybont are undefeated this season so I know they’re going to provide us with a stiff test and I’m just genuinely excited.”
Barry Town welcome back two key individuals for the game as Chris Hugh returns from international duty with the Welsh futsal team, and on-loan striker Modou Touray is available following a one-match ban.
Chesterfield said: “Chris has been a relentless performer in his time with the club, I can’t speak highly enough for him and the same for young Modou.”
Touray’s suspension for his recent dismissal against The New Saints interrupted a rich vein of form for the Newport County striker, who had hit four goals in his previous three matches.
And his manager believes he is thriving in his current surroundings: “I think that when a young lad comes into the league it’s not easy.
“But I think he’s been great for the league but I also think that the league and the environment that we’re a part of has been good for him. We can see him developing and evolving in front of our eyes, so long may it continue.
“Newport’s support of him playing in the league has been mega really. Obviously, it helps because [Newport County manager] Flynny has played in the league and played for the club many years ago, but I think he acknowledges how the league has grown and progressed as well, so I think that many clubs would look at the WPL as a great opportunity to develop young players.
“What I’m pleased about is that Mo has come into our set-up, he’s bought into everything that we’re about it, he’s got players around him that understand where he’s at in his journey and we’ve got a lot of players who’ve travelled that journey that he’s on now at this moment. Sadly, they’ve fallen out of the professional game but they’re playing good football at a good standard and are still aspirational.”
In tonight’s other third round ties, 2013 winners Prestatyn Town entertain top-flight Caernarfon Town while eight-time Welsh Cup winners Bangor City host Holyhead Hotspur at Nantporth.
The remaining 13 ties are all scheduled to take place on Saturday.
JD WELSH CUP THIRD ROUND
Friday Bangor City v Holyhead Hotspur, Barry Town United v Penybont, Prestatyn Town v Caernarfon Town. Saturday: Airbus UK Broughton v Porthmadog, Briton Ferry Llansawel v Llandudno, Cwmamman United v Aberystwyth Town, Cwmbran Celtic v The New Saints, Denbigh Town v Cambrian & Clydach Vale, Flint Town United v Bala Town, Goytre United v Carmarthen Town, Guilsfield v Connah’s Quay Nomads, Haverfordwest County v Pontypridd Town, Llangefni Town v Llanelli Town , Newtown v Rhyl, Ton Pentre v Cardiff Met, Ynysddu Welfare v Cefn Druids.