Martyrs Manager Looking Forward In Positive Mood

Central defender Jarrad Wright returns to the Merthyr Town team for their EvoStik Southern League match at Farnborough Town on Saturday.

It is Merthyr’s first Premier Division match since their win against Banbury almost two weeks ago because their scheduled home clash with Dunstable Town was postponed because of a frozen pitch.

Wright was ruled out of the match against Banbury while he served a one match suspension, but is likely to return at the heart of the Martyrs’ defence.

Midfield player Craig Reddy, though, starts a four game after being sent off at Frome.

Merthyr are fighting back after their financial crisis was revealed in November and have laid off an outstanding £25,000 tax bill in full.

Attendances have risen to an average 600-plus, while 2,612 spectators watched Merthyr’s match against Hereford at the Loadlok Community Stadium.

Players have taken play cuts of more than 50 per cent wage cuts and manager Gavin Williams told the Non-League Paper: “It’s not as if the players haven’t had offers because I’d say every single one of them has.

“They know how we try to play football, it’s what the club means to them and it’s pleasing they have stayed.

Jarrad Wright returns for Merthyr Town in Saturday’s match at Farnborough. Pic: Peter Harman.

“It’s going to be a big month because the Welsh transfer window is open so I can imagine the teams in south Wales – the likes of Carmarthen and Barry Town – will be wanting them.

“It’s a case of can we get through this month with the same sort of squad.  Then we’ll be OK, we’ll be competitive in most games we play I should imagine then.

“I’ve managed to keep all the local lads so that in itself creates team spirit.

“Hopefully the club can turn things around and it’s just a case of us picking up as many points as we can now and getting through the season.

“Then, if the club sorts its financial problems out then in 2018-19 we can be the force we should have been this season. We would have made the play-offs, I’m convinced of that.”

“When everything first came out it was a worry, we went to Chesham without any senior players and lost 13-1. Gradually we got one player back, then another, and the results have spoken for themselves.

“Hopefully we’ve turned a corner. I’m not going to be naive and say it’s going to be like that for the rest of the season because we will have times when we won’t field a strong team, but that’s part of being in Non-League.

“What the lads are getting paid, if they’ve got work commitments they’re going to need to do that because that’s what’s paying their bills and mortgages.”

The Martyrs travel to Surrey for their match against Farnborough, who are one point ahead of their visitors having played a game more.

Farnborough have won six of their 14 matches at home, while Merthyr have earned three away wins.

Merthyr Town squad v Farnborough: Oliver Davies, Adam Davies, Jarrad Wright, Matthew Harris, Scott Tancock, Miles John, Ashley Evans, Harry Franklin, Jay Bowen, Harrison Lewis, Cole Jarvis, Kerry Morgan, Ian Traylor, Ryan Prosser, Corey Jenkins.

Merthyr’s match against Dunstable Town, which was postponed, has been rearranged for Tuesday, February 13 (7.45pm).

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