ABERYSTWYTH Town boss Neville Powell has warned his players they should expect a tough test as they travel to newly promoted Barry Town United for their Welsh Premier League season opener on Sunday.
The Seasiders’ first five league fixtures all come against clubs who finished in the bottom six last season or have just come up from the tier below.
But Powell knows the league inside out, having previously led Bangor City to a Welsh Premier League title in 2010/11 and successive Welsh Cup Final wins in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and argues that playing Barry Town United away from home, live on Sgorio, will be a very tough challenge.
“It’s a better opportunity than playing TNS in the first game like they did last year,” Powell said, “but Barry Town United will present us with one hell of a tough challenge, make no doubt about it.”
“The fact that they’re newly promoted doesn’t go against them at all.
“It works in their favour if anything, because they’re coming into the league with something to prove off the back of a really positive and successful season, so I know we’re in for a very tough first match and then they’re all going to be tough fixtures following that.”
And Powell has urged his squad to learn to play together quickly in order to get off on the front foot.
“We just want to hit the ground running and get that first win under our belt as soon as possible, but we’re under no illusions with regards to how tough it is going to be,” he added.
“We need to cement a squad together that plays in an organised, attractive style of play, and then let’s see what happens.”
The Town boss wants to see his team and the Aber faithful make Park Avenue a ground feared by their rivals.
“We need to treat every game like a cup final, as they say, and before long Park Avenue will become a bit of a fortress once again – we used to hate going there as an opposing team, it was like when sides played Bangor at Farrar Road, they were beaten before they got there, and we need to have that in Aber, definitely.
“We’ve got to make sure the fans get behind us, but we can only do that through our performances, by playing good, attacking football, being organised and not giving silly goals away.
Aberystwyth Town kick-off at Barry Town United at 5.15pm on Sunday. The game will be live on Sgorio from 5pm.