Cymru Alliance Previews: New Flint boss McGuinness takes Silkmen to Gresford Athletic

Reporter:

Daniel Heald

New Flint Town United manager Niall McGuinness is relishing the prospect of taking charge of the Silkmen at Gresford Athletic on Saturday.

The 25-year-old former Rhyl manager succeeds Andy Holden who departed the club last month and will work alongside first team coach Aden Shannon.

McGuinness takes over at Cae-y-Castell with the club currently 11th in the Alliance table after an indifferent campaign so far.

And the newly-installed boss is keen to transform the club’s fortunes quickly this term.

He said: “I am hoping I can bring success to the football club alongside Aden Shannon and create something for the future. I am looking forward to meeting everyone this week and getting started in the role.

“I would also like to thank the chairman, the board and Aden for giving me the opportunity and, as always, I will put my heart and soul into the role for Flint Town United."

Flint chairman Darryl Williams, added: "I am delighted that Niall has come on board.

“It was a pre-requisite that we not only obtained the services of a suitably qualified coach but to also recruit someone who has the ability and character to fit into our existing structure, and work with our current coaching staff.

“Niall absolutely meets that criteria.

”We are hopeful that Niall and Aden, supported by Timmy (Williams), and the backroom staff of Johnny Hill and Paul McAdam can now galvanise the squad and propel us to a top six finish, whilst off the field we endeavour to retain the coveted domestic licence as we continue to build for the future of this great club"

Gresford boss Steve Halliwell boasts a solid record against tomorrow’s visitors and is confident his in-form side can extend that sequence.

Athletic have overcome a sluggish start to the campaign to amass five wins from their last eight games, form which has seen them climb to ninth in the table.

A third successive league win tomorrow is Halliwell’s focus tomorrow in his side’s bid to replicate last season’s top three finish.

He said: “We played Flint three times last season, including once in the cup, and went unbeaten in those games.

“Obviously that doesn’t have a bearing on Saturday,  but I fancy us at home here.

“We’re on a really good run now and are on course for the the nine points that we’d targeted from our November league games.

“Flint are a strong side and we know they’’l; come her confident of turning us over. We’ll rotate our starting eleven again, which we has served us well in recent weeks and we’ll put out a side capable of taking three points.”

Athletic keeper Mike Platt is an doubt for the game after a head injury sustained against Ruthin Town last week required stitches.

Flint’s injury concerns have worsened with defender Joel Haack and midfielder Levi Mackin joining Joe Palmer and Andy Brown on the sidelines. 

Holywell Town boss John Hasdeldin joked that Flintshire rivals Airbus should have had the league title ‘wrapped up’ by now.

Haseldin’s side visit the second-placed Wingmakers tomorrow and insists his side will play without fear against the promotion-hunting hosts.

He said: “With the resources available at Airbus maybe they should have had the league title wrapped up already.

“They’ve been a bit unpredictable at times this season and that defeat at Denbigh hasn’t done us any favours when we go up against them.

“This game will be a must win for them now after they’ve fallen behind Caernarfon a little bit now.

“But we can’t go there and show them too much respect. Teams who go there and do that get taken apart and we can’t let that happen.

“We’ll have to make our own adjustments for the 3G pitch and hopefully we can get the rub of the green after some of the refereeing decisions that have gone against us lately.”

Frustrated by his side’s 3-1 reverse at Denbigh Town last time out, Airbus boss Andy Thomas has challenged his side to go unbeaten for the rest of the season.

Depleted by injuries, Airbus let their lead slip as Town netted three times in the final half hour to snatch victory.

Now five points adrift of title rivals Caernarfon, Thomas expects no further slip-ups this season.

He said: “We were short of numbers in the Denbigh game, but there were parts of our performance where we didn’t work hard enough at times and we weren’t good enough at the ugly side of the game.

“We need to be professional in every game we play and ensure the commitment and hard work is there each week.

“I’ve said to the players that we can’t afford any more defeats and, if we are able to avoid bad injuries this season, there’s no reason why we can’t go unbeaten.”

Prolific forward Alfons Fosu-Mensah should return for the hosts, while Ryan Edwards and Ashley Williams are also in contention.

The Wellmen are buoyed by the return of Brady McGilloway and Phil Lloyd, but are without defenders Gareth Sudlow and Matty Harvey as well as forward Steve Lewis.

Queen’s Park boss Martin Ford insists his side can cope with the departure of club captain Barry Torrence.

The skipper departed for Welsh National League side Brickfield Rangers ahead of tomorrow’s game at in-form Guilsfield.

But the ebullient Ford remains optimistic about the his side’s prospects this term and is relishing his side’s first competitive game in almost a month.

 He said: “It is a blow to lose Barry because he’s been a big player for us.

“We couldn’t compete with what Brickfield were offering, but in football terms it’s definitely a step down for him.

“We’ve got good numbers at the club and we’re confident that after the break we’ve had we can hit the ground running.

“We know what Guilsfield are about. They’ve looked well-drilled and solid this season and don’t give many goals away.

“ So we’re expecting them to make things difficult for us but are just desperate to get back on the pitch again after such a long break.”

New signing Tristan Wagner has received international clearance and is expected to make his Park debut in mid-Wales.

Third-placed Denbigh host Caersws, Holyhead Hotspur visit resurgent Rhyl, Ruthin Town entertain Porthmadog, while basement side Llandudno Junction host Penrhyncoch.

Email:

daniel.heald@nwn.co.uk

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