Currently battling against relegation in the fourth tier of Welsh football, Pontypridd's players could be forgiven for already having one eye on next season. They have announced that they will be travelling to Spain to take on Spanish giants Valencia at their 53,000 capacity Mestalla Stadium.
The pre-season friendly will take place on the 29th July and it has already caused a stir in the media. Colin Murray has already booked a flight over to help cover the game and has invited Iwan Roberts to come and join him.
@ColinMurray very tempting indeed I could even teach you "Mae hen wlad fy nhadau".— Iwan Roberts (@iwanwroberts) February 21, 2014
Pontypridd Town have a very young manager in Dominic Broad who is just 27 but has managed to arrange the fixture with Valencia through some strong contacts in Spain. It is thought that Valencia won't be playing their first team players for the match, but even so it is sure to be a wonderful, momentous occasion in the history of Pontypridd Town.
Hopefully it will give the club a boost between now and the end of the season. Interest in the side has already magnified and there will be plenty of interest in the match come July. It should help galvanise their current form as players at the club will be hoping to knuckle down and impress in the hope that they will be on board that flight to Spain.
Playing against one of the biggest clubs in Spain would be a great occasion for many Championship clubs in England, never mind a Welsh side in the fourth tier, who are used to attendances of around 50 people at their home games at Ynysangharad Park
The knock-on effects of this tie could be huge for Ponty. The increased coverage in the side has already brought them to the attention of the UK which in turn will increase interest and knowledge of them. There'll be a fair few people from Wales who will make the trip to watch Valencia who don't even support the club. Even people just on holiday in Spain could be tempted to go and watch such a game. This really is a David v Goliath moment and it is a great gesture from Valencia to host the Welsh side.
Player-manager Dominic Broad has coached in Spain before and is thankful for his friends that have helped organise the biggest match in the club's history.
“What an experience this will be for the players,” says Broad. “I’ve nagged friends in Spain for a long time to get this organised and it’s a brilliant fixture for Pontypridd.
“This will lift our club’s profile as we work to ensure we have a sustainable Welsh League club in Pontypridd.”
Dominic's brother Damien is also part of the backroom staff, and the Broad's main target for this season is to avoid relegation. Only when that is achieved shall they look ahead to the Valencia game. The Dragons had just two players when the Broad's arrived at the start of the season. Since they have brought in a host of players and developed a youth system. Hopefully this is the start of a fruitful and prosperous future for the club.
image: © unoodostoques