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Croft excited by coaching opportunities

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Robert Croft: Linking up with England in South Africa

FORMER Pontarddulais player and current Glamorgan coach Robert Croft admits the prospect of one day guiding his beloved county excites him but admits he is still to decide whether to apply for the vacant head coach role.

Croft will head out to South Africa to link up with the England one-day squad at the end of January after being invited by ECB Team Director Andrew Strauss to join the national team and share his spin bowling expertise. Croft admits he would like to step up to the main role one day, but is unsure if now is the right time. “I have not made any decisions yet because I am aware there is a process in place,” said Croft. “I will discuss it long and hard with my family because they are the most important thing and then I will come up with a decision. “I’m under no illusions that it is a wonderful place to work and it’s a terrific job. I expect there will be a lot of people interested.

“I’m aware of all that and will make my decision in the next week or so and it’s certainly a job that appeals to me at this stage in my career. “I’m sure there will be lots of people interested in coaching at what a wonderful club we have here and in time the decision-makers will make that choice and we’ll wait and see what comes of it. Croft who only retired from playing in September 2012 applied for the head coach role two years ago, but admits he has developed as a coach since then. “I think I have picked up on managing people more,” added Croft. “When I first went into coaching I saw things through a technical and tactical lens, but potentially not through the people management lens. “What I have learned is how much the players already know and coaches don’t always have the answers.

“Crucially also you can’t ignore what I have learned from the senior players here at Glamorgan where we have a very good bunch who are teaching coaches like me every day. “It’s about trying to create the environment where the players can express themselves and bring out the undoubted talent they have. “I have benefited from the last two years and have worked under a couple of head coaches now and had time with Andy Flower last year. “So the bank of knowledge is building up, but it’s a far more difficult job to be coaching than playing. “As a player you are pretty much interested in what you have to do. As a coach you have to be aware of where and how everyone is. “You have to make decisions sometimes that are more difficult than others.”

Away from the Glamorgan position, Croft is relishing his stint in South Africa where he will return to the international stage for the first time since his last England playing appearance in 2001 after being asked to link up with the one-day squad on a secondment. “It’s a 12-day trip to South Africa and I’m so excited about it,” explained Croft, who played 21 Tests and 50 one-day internationals for England between 1996 and 2001. “I had a phone call from Andrew Strauss asking if I’d consider going out and being in the environment for the spinners, primarily to help discuss experiences on the field with them, nothing technical, purely tactical. “Hopefully it will be an experience I will gain from. To go and work with Paul Farbrace and head coach Trevor Bayliss, who have had such success at the highest level, when you think back to the Ashes and also in preparation for the T20 World Cup, it will be nice to bring it back here to Glamorgan. “It will hopefully give me extra lenses to look through at the game of cricket. I’m also looking forward to getting the juices flowing of international sport again to see what that will be like. “I had great years in the England team which luckily coincided with great years in the Glamorgan team. “To get the training top out and get a boost from seeing players do well is what any coach wants. “I’m relishing rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck in and seeing what I can bring to the table.”

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Pontarddulais Workmens seal fine victory in Snooker League

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STEVE Dunn’s fine 73 break was the undoubted highlight of Pontarddulais Workmens’ solid 6-1 victory against Burry Port Legion in the Llanelli Snooker first division.

Mike Footman, Keri Davies, Adam Griffiths and Kevin Sullivan added winning support while just Rich Nurse averted the whitewash for the Legion, for whom Rob Davies made a 32 break.

Dan Wells also made a 70-plus break, a fine 74 knock as Matchroom Reds also won 6-1, R.Evans, J.Thomas, L.Grey and C.Price also on top against Upper Tumble Blues; only E.Rees won for the visitors.

Similarly, just Nigel Lewis won as his side, Ponthenri crashed 6-1 at Gorseinon Workmens’; D.Williams (47), J.Wilcox, M.Dodd and K.Murrells added wins for the Brighton Road cuemen.

It was closer at Trimsaran, where the home side edged a 4-3 win against Llandybie Social A, courtesy of J.Tudor, C.Thomas (30) and L.Lloyd; Lindsey Pugh, Huw Morgan and Wyn Major hit back for the latter.

Andrew Hatto and Gavin Lewis were on the ball for Morfa, who went down 5-2 at Snooker World Whites; Andrew Whitfield (51 break), B.Thomas, J.Gimblett and A.Krysa added wins for the Ammanford side ,who, in a busy week, also won 4-3 at Pontyberem, thanks to A.Krysa, C.Jackson and B.Thomas; E.Bowen, S.Caton and A.Harris replied for ‘Berem.

Pontyberem also during the week were beaten 5-2 at Cross Hands B, whose frame winners were A.Phillips, Dai Isaacs, Gary Stead and Paul Martin.

Llanesco enjoyed a 5-2 victory at Llanelli Cons A, following wins from P.Shoulder, L.Lloyd, D.Bohn and M.Stevenson; Cons’ winning duo were Mark Sargent and Gavin Quinnell.

Elsewhere, C.Jones and L.Jones (31) were on top for Reading Room Blues in the Burry Port side’s 5-2 defeat at Matchroom Whites, with C.Davies, D.Roberts, L.Davies and W.Bowen on song for the “Gwyns”.

In Division 2, D.Jones, D.Sigsworth and S.Wright edged an aggregate win by just 12 points for Llandybie RFC in a 4-3 result against Upper Tumble Reds, who hit back via Mike Sainty, S.Marsall and N.Allinson.

T.Rawlings, J.Dean and C.Hurley claimed a similar 4-3 win for Burry Port Reading Room Reds against Snooker World Blues; Chris Waters, Callum Fuge and Steffan Rees were on song for the visitors.

It also needed the aggregate to split the sides as Llandybie Social B saw off Cross Hands A 4-3, Steve Pearson, Ian Matthews and Howard Wood winning; Adam Rees, Scott Bundfuss and Elwyn Williams were on the ball for the latter.

Matchroom Blacks returned from their visit to Upper Tumble Reds clutching a 5-2 success, after Rhys Morgans, Dean Shoulder, Ryan Maides and James Anthony had all won their frames; Steve Marshall and R.Williams replied for the  hosts.

Bern Price, Ray Barney, G.Stollery and K.Gronow gave the Gremlin Club A a 5-2 victory against Bryn A; J.Townsend and J.Jones replying.

In other news, there were Cup wins for Llanesco (4-1 against Cross Hands A), also Llanelli Cons A (5-2 at Matchroom Blacks), and for Llandybie Social B (5-2 over Bryn B).

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Bury Port withstand Tenby fightback

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BURY PORT had to withstand a strong second half comeback from Tenby United on Saturday (Nov 27) as they earned a 27-21 victory.

The Blacks had raced into a 27-0 at half time with tries coming from Lewis Daniel, David Booth, Bradley Crossman and Joshua Evans

Lee Evans added two conversions and a penalty as they built up a commanding lead.

In a game of two halves it was the Seasiders who started well in the second half and their play was soon rewarded.

Luke Dedman, Yannic Parker and Jack Broadhurst all scored tries for Tenby in the second half as they looked to get something from the game.

Gwion Jones converted all three tries from under the posts as the visiting Seasiders at least earned a losing bonus point for their efforts.

They were however left feeling that they could have won the game following their second half display.

They will look to put that right on Saturday, December 4, when they travel to Pontarddulais.

The win for Burry Port puts them top of the League 2 West table with 9 points from their opening two games.

On Saturday they will look for another win as they travel to Pontyberem.

PHOTO by Darren Harries

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Legg departs Llanelli Town

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MANAGER Andy Legg has left Llanelli Town as the club seeks to make a number of changes.

Lee departed on Thursday evening (Nov 25) while coaches Gary Lloyd and Chris Thomas have also left their roles.

It comes just hours after the club announced that captain Kyle Copp had also left the club.

Kyle made 42 appearances for the Reds scoring 8 goals. He made his debut against Goytre back in August 2019.

The club had also announced on Tuesday that Zac Brown was leaving the club. He had played 41 times for the Reds scoring nine times.

Speaking of Legg’s departure a statement on the club’s social media pages reads: “Although not an easy decision given his club status and what he has achieved over the years here at Stebonheath Park we would all like to wish him the best and he will always receive a warm welcome here.

“With our club vision set out by chairman Wayne Stephens many changes will be made throughout the whole club over the Christmas period.

“We will announce Andy’s successor in due course. Thanks again Leggy.”

Commenting on his departure on Twitter, Andy said: “Just a quick message to say thank you the supporters for you support during my time at the club. We wish the club well.”

Llanelli Town currently sit in sixth place in the JD Cymru South table with six wins, five draws and four defeats in their 15 league games so far this season.

Legg’s last game in charge of the club was a 3-0 loss away at Goytre United.

They are next in action on Friday, December 3, when they face Goytre United in the reverse fixture at Stebonheath Park, kick off 7:30pm.

PHOTO by Llanelli Town

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