Mynydd Isa Spartans Football Club
Mynydd Isa Spartans is a club on the up having clinched promotion last season. Football Focus Magazine recently caught up with Club Representative James Hollyoak to find out more about the good work the club has been doing lately.
He told us, “I was involved starting the club with another friend Lee Silvester two years ago after spending a few successful years with FC Nomads reserves gaining some management experience and with that came a league title. We decided to try our hand at first team football.
In our first season we ground shared with another local club but an opportunity arose for us to get ourselves our own ground with onsite facilities due to the previous Mynydd Isa and Argoed teams folding unfortunately.
After a few meetings with the committee we were accepted as the new senior team of the club. This was a great coup for our club which brought positivity throughout the dressing room and I think a big reason why we gained promotion after finishing runners up last season.”
“Personally, for me being the secretary/treasurer/manager for the last two seasons has been really hard work and I have put in a lot of hours outside of match day to ensure the best for the club and anyone who has run a local side knows how much work goes on behind the scenes but it’s all worth it when you get a win on the Saturday.”
“I think the mood is really good at the moment after gaining promotion last season we have had a lot more exposure as a club which has brought players that probably wouldn’t have signed two seasons ago. They have seen how much we have grown in a short space of time and want to be a part of a long and successful future.”
“Our main aim is to win the league and gain promotion and with the players we have on our books I feel this is a real possibility. It may seem very ambitious with it being our first season in this league but personally I think every team should aim to win the league; that’s why we are involved in football … to win trophies and be successful. We will require some luck along the way whether it be player availability or a key decision going for us but every successful team needs these at some point throughout the season.”
“Youth football is very important for Mynydd Isa as we have age groups from U5’s all the way up to U19’s with some age groups having multiple sides. Mynydd Isa is one of the biggest if not the biggest youth setup in the area and is run fantastically well by all the committee members and the managers involved with each age group.
The aim is to have a clear pathway from youth football all the way up to senior football as there is no better feeling than seeing a local player who has come up through all the age groups and play for the senior side.”
“This season, following promotion, we have been able to start a second team which is going to be used for bringing through the 19’s into senior football. We have regular contact with the side and we are looking for them to train with first and second team once the season gets under way to ensure they all know the lads and feel comfortable and confident when stepping up to senior football.
A few of the boys have already played in some friendlies and have really enjoyed the experience. With them playing on a Sunday it gives them the chance to play both sides over the weekend which is great for the club as a whole.”
“This is a community club, on our facilities we don’t just have football we have cricket, bowls and also scouts too which incorporates over 300 participants. The work done behind the scenes for all sporting groups goes unnoticed but everyone puts a lot of time into making the facility the best it can be for the whole community.”
“I think a huge challenge the club will face in the next five years is to stay competitive and challenge without being able to pay wages. This is becoming more and more difficult every year as more teams in the area are now paying. I understand though why a player would take the opportunity of earning money for something they enjoy doing. We will still do everything though to ensure the club doesn’t stand still and is a great place for players to come and play and enjoy football.”
“Our ambitions over the next five years on the field would be to be as successful as we can be, hopefully gaining some silverware along the way. Over the next few seasons we will be hoping that the reserve/first team side will be filled with a lot of, if not all the U19’s from the previous season as we look to ensure they have a pathway directly to senior football.
Off the pitch we hope to improve the facilities and make them the best we can for the players. This will require a lot of hard work and commitment from everyone involved with the club/facility but with what we have seen over the first few years with the club this is something I know will be a given.”