Briton Ferry Llansawel promoted to Genero Adran Premier: “We’re back where we belong”

One year on from their heartbreaking defeat to Wrexham, Briton Ferry Llansawel finally had a happy ending to their story, as they gained promotion to the Adran Premier.

A 4-0 victory against Llandudno at Latham Park ensured Ferry will be playing top-flight football once again, and league top scorer Alison Witts couldn’t hide her delight at being able to help her team back to the first tier.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling, I’m ecstatic. You only need to look at the faces of everyone at full time to see just how much this all means to us. It’s a long day, a late kick off, nerves build, but it means the absolute world to us to be in the Adran Premier. We’ve put Ferry exactly back where they belong.”

While the scoreline might reflect a comfortable afternoon, it certainly didn’t start that way for the Adran South champions.

In the first half, they seemed to be lacking that clinical edge and couldn’t quite figure out a staunch Llandudno team, something captain Lowri Ridings was eager to change at the interval.

“I think we were missing that little bit of composure on the ball. Nerves may have played a part in that at the beginning, and we were trying to find our feet. I was quite vocal about being annoyed about that, and the girls would definitely agree that I was vocal about it at half time!”

It’s quite easy to understand why nerves could have played a factor on Sunday.

It was just over a year ago, in the exact same stadium, that Ferry lost to Wrexham. Fleur Jenkins was involved in that match, and she reflected on how difficult it was to regroup after the loss.

“It took a good couple of weeks after that Wrexham game for everyone to get back into it. We took a break, we came back, and everyone just needed a reset. Everyone gets along so well in the team, and that really helps, because I don’t think we could have done it without that. Rhys and the rest of the coaching staff were brilliant too, and it does feel like one big family. I don’t feel like any of us could have done it alone.”

It was that one-team, family attitude that got Ferry over the line in the end.

The second half saw Witts score a brace, while Jenkins and Laura-May Walkley bagged one each, and manager Rhys James was delighted that his team were able to execute his half time tactics perfectly.

“I just told the players to focus on what we’ve been doing all year. There were a couple of bits out of possession that we needed to improve on, and I thought the intensity needed to be upped a little bit. From an in-possession standpoint, our focus was to give the ball to the front four. They were damaging Llandudno in the first half, so we wanted to get the ball out to them as much as possible, and we saw the goals came in the end.”

Now, Briton Ferry can focus their attention over the summer on how to tackle the Genero Adran Premier.

For a couple of members of the squad, including captain Ridings, they remember the times when they previously competed in the top-flight. It’s been a long road back, but the skipper is confident her side has what it takes to tackle it head on.

“Next season is certainly going to be a different type of challenge for us all. We were in the top-flight and we were doing a good job there, but to be taken out of it was heartbreaking for us all. I think the girls are going to rise to the challenge, because it’s what we’ve all wanted to do for a long time. Overall, I think we’ll be ok in the Adran Premier.”

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