Neyland Pirates Under 14s win a much coveted treble

Neyland U14s - age-group champions

Craig Power - proud Pirates coachNeyland Pirates under 14 football team have certainly taken their age group by storm because for the first time in their history that have achieved the league and cup double in Pembrokeshire and then completed the coveted treble by winning the West Wales Cup.
Small wonder then that head coach Craig Power should be so delighted because he has been with most of this talented squad since they were seven or eight and they include his son Leo, who also doubles up as captain in a squad that includes triplets Tommie, Sammie and Ollie Vaughan Harries, whose mum Louise is team manager and does a great job in taking lots of the work off his shoulders that isn’t quite his cup of tea, like player registration and other clerical work that needs doing these days.
Craig’s assistant is Martin James, who also has his son Dylan playing and they are a close-knit group within Neyland Football Club, who give The Pirates every encouragement, as do their very supportive sponsors who have helped throughout the season.

Amazing statistics of their success

“We won all 18 of our league games and the boys played so well that they scored a massive 163 goals whilst conceding only nine, including 11 clean sheets for goalkeeper Corey Riley, whose father Mark is a well-known Neyland sportsman.
“In five matches in the Pembrokeshire Cup we scored 21 goals without conceding any and beat our oldest rivals Hakin United by 4-0 at Marble Hall, Milford Haven, with Sammie Vaughan Harries scoring a hat-trick and Kian Evans adding the fourth goal.
“We also played Hakin United in the semi-final of the WR Nedin West Wales Under 14 Cup at The Bridge Meadow Stadium and to be honest I think we got out of jail where we scored two late goals, one of them controversial – to play in the final against Ynystawe Athletic at Stebonheath Park in Llanelli.
“We had scored 29 goals in getting there and conceded only four goals, including three more clean scoresheets, but knew we were up against a very strong team from Swansea who pushed us all the way. But our defence was outstanding and the midfield battled hard – and we scored the only goal of the game by Zachariah Owen, assisted by Sammie Vaughan Harries.

Great way to end the campaign

“It ended a wonderful season and I would like to thank all the players’ families for their total support, and the squad for their total dedication to Neyland Pirates.”

It was also a special moment for Craig because he had played as a central midfielder for Neyland from about 12 to 30 years of age but then switched to rugby after watching his pals play the oval ball game, going along to training and quickly getting drafted in as a prop.
He still plays today whenever he is needed and is happy to come off the bench unless they are a bit short of players and then starts in the front row.
But it is football where he spends much of his spare time, with the full support of his wife Carlie, because as well as being a Pirates’ coach he is assistant coach of the Haverfordwest Academy under 14s alongside Gareth Lewis, from Carew, whom he has a high regard for.
Eleven of that squad hail from the Neyland team as proof of their ability and wherever they end up playing in years to come as adults they will surely remember the 21/22 season where they were part of a Pirates’ squad which ruled their age-group roost!

Neyland Pirates - U14s cup winners
The Neyland Pirates squad was:
Corey Riley
Leo Power
Dylan James
Sammie Vaughan Harries
Tommie Vaughan Harries
Ollie Vaughan Harries
Kian Evans
Todd Howitt
Deanthony Matthews
Josh James
Owen Roach
Rhys Lewis
Alfie Bowen
Zachariah Owen
Corey Rayner
Jack Dyer

Neyland U14s - West Wales Cup winners