Pricey still going strong - and still scoring goals!

Matthew Price

Matthew Price has been scoring loads of goals in Pembrokeshire Football for almost three decades but his ability to find the net has also seen him play in the Welsh Premier League with Ebbw Vale and Haverfordwest County, plus Welsh League with Pembroke Borough. Monkton Swifts, Milford United and Newcastle Emlyn.

He has played senior football for 28 years now and scored over 500 goals during that time and over 200 of those goals were scored in the Welsh League.

Not content with that, however, he has also been a very good manager and is now going on another step further by representing Wales at over 40s level and enjoying his involvement with a sport he clearly loves as much as ever!

“It’s great playing for Hakin United vets!”

Like all other players, Mathew has always dreamt of pulling on a red shirt to play for his country and his ambition was brought to fruition after playing and scoring goals in the Welsh Veterans League, he was given the opportunity of representing Wales.

Players had to be playing in the Welsh Veteran's set-up so Matthew qualified by dint of the fact that he plays for Hakin United over 40s and is still scoring goals in a team that is run by Gary Dawes. Matthew joined them from the outset of their 2017 venture into this set-up after joining the likes of Nigel Delaney, Richard Bland and Richard Nash alongside former Vikings like Paul ‘Jonah’ Jones, Jason ‘Bomber’ Morgan, Nigel Armstrong, Adam Collins and Kristan Bennett to name but a few.

The team has been runners up in both the league and cup for the past two seasons - and is sure to finish in a strong position again this campaign and they have reached the semi-final of the knock-out cup. But, win or lose, the boys enjoy themselves on trips away, often stopping on the way home in Swansea.

A Welsh dream comes true

"I knew that playing and training with the Welsh squad would demand a real commitment," admitted the player known to all as 'Pricey' "but the Hakin games already mean lots of travel so I was ready for the trek to The House of Sport in Cardiff on a regular basis once I was told I was in the Welsh squad which in the main plays friendlies at the moment.

"It is a long four-hour round trip for training on Monday evenings, especially when it finishes at 10pm and there is a two-hour trip home afterwards”.

"I have already played against the RAF and the Army as well as clubs like Goring United - and so far I've scored seven goals in seven games, with my most memorable moment arriving when I played up front with Lee Trundle, the Swansea City legend. It was brilliant and I learned a lot about creating space for others by clever running off the ball."

Matthew Price and Lee Trundle

Starred as a Swift

It was at Monkton Swifts that Pricey first started to make a name for himself when in 1995 he signed for the Swifts and Manager Richard“Benno” Jones gave him a chance to play regularly in the Welsh League alongside the experienced Pat McQuillan, Jeremy “Horse” Morris, Mark “Powie” Powell and Neil “Jonah” Jones.

“I scored a hat-trick on my debut against the South Wales Police at Monkton Lane and I went on to score 20 goals in my first season and 27 goals in my second season where I had good partnerships up front with Ian Rome and Benno”.

 Involved at other top clubs

“My goal scoring for the Swifts attracted the attention of Welsh Premier Clubs and in the summer of 1997, I signed for Ebbw Vale and scored two goals on my debut against Aberystwyth Town but I was still often on the bench, so in the end, I decided to move home and play for Milford United in the Welsh League”.

The Robins were managed by Mike Lewis, They had many good players such as Dai Patterson, Darren Shaw, Dean Driscoll and Richard Adams, and Pricey found himself playing on the right or left of midfield, which he didn't mind, because he would still have plenty of opportunities to get forward.

“I scored 33 goals from midfield in two seasons and in my second season we were promoted to Welsh League Division One”.

Back to Pembs

Matthew Price in actionThen it was back to the Welsh Premier League with Haverfordwest County, where he did score some goals as they retained their status in the then-top football in Wales – and on one occasion Pricey bagged seven goals in an 11-0 defeat of Porth Tywyn in a reserve game before a knee injury side-lined him for a season.

Matthew decided to return to Pembrokeshire League with Monkton after his rehab, wondering if he could still score goals in a talented side that included James “Carpet” Archer as captain, along with Dai Patterson, Darren Shaw and Chris Manning.

“I formed a great partnership with Dean Driscoll up front and I scored 49 League and Cup goals that season, including eight hat tricks and we won the Pembrokeshire League 1st Division.”

New footballing career starts as a manager at Emlyn . . .

His footballing career as a manager then started at Newcastle Emlyn in charge of a side that was bottom of the Welsh League Division Three and with the help of some Pembrokeshire players managed to save their status before gaining promotion two seasons later – and in his five-year stint there he was top scorer each campaign, grabbing 124 goals and helping them win Welsh League ‘Team of the Month’ three times.

“I was lucky to recruit Pembrokeshire players of the calibre Peter Blain, Sean Jones, Anthony Roberts, the Gilderdale brothers, Nigel Delaney, Jonathan Clarke, Nico Algieri and Mike Preddy,” he told us.

Matthew Price - Merlins Bridge

. . . And then at other clubs too!

He also had more experience of management when he joined forces with Peter ‘Turkey’ Jones at Merlin’s Bridge. Pricey along with Steve McNabney were banging in the goals and along with the experienced Marcus Taylor and the devoted Nathan, Simon & Peter Thomas, Matthew D’Ivry, Paul Thomas & Chris Ormond, Merlins Bridge won two Pembrokeshire League Division 1 titles in three seasons and he enjoyed his time there, as he has at every club.

Prior to re-joining The Bridge this season, he had two-year spells in management at Narberth, working alongside former Boro teammate Huw Davies, West Dragons and Camrose, where he played for his old pal Jamie Gilderdale and Camrose won their first trophy for 42 years as they lifted the Pembrokeshire League Division 3 title with Simon Gilderdale as captain.

Matthew Price in Hakin Over 40s team

And finally . . .

That brings us nicely up to the present day where as well as playing for Hakin United Veterans, Matthew also plays for Merlins Bridge Seconds in local league football and is still claiming his share of goals, as he has done throughout his long career, whilst also helping out with the coaching alongside Nathan Thomas and Jamie Palmer.

But another coaching role which has given him great pleasure has been his looking after the Pembrokeshire School’s under eights, where his son Cai plays central midfield, as he does with Prendergast Villa and the Swansea City Academy.

Matthew is rightly proud of his family support, where father Stephen has been a lifelong fan and Matthew’s wife Sally understands his love of the game – and he enjoys encouraging her in her running. Sons Dylan (12) and Cai (7) round off his family and so when we asked him about his playing on his answer was immediate.

“I enjoy every minute of it and I still love being involved in such a terrific sporting fraternity so I’ll play as long as my legs last out!”

Matthew Price scores for Hakin Over 40s