Shane Sutton chasing Euro dream

Newtown defender Shane Sutton is relishing the chance at having another push for European football just months after deciding to return to Latham Park.

Shane Sutton
Shane Sutton

Sutton returned to Newtown after three seasons away at AFC Telford United. The defender, who hails from Knighton, had already made himself a club legend before he sought a new challenge in the National League North.

He returned to Mid Wales in January and has helped the Robins club from relegation fodder to European hopefuls.

Ahead of the play off semi-final against Penybont this weekend, Sutton insisted the decision to return has been vindicated and he singled out some key players for praise.

“I’ve absolutely loved it, it has been really amazing,” the defender told the Cymru League website.

“When I did return, people were saying loads had changed at the club and there are new players but really I think a lot of it is still exactly the same, so it has been easy to settle in and I’ve really enjoyed the experience.

“The squad we’ve got at the club is a very good group with strength in depth. With the games coming thick and fast over the last few weeks the manager has had to chop and change, but our levels have never dropped.

“We’ve had a few star performers such as Jordan Evans and Tyrone Ofori who have bagged the goals, but it has been a real squad effort to get to this point and everybody has had their say in getting us where we are.”

The Robins have turned their season around and have gone from a relegation battle to the play-offs in the space of a few months.

Sutton has been in a number of semi-finals with the Robins before, with the highlights being a play-off win in 2015 and then arguably goal of the season in a defeat to Airbus the following year.

He’s hoping his and the experience of other older heads who are still at the club can be beneficial.

He said: “We played Penybont at our place in the first game after the restart and I didn’t know too much about them to be honest, but I’ve been impressed.

“I obviously played against their manager Rhys Griffiths, but I knew little about their side.

“They’ve not lost many games since the restart and it is clear from looking at the form guide that they know how to get results so they’ll be confident, but anything can happen on the day.

“We’ve got a lot of experience, a lot of us have been in these situations before, but they’re fourth for a reason so we know it’ll be a tough challenge against an up and coming side.”

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