One of the joys, of watching Welsh League or WPL football, is of course that you can actively get involved, and take satisfaction from helping the club you love. There can be a no finer example of that than Corey Glover, from supporting Port Talbot Town FC, and then progressing to become involved in many roles at the club. We take time to catch up with Corey to find out more.
Y DDRAIG– What were your early memories of watching football and getting involved at Port Talbot Town?
COREY- My first ever game I watched in the area of Port Talbot, was Port Talbot Town v Swansea City back in 2007 in the FAW Premier Cup quarter-finals. Some of my school mates were going down to watch, so they asked me and I went down. I think reflecting back the attraction was more to watch Swansea City due to the players they had at that time. I didn’t really follow or know the local football within the area at the time because I lived the other end of the Sandfields estate and was quite young. It was only when I moved from one end of the Sandfields estate to the other and was literally only 200 metres from the Port Talbot ground that I started to take an interest and watching more games at Port Talbot. The atmosphere from behind the goals created by the port Talbot supporters that day was amazing, part of me changed and I wanted to be part of it.
“The away games with Port Talbot Town were the best memories I will have in football especially in Finland when they played in Europe that was a fantastic experience and one which I didn’t think I would be part of when I first witnessed that game against Swansea City”
Y DDRAIG- There must have been some great stories from back in the day. Any that you can recall, and would like to share with the readers?
COREY – One of the best memories, and probably the funniest happened when I went away to Airbus UK Broughton and the likes of Cortez Belle had just signed for the club. We also had a new club captain Paul Cochlin, all the supporters were at the front of the bus with the chairman and management team. We picked up the Cardiff based players in Brecon, and when driving to North Wales went via the Brecon Beacons. The bus was swerving left and right and I was suffering from travel sickness. I was in a right state, and sadly never made it to the toilet, being sick all over the bus instead.
It was horrendous, I was like a ghost and shaking, out of all the people on the bus including supporters, players, and the chairman, it was Mark Jones that stood up and grabbed me and took me outside. He proceeded to open the boot and asked me to take my top and shorts off, and he goes into his bag and gets his Port Talbot polo top and his training shorts. I changed on the side of the road, and in fairness, he looked after me while the chairman at the time cleaned the bus.
We stopped off en route in Rhayader for breakfast and Jonah then turned to me and says “Corey go in the bathroom clean yourself up and come back to me when your done” I then went about washing myself and went back to Jonah and the players. By this time they were all upstairs with the supporters and the chairman downstairs. Jonah then said “Lads Corey come on the bus looking like Harry Potter, and he’s come off the bus looking like Paul Scholes” Jonah was fantastic to every single supporter when he was at Port Talbot Town and it goes to show his character as an individual. When things like that happen to supporters, and he voluntary gets up and makes sure your okay and lends you his gear it speaks volumes.
COREY– From that point, things for myself then started to progress from being a supporter to becoming a junior coach at under 10 and 11 levels. Coaching was always something that I had wanted to do since around the age of 13, and something that I wanted to carry on within the future. Whilst at Port Talbot, I then progressed to being involved in the academy. This was a great coaching opportunity, and I would like to thank Mark Pike for the fantastic opportunity that helped me to progress and learn a lot from.
While doing coaching at junior and academy level, and in conjunction, watching home and away games with the first team in the WPL a new door was opened. This saw myself working for the football club in a community project with Lee John. Lee was also the NPTC first team manager and asked me while in college to be the kit man and player liaison officer with him at the Llandarcy campus. This then led me to do the role at the football club. I loved every minute of working with Port Talbot and community sports project, this involved going into local schools, and coaching and helping the club grow and promoting it around the town. I believe that Port Talbot is a community-based town and that it is very important to go and support your local club whoever that may be.
Y DDRAIG – From Blue to a Red, how did the move to Port Talbot Town rivals Afan Lido come around?
COREY – The transition from Port Talbot, to Afan Lido at the time wasn’t as bad as I had initially feared. It really was was a great opportunity, helping Afan Lido with their junior teams. I learnt a lot from some fantastic people, such as Wayne Davies (who was the manager of Port Talbot Town when they beat Swansea City in my first ever game) Leigh De Vult, Liam McCreesh and actually seeing things from the inside at Lido compared to an outsider looking in, was a real experience, and a learning curve for myself.
However, the transition regarding Afan Lido supporters was the most difficult compared to Port Talbot Town because they still see you as a Blue. It took some time but thankfully everyone adjusted. Andrew Mumford the manager, was another great experience for me as he was the player who scored that winning goal for Port Talbot back in 2007 against Swansea City and also he offered me a full-time job with his workplace Apollo Teaching Agency. I can’t thank him enough for that, they also offered trips to Germany within the club as they have a twin club in Hausen in Germany. The club is also part of the boys’ clubs of Wales, and being a helper with the set up there was a learning curve for myself, but seeing the hard work that gets put in, and then seeing them earn their boys clubs caps and experiences was superb.
Y DDRAIG – I understand you have taken some time out of the game recently. How are things shaping up now? and are you looking to get back involved in the game?
COREY – Yes that’s right, I have currently been out of the game for six months. In fairness, it was one that I needed to make for personal reasons. I felt I was doing too much at the risk that I was making a few mistakes which you can dwell on sometimes and I needed time out to reflect on.
I am at the time now where I want to be back involved with a club, and hope to get the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and progress as a person going forward, work hard and hopefully prove some people wrong. I would love to be back involved in coaching and would look to do things a lot differently, whilst improving my current coaching skills. I am still only 23 and have a lot to offer should the opportunity arise.
We would like to thank Corey for taking the time to talk to Y-Ddraig. If you would like to contact Corey to discuss any potential roles he could assist with at your club why not contact him on twitter @CoreyGlover20
Article: Andrew Evans @therovingsheep
Images: All copyrights Corey Glover.