“OUR community is the biggest hope we have,” says the new CEO of Prestatyn Town Football Club, Mark Jones.

The JD Cymru North league club has faced some challenging times over the past few months following spats of arson in April and theft in February, but October marks a new dawn as the now Mr Jones, from Prestatyn, calls on the community to help revive the club to its former glory days.

Father-of-three Mark, maintenance manager at Lyons Robin Hood, told the existing club board that he “can’t do it by himself” and that a “huge community effort” is in order for the club to reach its goals over the next two seasons.

“My main hope for the club is to bring back that community aspect. It’s a place that used to be loved and it’s unfortunate that myself, like many others, have witnessed its slow decline over the past few years," he said.

“It's the lack of ownership and managerial standard that's let the club down. This isn't down to any individual or group - it's simply one of those things that happens in today's society.

“It’s now my goal, alongside supporting members and the committee which we’re in the process of re-electing, to get Prestatyn FC back to what it was. It would be beneficial to not only the youngsters, seniors and families who have been supporting the club for years, but also for the community too.”

Among Mr Jones's ideas include hosting women's matches and making the clubhouse "the place to go in Prestatyn on a Saturday night" with aesthetic renovations, Wi-Fi and a new heating system, some of which are due to start in the coming weeks.

"We want to rebuild it not just as a football club but as a social venue that people that want to be a part of," he said. "It would be great to be able to welcome tourists, families, and other guests - not just football fans - to the clubhouse and bar. It's been left too long in the shadows, and it just needs some fresh thinking.”

Mark and the committee are also keen to see numbers flocking through the gates of their home games very soon, and are hoping that items such as hot drinks, food, and merchandise will draw in crowds.

He added: “People are wondering how we’re going to do this. And the answer is simple: through local support. We want to get the people back through the gate and we can't do it by ourselves. This is going to be a huge community effort and were calling on anyone for help – that’s whether you want to come down and support us on match days, or if you’re wanting to do a bit more and become a steward.

“It's not about the money, it's about the sense of pride and most importantly doing something for the youth of today.”

The club are instilling their hopes of revival in Prestatyn FC’s Youth Academy, which has been ran by Ryan Turner, also of Prestatyn, for the past few years. Ryan said: “This is an incredible venture for local youngsters, where they can gain confidence, learn some new skills, get more educated about the game and fitness, and be part of a wonderful team.

“We offer a safe environment with qualified coaches, first aid, safeguarding, and all we want is to give the kids the opportunity to go develop and enjoy the game of football.”

Ryan added that now more than ever, the club is “all about equality, diversity, and moving forward” which is why they will not only be introducing a ladies’ team to the town of Prestatyn but will also be teaching youngsters crucial aspects of modern-day society such as anti-doping, anti-racism, and anti-bullying.

Ryan said: “Our dream and vision is to bring more female players on board into all age groups (8 -16-year-olds.) That's what we need. The foundations are there, so is the history, and now with the right people, it could be something amazing.”

Sades Jones, Covid-19 officer for Prestatyn FC, has been supporting the club for many years, said she is now assured that “the right people are in charge who have the club’s best interests at heart.

She said: “I feel previously that there have been too many chiefs and not enough Indians, as the saying goes. It’s had its testing times but I, as well as others (day crew and volunteers) have just got on with it.

“It’s our end goal as a club to become self-sustainable again and make our mark back in the Premier League.”