A FORMER professional footballer has been speaking on his role at Prestatyn Town in recent weeks.

The Journal spoke with Tony Grant, who is a close friend of Seasiders’ chairman Jamie Welsh, about his involvement at the JD Cymru North champions in an advisory capacity since the change in ownership from Neal Colakoglu earlier this year.

Grant will shortly be joining Robbie Fowler in India as part of the Liverpool legend’s coaching staff at East Bengal, is still planning to give Welsh any advice he needs when required on how to take the club forward in a positive manner.

He said: “I’ve known Jamie for a long time and it a heart-warming story about why he wanted to get involved at Prestatyn. He used to come down to the area from Liverpool on holiday and his granddad took him to the games, so he felt a connection to the club and wanted to do his part.

“He wants to help it survive so he got in touch with me to try and help. It seemed there was a story to every stone that got turned at the place and I am surprised at all the negativity Jamie has received since taking over, to be honest.

“We wanted to look at the bigger picture at the club, put a plan in place that would enable the young coaches to grow. But the situation with the pandemic obviously hasn’t helped with this.

“I’ve met some fantastic volunteers who bleed Prestatyn Town and give up their time to help, which Jamie is going to need.”

Grant was also highly critical of the lack of support clubs are receiving from the Football Association of Wales during this time of crisis, labelling their handling of the current Covid-19 situation as “diabolical”.

The ex-midfielder made 322 professional appearances, including 94 for the Toffees and 141 for Burnley.

“The FAW isn’t doing enough to help these clubs. They are forgetting that clubs are part of the community and Prestatyn are playing in the second division, which is diabolical,” he added.

“The community of Prestatyn needs this club. We tried to get a whole club plan in place – not a first-team plan or an academy plan – but throughout the club. I’ve been around the game at a high level and have full respect for anyone giving up their time, especially those who were coaching youngsters without getting paid.

“That is something we wanted to address. But are they playing the top academies? Are they watching other academies sessions to progress their own coaching?

“There comes a time when doing the same thing just isn’t going to work if you want to take things forward.”