PONTBLYDDYN’S hopes of unleashing their new overseas star on the North Wales League are up in smoke.
Aussie Angus Reckord was in line to make his debut for the Alder Meadow outfit in this Saturday’s big Premier Division opener at home to neighbours Connah’s Quay.
But the 18-year-old’s arrival in Flintshire has been delayed after he became the victim of the travel chaos caused by the drift of volcanic ash from Iceland.
All-rounder Reckord, who has played grade cricket Down Under, is now hoping to catch a flight at the earliest possible opportunity after European airspace began to reopen.
Pontblyddyn secretary Karen Moss said: “Angus was told the next flight available would be May 5 but he’s talking to his travel agent and we’re hoping to get him here by next week.
“He’s only a young lad and is really excited about coming over and start playing for the club.”
While the after-effects of the volcanic eruption in southern Iceland may have cost new Pont captain Glenn Chambers the services of Reckord for the Quay clash, it has allowed him to keep hold of Richie Dorman.
The talented footballer – younger brother of Wales and St Mirren ace Andy – was due to fly out to America, but he will now be available for selection.
Chambers has taken over the skipper’s armband from Julian Morris, who along with last season’s professional Charles Fernando, has left the Pont.
Their departures have been eased by the return of Tony Manoj and the arrival of Alistair Roberts from Northop Hall, but Chambers still believes it will be a challenge to repeat the third-placed finishes his side has achieved in the last two years.
“We’ve lost some players and brought some in so it’s going to take a little time to adjust,” said big-scoring batsman Chambers, who has captained Pont in the past.
“I always set personal targets but it would be safe to say we’re hoping for a top-half finish. We’ll get to the halfway stage and then see where we’re at.”
Connah’s Quay’s Sean Steynberg-Wright is setting his sights high for his team.
The South African led the Central Park boys into the top flight four years ago and, having been reappointed as captain following the departure of compatriot Martin Burger to Northop Hall, he is hoping to break into the top three.
“We’ve got a strong side so that’s our aim,” said Steynberg-Wright, who has recruited fellow South African Dave Fox.
“To do that we’re going to have to improve our consistency. We’ve done really well since being promoted to the Premier Division, but if we want to get into the top three we will have to improve in certain areas.”