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Barry Town United Will Keep the Party Going

Lee Kendall has told his Barry Town United champions to forget about next season for now – and savour the sweet taste of success.

Barry are sipping champagne and going back up to the JD Cymru Premier as champions, their Cymru South title confirmed by a thumping 5-0 triumph at home to Pontardawe Town at the weekend.

At times like this some managers like to talk about the next campaign, but Kendall is clear he is happy for his players to do some serious partying – and with their next game not until April 7, now is as good a time as any.

“We have to live in the moment and everyone should enjoy this period until our next game on Good Friday,” said Kendall.

“The boys have some time off and they are going to go and enjoy themselves. It’s not every day you win a league title.”

Kendall – the one-time goalkeeper for Barry 20 years ago when he loaned out from Cardiff City – took over as manager at Jenner Park last November.

Barry had lost two league matches at that stage of the season, but they have not lost since and Kendall is clear he wants it to stay that way.

“We have stayed unbeaten in the league since I took over, which is something I take pride in and I know the lads do,” he added.

“From my perspective, we want to keep that run going now within the three games we have left in the league.

“There have been games where we could have crumbled, but we’ve come from behind and won. We have also drawn important games away from home.

“The players also deserve so much for the effort they have put in this year. They turn up to training every Tuesday and Thursday and then give their efforts every weekend.

“Like all players do at this level, they work in the daytime and then go and train in the evenings. It’s been a massive effort and I’m delighted for the boys.”

Barry clinched their title by moving a huge 14 points clear of second-placed Briton Ferry Llansawel following their thrashing of Pontardawe.

It was perhaps fitting that striker Kyle McLaggon – a key player for the Linnets this season – should smash home a hat-trick with Josh Bull and Chris Hugh also weighing in with goals.

Quite how they will do next season back in the top tier of Welsh domestic football remains to be seen. But with 22 victories, three draws and just two defeats in 27 league games so far, they have clearly been a cut above the rest in the JD Cymru South.

They have finished with a flourish, too, scoring 11 goals in their last three successive victories and conceding just once.

“I am over the moon and so pleased for the players and for the fans,” added Kendall, who works as head of football at Cardiff and Vale College.

“We saw that they came out to support us, even though it was perhaps late notice to hear that we could potentially win it.

“The staff have also worked tirelessly and I’m also delighted for my family because they give me the green light every week to go to football.”

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