Share this article

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn
Craig StiensFORMER Neath striker Craig Stiens and his fellow Martyrs are back at their Penydarren Park home and already fired up for their next Toolstation Western League challenge.
Stiens was Merthyr Town’s 23-goal top scorer as they swept to the Division One title – and now the striker wants more success at Premier level.
"That was one of the most enjoyable seasons I’ve had,” said Stiens, who scored 14 goals from 25 (+6) during his one and only season in the Welsh Premier with the Eagles.
"Nobody wants to leave Merthyr Town. We’ve won this title together and we’ll stick together in the Premier Division.
"One or two new players might be needed in the Premier and we’ll be going for it again next season.
"We are back home at Penydarren Park and that gives everybody a lift looking forward.
"We are all grateful to Taffs Well for loaning us their ground and won’t forget that, but it’s time to go home.”
Merthyr completed their season with a 12-match unbeaten run - 11 wins and a draw - to finish 14 points clear of runners-up Oldland Abbotonians.
Former Wales Under-19 international Stiens said: "I scored 23 goals and would have liked a few more, but personally I have loved the whole season."
Swansea-born Stiens, 26, first signed for Merthyr in 2004, making the move from Leeds United to South Wales.
He had one season with Neath, but returned to the Martyrs and has fired 106 goals for the club during 277 appearances in total.
Merthyr Town are on the rise again after being relegated three levels at the end of the season before last and manager Garry Shephard is determined they will keep climbing.
Shephard and his Martyrs have faced new opposition from the other side of the Severn Bridge this season – and a whole new challenge awaits them in 2011-12.
Among the teams they will face are Ilfracombe Town, Bishop Sutton, Dawlish Town, Wells City, Barnstaple Town, Corsham Town, Street, Sherborne Town and Brislington.
"We have already signed 90 per cent of the squad for next season," admitted Shephard.
"There are a few more loose ends to tie up with one or two, but everybody wants to stay here. Our aim next season is to win a title again.
"Everybody here wants back-to-back promotions.
"It’s going to be a lot tougher, but we have a quality team capable of taking us up again."
[South Wales Echo]
Photo: Stiens celebrates a two-goal lead for Neath at Rhyl [Mike Greenslade/www.mikezite.co.uk].
{sidebar id=1 align=left}