CHAIRMAN Lee Robson insists title-chasing Monmouth Town can reach the Holy Grail of Welsh football – but it won’t be next season, writes Ian Morgan.
The Kingfishers are third in their maiden campaign in the top flight of the MacWhirter League with 11 matches remaining.
Robson says Gwent is “crying out” for a team in the Welsh Premier League.
But Monmouth cannot reach the next level – even if they clinch the title.
“We need to have floodlights and 500 seats to be able to play in the Welsh Premier but that’s not possible where we are based,” conceded Robson.
“We are ambitious and our long-term aim is to get a ground of our own.”
Town share the county council-owned Monmouth Sports Ground with the rugby, cricket, bowls and tennis clubs.
“It would be great for a Gwent team to get into the Welsh Premier League,” said Robson.
“The nearest team is Port Talbot. Gwent is crying out for a team to be in the Welsh Premier and that’s got to be our aim.
"We could consider a ground-share option but we want to play in Monmouth.”
Monmouth’s Division One title hopes suffered a setback with a shock 4-3 defeat at Goytre United on Wednesday night.
Despite Nick Harrhy’s brace and a strike from Rob Laurie, Town were outgunned by a spirited Goytre as Monmouth slipped to only their second league loss since September.
Town travel to title rivals Cambrian & Clydach tomorrow and then host second-bottom Tata Steel on Monday (kick-off 2.30pm).
“I didn’t think we would challenge this season but I thought we would more than hold our own and, on our day, surprise a few,” admitted Robson.
“(Welsh Cup finalists) Barry Town are just 90 minutes from an Europa League spot and we have beaten them this season.”
He added: “We can’t get promoted this season but we are still going to have a real go at winning the title.”
Robson hailed the influence of 10-goal Nick Harrhy and top-scorer Dan MacDonald, who has bagged 16 league goals this term. He also praised defensive linchpins Jacob Guy and Ben Evans.
“We are not playing amazingly well but we are more robust than we used to be,” said Robson.
“We have added some steel to our flair. MacDonald is still a terrific player but the main difference this season has been Guy and Evans in the centre of our defence.”