11:33am Thursday 24th April 2014
By Fraser Watson
HAKIN manager Gary Dawes said his side are targeting an unbeaten league season after retaining the division one title with a 6-1 win over Goodwick United last night.
The Vikings have won 20 and drawn four of their 24 league games so far, with tough trips against Narberth and Tenby to come.
But Dawes, who is now able to celebrate his eleventh title win as a Hakin player or manager, insists his side will not be easing up: “We spoke before the game last night about targeting three wins from our last three games.
“We may be champions but now we have a new target and we will remain focused until the season is over.”
Despite having a point deducted earlier in the season by the West Wales Football Association, the Vikings have wrapped up the title in comfortable fashion, and Dawes praised his side’s attitude in the latter stages of the campaign.
“I’m over the moon that we are champions again but there have been a lot of games when we haven’t played well – especially at home.
“But credit to the players, they have really turned things around since we were knocked out of the West Wales Cup. Attitudes have changed for the better during the last couple of months.
“We’ve had to deal with bad injuries to the likes of Justin Harding and Andrew Kingston, while Adam Davies has barely been available because of work. But others have come in and done well and it has been a real team effort.”
He added the Vikings experience of the title run in has again proved imperative: “We have a good mixture of youth and experience, and we never seem to panic when it comes to the league.
“The older players automatically expect us to challenge for the title now, that has become the minimum requirement, and I think that mentality rubs off on the youngsters.”
The Vikings go to Narberth this Saturday, but it is their final clash of the season, away at Tenby on May 6th, which Dawes says will now take on extra significance.
The side’s first meeting was a 1-1 draw back in August, before the Seasiders knocked the Vikings out of the Senior Cup with a 2-0 win in December.
“They had the better of us in both those games,” admitted Dawes.
“So it’s important that we go there and perform. It’s a good way to finish as I can’t remember a time when the season has ended with the league champions playing the Senior Cup winners."
And Dawes said he fully expects Tenby to be a major threat to the Vikings crown next season: “I don’t think there is any doubt about that.
“They are a good side and the signing of Jack Christopher will strengthen them further. Ask anybody in the county and they will say Tenby will be right up there.”
Hakin now have a record 14 Pembrokeshire Division One titles to their name.
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