Chad Bond in action on Saturday (Gareth Elms)
Chad Bond made a welcome return to the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League after having left for fresh pastures in America, but during his twelve month absence he’s been sidelined for a considerable period of time, having played for a season in the USL Professional Division, on the west coast with Los Angeles Blues, (writes Robert Clement).
Despite having been out of action following a non playing foot injury, he was a major feature with Port Talbot Town gaining three vitally important points from Saturday’s match at the GenQuip Stadium in the 2-1 win against Bala Town, to guarantee top six, second phase football when the league splits in two later this month.
His first major contribution almost brought about the breakthrough ten minutes prior to the interval, only for his well timed angle shot to rebound off the base of the upright. In the second half however, he was more fortunate when he intelligently applied a neat piece of footwork to make the scoresheet, applying a deft touch to a left sided cross supplied by nineteen year old Jake Parry.
Bond later spoke with Robert Clement, about his return to Welsh football and also his experience in the USA.
“It was a tough game against Bala and they were never going to let us win easy, with them causing a bit of a problem for us late on, but overall we deserved the three points and it was nice to get a goal on my comeback”.
“I’m a little rusty, I haven’t played for five months after being out with an injury to my left foot, it’s my first ninety minutes and it’s nice to get a goal especially when we’ve won”.
He then commented on the comparison of the two styles for football in America and Wales.
I left Llanelli twelve months ago to sign up with the Los Angeles Blues at their 10,000 seat multi purpose Fullerton Titan stadium, which is on the campus of California State University
“I left Llanelli twelve months ago to sign up with the Los Angeles Blues at their 10,000 seat multi purpose Fullerton Titan stadium, which is on the campus of California State University, and played a season, which is not as long over there, but it’s a lot more intense, because we were the only west coast team and all our opponents were on the east coast”.
“With all our away games involving five hour flights, we wouldn’t fly there and straight back; the system was to fly and play a game on a Friday, and again on a Sunday and then return home, so you have two games in three day’s, which is a lot different to the structure here. There’s a lot more emphasis on work in between and player recovery, but there’s also the involvement of cost, along with flying time so you do what is needed”.
“It’s different there, because the game is similar to basketball and baseball which is all franchise, so there’s no promotion or relegation, which is a shame really because in a league that’s what you play for; over here it’s about the top six and getting into Europe or in the bottom section to stay in the league and avoid relegation”.
“Even though they have play-offs in the States, if you win the regular season you still have to go into the play-offs, so it’s different, but it was a good experience and it’s always nice to live in a warm climate”.
The twenty five year old Neath born striker, who’s also played in Sweden and Spain, then remarked about coming up against a number of people with a Welsh connection, in the rapidly improving stateside football system.
Bond then provided additional detail concerning his lengthy injury. “After arriving home from America I started training and during the first session I turned and I felt my foot snap; that evening I went to hospital and the x-ray showed that I’d snapped a metatarsal in my left foot. I’ve been unable to walk for four months and since then I’ve had limited training, but it was really rewarding to finally come back and score an important goal”.