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EXCLUSIVE: “I do not see why we cannot be a Wrexham” – high-flying Portishead Town’s Director of Football James Hughes tips the club for long-term success

High-flying Portishead Town top the league after sensational start to the season with the club’s ambitious hierarchy daring to dream.

“A little bit of relief, but also excitement,” James Hughes declared when queried on his club’s recent fortunes.

Hughes became director of football in the summer after stints as both a player and coach at the club, with colleague Nigel Osmond recently being employed full time as facilities manager of the North Somerset side.

Posset’s latest signing Joe Berry

“It’s very satisfying,” agreed Osmond, “the club is buzzing.”

This isn’t by chance at Bristol Road; it has been five years in the making.

From a self-proclaimed “tinpot” feeling surrounding the club, the lowest attendance in the southwest and players not wanting to be at the club, to a peak crowd of 461 spectators earlier this season with the #PackThePosset campaign and a tight-knit group of players.

There have been positive shifts in all areas at Portishead, with the return of local talent in Ethan Feltham, Mitch Osmond (Nigel’s son) and Callum Eastwood from the likes of Bridgwater United and Clevedon Town in higher leagues, as well as the “genius stroke” of bringing in Kye Mountford as head coach, replacing Eamonn Daly who moves into an assistant coaching role as well as being head of senior football.

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With 560 games in the Southern League and a “great reputation,” Mountford has been the puppet master orchestrating the on-the-field success.

“Mounts is so inspirational… people are buying into it,” Osmond said with excitement.

“I’m not sure anybody could’ve done it bar him.

“He’s got the right players in… the right characters. If anybody comes into that team and is a ‘big-time Charlie’… he will not have them around.”

Player manager Kye Mountford interviewed after victory vs Cheddar

“Toby Lawrence from Slimbridge; he’s on a third of what he was on there, but he’s bought in to what Mounts has said.”

Admittedly, Portishead have received a budget increase with new sponsors, but their budget still is usurped by the majority of the league they compete in.

“We’re at £500 per week, but we’re competing with teams that are on £1700 per week,” announced Hughes.

“That’s unbelievable really.”

Not only are they competing, they’re beating.

Highlights from Portishead Town’s victory of Bradford Town earlier this season (credit: Bradford Town)

Posset are sat comfortably in first in the Toolstation Western League Divison One, five points clear of Radstock Town in second and with a game in hand, and they hold the longest unbeaten run in all non-league with 19 games and counting.

Plans for a new 4G facility are coming together nicely, with sustainability being at the heart of plan, with the club keen to make sure this success isn’t a flash in the pan.

“Sustainability has always been paramount in any of our discussions… it’s about building community,” said Hughes.

“And as I see the collectiveness within the club, I do not see why we cannot be a Wrexham.”

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