Dale Ford with Dean Roberts, customer adviser at the Llanelli branch of the Principality Building Society.
Llanelli full back and wing Dale Ford has won the Principality Premiership Player of the Month award for January.
Eighteen-year-old Ford has turned heads this season with nine tries in all competitions, including six in the last four games, and thirteen points with the boot.
Principality Premiership head coaches, WRU and Regional academy staff, and selected journalists select the winner who receives £100 from the Principality Building Society, title sponsors of the competition.
He said, "We have started to pull things together as a team at Llanelli. Where we were losing games by a few points before Christmas, we have recently been winning them by the same short margin and that has given me confidence to go out and express myself a bit more. We've been able to get the ball into the right areas of the park and luckily for me, I've been getting on the end of some tries.
"My aim now is to keep playing well. I'm involved in the wider Wales Under 20 squad and I'd love to try my luck at that level, and obviously long-term, the objective is to play regional rugby. I trained and played for the Scarlets in pre-season and it was great to train and rub shoulders with the senior players, I learned so much just from being around them."
Llanelli Head of Rugby Anthony Buchanan said, "Dale is a talented young player who has come through our academy system and taken to senior rugby extremely well. Dale fully deserves this award and I have no doubt his talent will take him onto bigger things and more honours of this kind.
"This season has been a challenging one for Llanelli RFC but we will keep accepting those challenges, and hopefully continue to improve as the season goes on. Dale has been a huge contributor in our improved fifth position in the league."
Lucy Richards at Principality's Llanelli branch welcomed the opportunity to present Dale with his award and commented: "We are delighted that this month's award has gone to a talented local player and it was a pleasure to meet Dale in the branch and give him his award. Competition in the Principality Premiership gets harder every year. We wish the team every success as the season progresses."
Ford started his junior rugby at Trimsaran RFC and moved onto Burry Port where he played youth rugby. He has been at the Scarlets academy for two seasons and is currently studying sport and exercise at Coleg Sir Gar.
Dale Ford factfile: DoB: 16.12.91, Swansea Club: Llanelli / Scarlets academy Position: Full back / wing Nickname: Snail Player most admired: Regan King Biggest impact on career - my father Paul and Rob Appleyard, Scarlets academy skills coach Career outside rugby: Coleg Sir Gar student Other sports: Squash, snooker
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