Dale McIntosh has paid tribute to the Pontypridd fans who have supported his side this season.
Pontypridd coach Dale McIntosh will approach the New Year with a mix of confidence and realism as he sees his team maintaining pole position in the Principality Premiership going into 2011.
In rugby terms, the 'Chief's' New Year resolution is a simple one - more of the same to come.
"Its been a very successful campaign for us so far," commented McIntosh on the eve of the New Year. "There is a long way to go until any competitions are won or lost in May, but we are on the right track and will seek to maintain our consistency, and maintain our accountability as a collective and as individuals.
"The players have worked their clogs off over the past months, and that work ethic is a major reason why we are currently top of the league. As coaches we have shown faith in the strength of our squad, being willing to rotate selection, giving every player opportunities to contribute.
"We know that there are huge challenges ahead, and the Six Nations campaign will affect our squad with call ups to the Wales Under 20 team and to the Blues region. But we have planned for that scenario and as long as we can keep relatively injury free through February and March, and with players returning from injury, we can sustain our title credentials".
In assessing the season's progress so far, McIntosh also pays tribute to the phenomenal support which follows the team home and away.
"The level of support has again been outstanding, and although success brings its rewards in terms of crowd figures, our fans are with us through thick and thin, week in week out.
"There have been occasions, such as the last game away to Bedwas, when decisions have gone against us and we have had our backs to the wall, digging deep for victory.That's when the support is behind us all the way, and it provides a huge boost to the players' morale."
That support could again prove vital as Pontypridd go into a crunch Premiership tie at home to Aberavon, screened live on S4C on Bank Holiday Monday.
"We need a big atmosphere once more at Sardis Road on Monday," said McIntosh. "Hopefully the crowds will come out in force to celebrate the New Year and to give another display of the Ponty enigma on TV. It will be a tough call against Aberavon, but we will all be up for the occasion, players and supporters alike, in going all out for an important win."
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Ebbw Vale captain Damien Hudd picked up the biggest accolade of the night at the 11th Principality Premiership Awards Evening held at Principality Stadium, after leading his side to the title for the first time.
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