TOWN chairman Andy Pilley conducted an on-field presentation to mark Nathan Pond’s 300th game for the club – but another milestone is uppermost in the mind of Town’s longest-serving player.
The 27-year-old is targeting a fifth promotion with Town, and one which would mean a club still in the North West Counties League when he made his debut in 2003 had risen to the ranks of the Football League.
Pond said: “My memories of that first game are very vague, though I think we won 4-0, but I’ve got many great memories and hopefully there are many more to come. “A fifth promotion would be magnificent and the most important for the club.”
Most of those 300 games have been in midfield but Pond has established himself as captain Steve McNulty’s central defensive partner this season.
He added: “I’d rather be on the right side of defence to the left, but as long as I’m on the field I don’t mind where I play.”
He is anxious to avoid a repeat of last season, when an ankle injury prevented him playing in the play-offs, but he added: “I had to stay mentally strong to get over that, but I battled my way back and I think I’ve played well this season to hold a place down.”
And if that dream fifth promotion is achieved, Pond has no doubt about his ability to step up yet another level.
“I can play League football. Each time we go up I’m asked that question but playing against better opponents brings more out of me.”