Pontypool RFC prop, Dan Walker has year of success
11:55am Friday 9th August 2013 in Sport
AS years go, 2013 was a pretty good one for Dan Walker.
The 26-year-old joined the club he supported as a boy, Pontypool RFC, and he and his partner Emma celebrated the birth of their daughter Beau.
The birth was one of the few things that stopped Walker appearing for the first team, when he missed their game at Whitland, as he became part of the much improved front row unit.
Along with his fellow front rowers Sam Cook, Luke Palmer, Ben Parry and Josh Powell the Pooler scrum was transformed after Christmas.
And Walker knows that if Pontypool are to progress as they hope this season, then that platform is going to be key once again.
"That’s where games are won. That’s why Ebbw Vale do so well. They have that platform and play from there.
"Look at the Lions. If you have that solid base everyone else can play," Walker says.
For Walker, it’s those sides with the big powerful scrummages that will be up there challenging for the title again. The likes of Ebbw and Bargoed.
He hopes Pooler can develop towards that and says the addition of ex-skippper and hooker Leighton Jones has brought another new dimension to that area of their game.
"Slug’s hard core isn’t he?" Walker says. "That’s what he’s been brought in for, to bring that aggression."
In preparation for the new season Pooler will play some of the other Pontypool area sides, including Walker’s former club Pontypool United, who he joined from part way through last season.
"It’s going to be a great day for the town," he said of the game.
"They’ve got a fantastic set up up there with some great boys and good coaches.
"I’ve still got a lot of good mates there. There’s going to be a few tough games and I’m looking forward to it."
Having first headed to Pontypool Park with his Grandad as a child, the former Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw pupil is part of the new breed of local guys in the Pooler squad.
And in part that’s what’s helped create the atmosphere Walker’s been so impressed with this pre-season.
It’s a theme many of the players have spoken about this close season but one that continues to ring true.
"When Beau was born the support we had, the messages, flowers things like that from the coaches and boys was unbelievable," Walker said.
"Everyone gets on great and I definitely think that’s going to help us push on this year."
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