PONTYPOOL chief executive Ben Jeffreys has hailed the leadership of head coach Leighton Jones after the club enjoyed a stunning season.

Pooler romped to the WRU National Championship with a record of 21 victories from 22 games and stunned Principality Premiership sides Llanelli and Cardiff on their own turf in the WRU National Cup before losing in the quarter-finals at Cross Keys.

All this came after the club had to pick themselves up from the anguish at missing out on the top flight in 2016, a disappointment that was exacerbated by the failure meaning the earliest they can now win promotion to the ring-fenced Premiership is 2020.

Nonetheless, Pooler have accepted the enforced period of rebuilding with Jeffries pin-pointing the importance of former hooker Jones since the agony of last season.

"Every coach, player and volunteer huddled together as one and declared that this would not be the end of Pontypool RFC," he wrote in a letter to supporters.

"Every one individual declared their intention to remain committed to the club to finish what we all set out to achieve – whether that took one season, two seasons or three seasons.

"Everything that has since been achieved over the past 12 months all stemmed from that amazing demonstration of honesty, unity and commitment.

"However, it isn't just what has happened on the field that has inspired the rugby community of Torfaen. It's what is happening off it too.

"For the first time since we embarked on this journey nearly five years ago, Pontypool RFC has a true leader.

"The club has someone who demands, but exudes honesty and commitment in equal measure. The club finally has a figurehead who not only wants to win rugby matches, but wants to build lasting relationships with the wider community in the process.

"That man is our head coach, Leighton Jones.

"Under his stewardship, Pontypool RFC has developed a clear plan on how it will continue to develop and improve on the field, whilst also enhancing relationships with our neighbouring clubs to develop a true rugby community once again.

"We are already seeing evidence that relationships with local clubs are being enhanced. Clubs like Pontypool United and Talywain are beginning to re-engage with Pontypool and vice-versa for the first time in years."

Jeffreys hailed the efforts of coaches, backroom staff and players and also lauded the continuing support of their band of volunteers.

And the chief executive has pledged that he and his father Peter, owner and chairman of the club, will keep pushing Pooler forward.

"This season will be remembered as one of the most successful periods in Pontypool RFC's storied history, but we do not intend to rest on our laurels," said Jeffreys. "We are driven to continue this upward trajectory for many seasons to come."