PONTYPOOL chief Leighton Jones has confirmed that he and “95 per cent” of his players will be at the club when the 2019-20 Championship season kicks off in September.

Head coach Jones and the Pooler squad convened for one last time this term on Tuesday night, reviewing the campaign and assessing any injuries.

The players and management team will then go their separate ways before joining up again later this summer to start preparations for the new season.

And when they do return for training, the vast majority of the squad that won a third successive Championship title earlier this month are going to be present.

Speaking after Pooler’s heart-breaking play-off defeat to Llanelli last Friday – victory would have seen them promoted to the Principality Premiership – Jones allayed any fears of a mass exodus.

While there will be a couple of departures, Jones and the Pontypool hierarchy have their sights set on bringing in a few new faces to freshen things up.

“A couple of boys have been spoken to by other clubs, but I would say 95 per cent are staying,” he said after his side’s 27-16 loss at Aberavon’s Talbot Athletic Ground.

“We’ve also got a couple of targets we’re going to try and bring in and build from there. I’ve signed for another couple of years and me, Ben (Jeffreys) and Peter (Jeffreys) have spoken and we’re here next season – we’re here to do a job.

“I’m passionate about the club and live in the town, so the disappointment and letting the town and supporters down is a bitter pill to swallow.

“The focus next season will be on winning the league but obviously getting better than what we’ve been this year.”

He added: “We’ll be in Tuesday for a little debrief of the season and to assess injuries, if there’s any need for consultants to look at the boys.

“We’ll sign off for a couple of weeks and then come back raring to go.”

Pooler have an incredible Championship record of 65 wins in 66 matches spanning their three title-winning campaigns.

But with Cross Keys, Bedwas, Bargoed and Neath coming down from the Premiership, Pontypool’s bid for a fourth league triumph on the spin is going to be far from straightforward.

Jones said: “The Gwent derbies are the ones I’m looking forward to next season. We’ve only had Newbridge this season.

“The people in the town love a Gwent derby, as the other teams in Gwent do, so we can look forward to Keys and Bedwas and get a bit of blood going through the veins again.”

However, Pooler fare following the disappointment of missing out on a return to the top tier after seven seasons away, Jones knows his team will continue to have the backing of a passionate set of fans.

“They’ve been fantastic,” said Jones of the club’s supporters. “Everyone is really appreciated here, and we are together as one, it’s not just a squad of players and management.

“We are one, we’re together, and the town is behind us.”

Jones says Pooler have been told there won’t be an end-of-season promotion play-off for the champions of the Championship to face in 12 months’ time.