The Athletic was founded on D-Day during World War 2 back in 1944 and takes pride in its community links to the Town and neighbouring villages. I spoke with fixture secretary Nigel Herbert about the club and Ken Owens.
Under 7s all the way up to under 16s and then youth team too. At the moment the junior section is quite good and it is all down to the volunteers who give up their time to help out, without them then none of it would happen.
It is massive to see a player like Ken Owens as a great supporter and ambassador for the club. He’s often here watching the firsts or the seconds when time allows him, he mixes with everyone in the club, everyone knows him and always great to see him and Ryan Elias. Ken is one who has come right through the system and it is highly important for younger players to see its attainable and achievable. Players like Rhodri King in the under 18s set up too, it just shows that it is possible and not just an improbable dream.
Ken Owens definitely stood out at a young age. He played alongside Rhys Priestland who came to us about under 12s. They both played together and had that attitude that you have to have, work hard outside training and they are always the ones who make the top level. From an early age you could see that Ken was a good player, you never know how good because you don’t know what is going on outside of your own bubble but could tell he was a quality player. He was always a big boy, not massive but had a massive heart, always physical and good getting around the pitch. The basics were good, ball carrying, good hands, good all-round handling and running skills. I’m hoping he gives us a season before he retires, I think he will to be honest with you.
Obviously a part of his development is the voluntary people who taught him skills until he was 18 and these coaches deserve a lot of credit for the input that they made into his career. These players career don’t start when they join the Scarlets, there is a lot of work put in before then and from the family too.