Telegraph Sport's Gordon Thomas speaks to Haverfordwest County chairman David Hughes who gives his views on the difficulties of running a Welsh League Division One club.

Are Haverfordwest County aiming to win the JD Cymru South this season? Is it the ambition of the club to return to the Cymru Premier?

DH: In the close season the ambition of the club was discussed with manager Wayne Jones and it was agreed that, should our club make promotion our main objective for the season, then shrewd dealings involving the recruitment of players was required to support our exciting young players who are naturally lacking in experience.

I believe that in the main we recruited wisely and our performances in the opening games against the likes of Carmarthen Town, Cardiff City Under 23s and Barry Town United was proof that we could challenge for the promotion that everyone involved at the club hopes will happen.

However, we have since run into injury problems to important players and hence there have been a few hiccups in recent weeks. When all players in the squad are fit and available, I believe that we will be difficult to beat and could become strong contenders to achieve that goal.

It’s always difficult getting the right balance for any team aiming for the title, but has manager Wayne Jones purchased the right signings this season?

DH: Wayne worked tirelessly in May and June and he has signed some solid characters from whom the young players can learn their trade. Defenders Sam Rodon, Scott Tancock and Miles John all spent time at professional clubs. Marcus Griffiths is a greatly experienced striker and he has had a great start with us.In time his young co-strikers, Ben Fawcett and Jack Wilson will benefit from Marcus’s experience and I hope that the goals will flow. Kurtis Rees is another exciting recruit and is a hard-working box to box player who at 20 years of age is a real prospect. With the experience of the recent loan signing, Kieran Howard and the ability of Elliot Thomas and Ricky Watts, the midfield should gain the possession and control required to win matches.

This group of players has real quality but there are some very good club’s in the JD Cymru South and they will be fancying their chances of success too. So top honours are going to be hard to achieve but Haverfordwest County will be strong contenders come the end of the season.

Obviously, players are paid at semi-pro level, with attendances low at the Bridge Meadow how does the club afford this commitment?

DH: An attendance of 500 spectators per game would be wonderful and then the finances would be enough to sustain top quality football at the Bridge Meadow. If the likes of Bala and Barry Town can earn money from European qualification, why can’t we? All of this can only be a dream now bearing in mind that attendances are, on average, less than 200 and that makes life extremely difficult from a financial point of view. Local people will be surprised by the standards achieved on the field of play should they pay us a visit and from an initial good experience one would hope that new fans would become regulars. 

We have just lost our main sponsor with Conygar being unable to build on their huge investment in the county. A main club sponsor is being actively sought and, of course, the ground naming rights would be included in that package. There are many local businesses who advertise at the ground and some who are shirt sponsors. Without their support our club could not function. Valero are valued sponsors of our very successful academy. Whereas Premier League clubs get funding from UEFA for their academies, tier 2 clubs such as ours, do not get any central funding. No wonder we are taking promotion back into the JD Premier League seriously!

Quite honestly, without the help of a new major sponsor the future of the club can only be categorised as being uncertain. Hopefully there is a company out there who will have their own commercial ideas of how to successfully secure the future of the club. Again, promotion may well attract investment into the club; there is no doubt that the infrastructure is already in place and with no bank loans to be serviced that should to be a real bonus.

What’s the club’s strategy to try get more fans through the turnstiles?

DH: Winning with locals involved seems a good idea. Playing league games on Friday evenings certainly gives players and supporters of Pembrokeshire League clubs the opportunity of watching semi-professional in their county town and is something that is being tried. But have either of these ideas really made a significant difference? Not yet but we are still hopeful. Schoolchildren under the age of 16 get free passes to games and these youngsters add support to the team and add to our tea bar takings.

But some facts that are beginning to frighten me are as follows: On at least two recent occasions, after the gate receipts were taken less VAT, the match officials had been paid as well as the after-match food for players, the club was left in a break-even situation. Of course, the players’ expenses still had to be found. The day to day general running costs of the club with pitch maintenance too is hard to find however, somehow up to now, we have done so. 

Do you have enough committee members and officers to help with the day to day running of the club?

DH: Definitely not and as the years go by the number decreases as former stalwarts of our club take a back seat. There are no obvious individuals to take over senior roles now and should there be people out there who feel that they could have something to offer, then my fellow directors and I would love to meet them. Most members of the board are of an age that they should be stepping back and allowing a younger generation to take over. Unfortunately, that is also a dream now but perhaps having read this behind the scenes view of the club, some individuals may step forward and take the initiative that some of us did many years ago. 

What does the future hold for Haverfordwest County?

DH: For the moment the club is holding its own but an injection of new blood is seriously required and this is where I think that there is a great business opportunity for a local consortium to come in with its  ideas and take advantage of the decent position that currently exists at the club.

Personally, I will continue to do my best for as long as I can on a daily basis along with a few others but we are genuinely running out of steam and that injection of new blood that I mentioned above needs to take place in the not too distant future.

Surely local people would not like to see the demise of their football club which has been going since 1899. I am not scaremongering, but I am sending out a clear warning of what could happen sooner rather than later thus allowing years of solid work to disappear down the pan.