Pontypridd hooker Kristian Dacey has won the Principality Premiership player of the month award for February.
The player, who is on the bench for the Blues against Munster this evening, only switched from No 8 a year ago and hasn’t looked back since. He has scored six tries in all competitions this season, helping Pontypridd to their current position as Principality Premiership table toppers, SWALEC Cup quarter-finalists and British and Irish Cup semi-finalists.
“This season’s been good”, said Dacey. “I had two or three games for Ponty at hooker at the end of last season, then trained with the Blues all summer, and have even had a few appearances for them this season”. The Merthyr product, whose Pontypridd side faces his original club in the SWALEC Cup quarter-final tomorrow (Saturday), added: “As a former back row player, hopefully I bring some of those skills to the front row”, said the 21 year old.
As far as Pontypridd’s recent run of form is concerned, Dacey is understandably thrilled the club is flying high. “It’s been good to be involved with Ponty this season. The fact that we are doing so well on three fronts is great for the club and the surrounding area. Everything we’ve done has been of a high standard this year – we had a great pre-season, we had a plan for how we wanted to go about achieving our aims this season and we have stuck to that plan. It meant some of the boys who have day jobs putting in extra work in the gym and the staff have had a big part to play in keeping everyone fresh with team selection but it means we still have a chance to win three competitions which is fantastic.”
As for Saturday’s big Cup clash, Dacey has split loyalties: “I came right through the ranks at Merthyr, doing the treble with the Youth team then playing a season of senior rugby before joining Ponty four years ago. However, Ponty is my team now so I guess I’ll be rooting for them on Saturday, I won’t be playing as I’m on the bench for the Blues but I’ll certainly be there. It’s a great draw for both sides and I know Merthyr are expecting a big crowd.”
Pontypridd head coach Dale McIntosh, who influenced Kristian into changing position, is full of praise for the player. “Kristian is a powerful and explosive hooker. The Blues were on the search for a big abrasive hooker last season to go with their present hookers known for their dynamism and he has worked incredibly hard in this transition with the Blues and Pontypridd bearing the fruits. He has an unbelievable skill set shown recently on both occasions against Neath as well as a great work ethic and support game. He can certainly go on and be a big part of the Blues set-up.”
Kristian Dacey Factfile:
Born: 25.07.89, Merthyr Tydfil
Education: Bishop Hedley School, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot College
Occupation: Sports Management Degree Student, Swansea Met University
Most admired rugby player: Richie McCaw
Most admired sportsperson: Muhammad Ali