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Thursday, 26 October 2017 08:41

Football v Brian

SATURDAY 21st OCTOBER. Cyncoed Campus - stormy
CARDIFF MET 2 NEWTOWN 0 (JD Welsh Premier League)
Sometimes the weather forecast can't be ignored. The dire warnings of "Storm Brian" arriving hot on the heels of his evil sister Ophelia have already put me off a lengthy trip to north Wales for FAW Trophy action. Then the heavy rain scuppers Plan B as well (Trophy action nearer home) and with games on grass being called off throughout Saturday morning, Plan C has to be 'head for 3G'.

Fortunately there's Welsh Premier action at Cardiff Met, just a 15 minute bus ride away. The bad news is that it's ALWAYS windy at Cyncoed, so what's it going to be like as the worst of Brian's gales start to batter Cardiff? Walking up from the bus, it's quiet on the streets (aside from the howling wind, that is). Roath Park, usually full of walkers, joggers and families, is deserted. Cyncoed campus however, is busier with students involved in various sports.

Inevitably, the weather has an effect on the attendance. A few may have come here because other games were off, but many (even those living on campus) won't have fancied getting a soaking in gale-force winds. Fair-weather fans. Or possibly the sensible ones, I ponder, as I take up position at the back of the stand: hopes of sheltering from the rain are quickly dashed, it's simply blowing in.

Published in Football
Thursday, 16 March 2017 21:45

Yin and Yang in the WPL

SATURDAY 4th MARCH: Cyncoed Campus. Cold.
CARDIFF MET 2 CARMARTHEN TOWN 2 (Dafabet Welsh Premier League)
After watching so many Met home games in 2016, the gap of a couple of months since my last visit somehow feels longer. On that occasion Carmarthen Town won, at the end of phase 1 - and whereas the Old Gold have made a good start in phase 2, Met haven't won in two months. So an away win seems more likely than it did back at New Year.

With the rather disappointing return to Saturday afternoons, ditching the very successful Sunday experiment, there's a noticeably quieter pre-match atmosphere in the stadium, and fewer familiar neutral faces. A chance then, to read the programme: whilst the university club's issues aren't going to win any awards, there's always interest in Professor Robyn Jones's programme notes. Today, his column includes phrases like "binary, two-dimensional analysis", name-checks the ancient Chinese concepts of yin and yang, and references the structuration theory of sociologist Anthony Giddens. Anywhere else, you'd assume they'd all been included to win a bet.

Published in Football
Monday, 02 January 2017 09:47

Out with the Old....

SATURDAY 31st DECEMBER. Cyncoed Campus, overcast.
CARDIFF MET 1 CARMARTHEN TOWN 3 (Dafabet Welsh Premier League)
It's somehow fitting that the year should end with a game at Cyncoed - the ground most visited on my travels in 2016. It's a significant game too, as the first phase of the Welsh Premier season nears its climax, with both teams in contention for a top six place. Cardiff Met need just a point to guarantee that, and withj a long unbeaten run at home, that should be within their grasp. Carmarthen need to win today and probably in their final game too.

With a remarkable dearth of football in south Wales over the whole festive period, the Mets' crowd is boosted by plenty of fans of other local clubs - and even by some Cardiff City supporters, attracted by the university's reduced admission for anyone who travelled in vain to the Bluebirds' postponed game at Brighton. So, even without the normal quota of students, the official attendance reached 324.

Published in Football
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 09:01

It's Been 11 Years

TUESDAY 20th SEPTEMBER: Cyncoed Campus, a fine evening.
CARDIFF MET 2 NEWTOWN 1 (Dafabet Welsh Premier League)

I've been up to Cyncoed more times in the past month than the whole of last season. Such has been the lure of Welsh Premier football in Cardiff, plus a couple of UEFA games. But I haven't yet seen Cardiff Met win a Welsh Premier match - in fact no Cardiff team has won a national league fixture in the capital since October 2005 (that was the ill-fated Grange Quins).

But there is hope: Cardiff Met actually won away on Saturday (at Llandudno) and clearly have a chance tonight against visitors Newtown. The university, with its students now back on campus, has promoted this game and is hoping for a big attendance. Half an hour before kick off, it seems they are going to be rewarded - a fair turnout of regulars, neutrals, officials plus some students, and the latter group start to arrive in bigger numbers as 7.45 approaches. At one point a queue is even spotted [the attendance is later confirmed as a ground record, 428].

Published in Football
Monday, 22 August 2016 07:53

Tough Lessons for the Students

SUNDAY 21st AUGUST - Cyncoed Campus Stadium, rain.
CARDIFF MET UNIVERSITY 0 BALA TOWN 1 (Dafabet Welsh Premier League)
After a ten-year absence, Welsh Premier football returns to the Welsh capital. A decade has passed since Cardiff Grange Quins' brief and disastrous cameo in the national league, several years more since the more successful era of Inter Cardiff. The latter, in fact, had a Cardiff Met connection in their final year at top level, merging with the college (then UWIC) to avoid folding. Technically, Cardiff Met are the direct successors of that merger, though they really reverted to being just a university club when the top flight place was lost in 2001.

Cardiff Met today are a far more professional outfit than that which was relegated in 2001, on and off the pitch. While Christian Edwards has built a team capable of competing at this level, their new stadium at Cyncoed is at the heart of the university campus and the football side now receives far more active support from the authorities, and they have been promoting this opening fixture heavily to the people of Cardiff.

Given all the publicity and attempts to interest Cardiff City fans, it's a shame that only 221 are here - though this may be deemed a good crowd in the neglected Welsh Premier. It's surely not the lowest Cyncoed will see this season, as it has been swelled by a fair number of groundhoppers from England and quite a few from visitors Bala Town. On the other hand, the weather - persistent rain - might have deterred a few casual 'fair-weather' spectators.

Published in Football
Sunday, 27 March 2016 20:16

Honours Even

SATURDAY 26th MARCH: Jenner Park, wet & windy
BARRY TOWN UNITED 2 CARDIFF MET UNIVERSITY 2 (Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Div 1)
For a capital city, with a decent transport infrastructure, Cardiff is often a hard place to travel through on a Saturday: after weeks of disruption because of Six Nations rugby, our city is rugby-free at last. But it has managed to find an even more disruptive event to blight another Saturday - a "world" half-marathon that involves closing many city streets, disrupting public transport and predicted to bring gridlock.

It's tempting once again to avoid the centre of town, but Jenner Park is clearly the place to be this week, with a top of the table Welsh League fixture, so the cross-city journey must be made. I forsake the buses and travel by train leaving hours to get to Barry in time for kick off, but it's almost impossible to board my local train service - just room to squeeze onto the two carriages already crammed with a mixture of runners and spectators. It gets worse as we progress to Cardiff, particularly when a number of family groups decide to launch themselves and their buggies into the few inches of space at each door. The match had better be worth it after this.   (article continues - click on 'Read More')

Published in Football
Thursday, 10 March 2016 16:15

Wales Under 19s Complete 3-day Double

THURSDAY 10th MARCH - Cyncoed Campus, sunny.
WALES UNDER 19 1 CZECH REPUBLIC UNDER 19 0 (Friendly international)
After only five days, I'm back at Cyncoed. This week the university are hosting two friendly fixtures at under 19 level between Wales and the Czech Republic, the first having been on Tuesday afternoon. I had thought of seeing that one, and when Wales won 3-2 I sort of wished I had. But the weather had been dreadful, and Saturday's uncomfortable two hours up here in the bitter wind was still too vivid in the memory. But this Thursday morning is a different proposition: dry, sunny, slightly less cold and with a lighter wind. The 11.00 kick off lends an unusual air to the game, but the crowd is exactly what you get at these midweek representative games: mostly officials, parents and scouts, with a few curious others.

Published in Football

SATURDAY 9th JANUARY: Cyncoed Campus, heavy rain.
CARDIFF MET UNI. 1 PONTYPRIDD TOWN 2 (Nathaniel Cars League Cup Round 3)
The weather dominates the week again: a brief respite from the rain gets me hopefully planning trips west or north this Saturday. Then things take a turn for the worse again, options start to narrow once again. By Friday I'm back to playing safe again - stay local, see what's left on in the morning - and by mid-morning almost everything on grass has been called off. 3G options remain, and Cardiff Met v Pontypridd looks the most interesting.

At 12.15 I set off to walk across north Cardiff to the campus, with just a spot of rain here and there; within fifteen minutes steady rain has set in again and the walk turns out to be wetter than expected. At least the Mets' ground isn't short on shelter.

Today's league cup tie is a meeting of two in-form sides, and although two divisions separate them, I'm not at all convinced that Ponty come here as outsiders, as their recent Division 3 form is very strong (particularly a midweek win over Abergavenny). On copying down the line-ups, this feeling is increased, since the University teamsheet contains ten names not even listed in the 22-strong first team squad in the programme! At first sight, that seems to be a difference between the sides - Ponty's starting line-up is made up entirely of players listed in the programme - but it turns out the they are changed too, after the exertions of their midweek league win, with a different back four and midfield, and a teenage debutant.

Published in Football
Sunday, 01 February 2015 11:41

Issue 179 - Feb/March 2015

WF 179

Published 30th January 2015. Contents include:

Spotlight on MACHYNLLETH FC

Features include:

A look at the teams topping the Welsh League's First & Second Divisions:

CARDIFF MET UNIVERSITY and BARRY TOWN UNITED

Looking back 100 years - the events of late 1914 as football tried to carry on in wartime

Looking back 25 years: Welsh Cup matches from 1989-90, including Barry Town, Merthyr Tydfil, Colwyn Bay and Caersws. Plus Newport AFC's title challenge in the Hellenic League. 

Jeff Jones visits Llanwern. 

Mike Jones reflects on Ebbw Vale in the 1960s.

The mystery posed by an old team photo from 1910-11.

Programme Reviews - Welsh League issues featured this month.

Welsh Premier, Welsh League, Huws Gray Alliance and Regions round-ups

AVAILABLE FROM ALL USUAL OUTLETS or by post from us (£3.55 inc. postage)

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for payment or subscription offer details

Published in Publication Dates
Monday, 19 January 2015 19:50

HARD LESSON FOR STUDENTS

SATURDAY 17th JANUARY: Cyncoed Campus, cold, wintry showers.
CARDIFF MET UNIVERSITY 0 CAERAU (ELY) 2 (Welsh League Division 1)
The weather wreaks havoc on the football programme again, with practically all the grass-pitch fixtures in south Wales lost to waterlogging, snow or ice. But in truth, this simplifies things today - I had other options in mind, and having watched the Mets twice recently, I was minded to go slightly further afield, but this top of the table game was always the stand-out fixture today. I am not at all sorry to have it emerge as the only sensible choice today.

Published in Football
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