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Friday, 27 January 2017 08:29

Issue 195 - Feb./March 2017

WF 195 cover

ISSUE 195 - publication date 27th January 2017

In this issue we have extensive features on three clubs: 

  • CEMAES BAY
  • GOODWICK UNITED
  • YNYSYGERWN

We also examine the vexed question of the best format for the Dafabet Welsh Premier League - Super 12 or Sweet Sixteen?

There is also a look at the planned changes to UEFA competition formats from 2018 and how they may affect Welsh clubs.  

In our popular Looking Back history columns, we revisit news and action from 50 years ago this month (1966-67) and25 years ago this month (1991-92)

Plus all our regular columns on major leagues, regional round-up, programme notes, international scene and other news and views.

Available to order for £3.60 - email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for online options or send cheque to 57 Thornhill Rd CARDIFF CF14 6PE

  

 

Published in Publication Dates
Sunday, 22 January 2017 09:58

Saints Go Marching In (eventually)

SATURDAY 21st JANUARY. Cyncoed Campus, dry but very cold.
BARRY TOWN UNITED 0 THE NEW SAINTS 4 (Nathaniel MG Cup final)
A very cold January day, many local games postponed with pitches frozen, but I'm spared the difficulty of finding a game on - I was never going anywhere today other than the Welsh Premier's Nathaniel MG Cup final.

Although it's my eleventh visit of this season to the Cyncoed Campus ground, the occasion and the size of the crowd should make this a bit special - or at least that is what I've been hoping. There has been plenty of pre-match build up online and in social and local media and what's been encouraging has been the signs that the FAW and the sponsors - Nathaniel Cars - are treating this as a 'big match' with all the trimmings appropriate to a national cup final - tickets on sale, press accreditation, pre-match hospitality etc. And indeed, on arrival at Cyncoed mid-afternoon, the promise is already being fulfilled. A couple of hours before kick off and the Students' Union bar is buzzing with early-arriving fans and VIPs (the college caterers laying on an excellent meal for the latter, whom I am fortunate to have been invited to join).

An hour before kick off, darkness starting to fall and temperature dipping further, but the ground is filling up, with the blue and yellow of Barry not surprisingly outnumbering the green and white of TNS. The choice of Cardiff Met University as the final venue might have been seen by some as controversial, but I think it's inspired: close enough to Barry to double or treble the number who will turn out to support them in their first cup final in a decade - plenty of them clearly not regulars at games. The small ground will give the game an atmosphere that it couldn't have had elsewhere - showpiece finals in big stadia (like recent Welsh Cup finals at Wrexham) may have superior facilities but lack atmosphere for those present and look empty on live TV.

Even so, I hear moans from the 'glass half empty' supporters of both sides about the Campus ground. It's always possible to find fault. But for Barry folk especially, gripes about a neutral venue eleven miles from home that guarantees them the majority of the crowd seem perverse. Would they have preferred the 'easy option' of, say, Newtown or Aberystwyth?

By 5.15, the crowd - officially 1,116 vindicating the FAW's choice - is lining the touchlines, filling the seats. A privileged few can avoid the plummeting temperature and watch from the elevated, indoor balcony, but for me there's nowhere to be but pitch-side. It could get uncomfortably cold, especially if the match is over, as a contest, within half an hour - a possible scenario, if the first goal or two go to the Saints.

Published in Football

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