Cardiff Metropolitan University FC
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
|22.04.17 | 5:15pm|
Saturday evening sees The Nomads conclude their Dafabet Welsh Premier League campaign with a trip to Cardiff Met University as they look to secure a place in the Irn Bru Scottish Challenge Cup.
While The Nomads have already secured their highest ever finish in the Welsh top flight, they will be aiming to improve upon it with the potential for a second placed finish. The Nomads currently sit in second place following their all-important victory over Bala Town last weekend. The result saw The Nomads leapfrog the Lakesiders and now leaves them in prime position to seal second place and a place in the Scottish Irn Bru Cup. Entry into the competition was taken up by TNS and Bala Town this season for the first time ever, and the 2017/18 season will also see the top two take their place in the competition. While The New Saints have already got their place secured in the compeitition, the second place is still up for grabs with only goal difference separating The Nomads and Bala.
The two goals last weekend could prove all-important as it helped give The Nomads a four goal gap over Bala, who face TNS in their final game this Saturday. Quite simply, The Nomads need to match Bala's result against TNS to secure their highest ever finish of second place in the league and their place in the Irn Bru Cup.
The last time that The Nomads visited Cyncoed was in early September where goals from Matty Williams and Les Davies saw The Nomads leave 2-1 victors, however the game was an injury-filled on as both Wes Baynes and Ian Kearney picked up injuries, the latter suffering a cruciate knee injury which has since kept him out for the remainder of the season. Cardiff Met will be coming into the game full of confidence having defeated Carmarthen Town 4-0 this past weekend, moving them to within a point of The Old Gold in the league standings, which could prove vital in their final placing for play-off fixtures.
Ahead of the game, Andy Morrison said "Going into the last game of the season, we have secured a European position with our win over Bala last Friday - it's in our hands to finish second a secure a place in next season's Irn Bru Cup. If we can match the result Bala get against TNS, we will finish second.
On Saturday, we play Cardiff Met, who if you remember back to September when we beat them and they were on a 5-6 game losing streak, I said they had a false position and that they had all the qualities needed to go on a run and would not go down - the way they play has developed over the season and now you see a totally different team to that which we played in last years Welsh Cup.
Whether we finish second or third this season, the progress the Club has made over the past 18 months has been quite remarkable. When I arrived in November 2016, the Club were bottom of the league, half of the squad was not fit enough, half of the squad were overweight and there was a discipline problem. Every single player is now in the weight range and body fat percentage expected of a semi-professional footballer - every player has the fitness levels expected and we now have the third best disciplinary record in the league. We will achieve our highest ever Welsh Premier League finish and also our highest ever points tally."
Morrison continued to say; "We are now a recognised force in Welsh Football. With the incredible effort put in by everyone over the last 18 months, we now have the platform to cement our position as a top three club for many years to come. We have to look at what teams like Bala have done and how they have stayed at the top after finishing second in the last two seasons - they have not only kept their squad together, they have added to it - they went and signed Aberystwyth's two best players, the league's top goalscorer and their centre-half. They took two of the best players from Airbus and have added more quality players during the season.
The Welsh Premier League is all about continuity, togetherness and team spirit - that doesn't happen overnight, the successful teams have been built over three, four and five seasons which makes our achievement even more remarkable seeing as we signed 11 players and released nine in the last year."
Morrison concluded; "I would like to finish by saying that none of this would have been achieved in such a short time without the incredible backing of the Club's owner, Gary Dewhurst - he gave me the opportunity to manage the Club and has backed my decisions which have brough us the success we have again achieved this season."
The game, along with all of the other games in the league kick off at 5:15pm on Saturday afternoon.