The Dutch giants of Ajax and Dafabet Welsh Premier club The New Saints aren’t two teams that many fans across the footballing globe would associate in the same pedigree – but they now have a world record in common.
The New Saints’ 4-0 victory over Cefn Druids on Boxing Day saw them equal Ajax’s world record of 26 consecutive games won, but with another game against Druids on Friday, they could soon eclipse the 44 year old record.
TNS are dominating the Welsh Premier League, and under the leadership of manager Craig Harrison they haven’t lost a game since their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Cyprus’ Apoel Nicosia in the UEFA Champions League second round qualifiers.
The Dutch giants have held the record since the 1971/72 season, in which a side including the late Johan Cruyff won 26 consecutive matches in all competitions.
East Kilbride, Hereford and Hungarian side Ujpest have all gone on longer winning runs – but due to their low levels, these are controversially not recognised as official world records.
TNS will hold the official record if they overcome Druids on Friday – but this will also spark arguments amongst football fans with the majority of full-time professionals TNS’ wins coming against part time opposition.
Although the apparent ease in which the Saints have equalled Ajax’s record has attracted criticism, the club will reflect on their achievement as the product of a long term project led by Craig Harrison and visionary chairman Mike Harris.
Recent debate has been fierce regarding the future of the WPL and if it should be extended to 16 teams, but amongst all argument, it is undeniable that on Friday The New Saints could put Welsh football on the map in a way never seen before.