BOTH Damien and Dominic Broad of the ambitious Pontypridd Town management team are looking forward to returning to Cyncoed Campus this evening.
Damien played under Dr Christian Edwards when the former Swansea defender was starting out as a manager, whilst Dominic did four years of study at Cardiff Met, but opted to play his Welsh League football elsewhere.
But this evening, the two will be tasked with the job of causing an upset in the Nathaniel MG Cup as they take their Dragons side to the South Wales capital.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s game, Damien Broad is hoping to do the Rhondda town of Pontypridd proud as they take on the Archers, after being nominated as a wildcard team for a consecutive year.
“Getting a wildcard entry has been a fantastic experience for the club. Considering we have been plying our trade in division 3 and 2 in recent years, I think we’ve done very well coming up against the Welsh Premier League sides.
“It’s great to be back at the university now and seeing all the old faces. It makes me proud to represent the town of Pontypridd and be working with the university who have me so much. I hope we can do them both proud tonight! We’ll be trying our best that’s for sure
Hopefully tonight will be another great occasion for the club and we will do the town proud. You never know with cup competitions, we’d like to think so, but we are under no illusions, we are fully aware of the talent Cardiff Met possess.”
Ahead of the game, Pontypridd have found it hard to choose from a complete squad of players but this evening, Dominic Broad feels he’ll be able to call upon a squad that is capable of testing the Met.
“We haven’t had a game where every player is available yet! Whether it’s through injury, working late or missing training. However, we have a very strong squad and hope the lads togetherness will get us a surprise result against Met.”
In the opposition dug-out tonight will be a former Wales international in Dr Christian Edwards and despite only having a brief period as an Archers player, Damien saw the ambition from the start as the Archers made a remarkable rise through the leagues, going from Division Three to the Welsh Premier League, winning the three Welsh League titles along the way.
I did sign for Swanny in his first season in charge. Pre-season was great, the level of professionalism was there right from the offset, you could see his and the universities intentions. It’s no surprise they are where they are now.
For Damien though, he opted to go to the University of South Wales and the University of West England for his studies as they offered an opportunity more tailored towards what he wanted to pursue but his brother Dominic on the other hand spent a total of four years at the university and has a lot to thank them for.
“Despite signing for a number of Welsh League teams instead of UWIC/Cardiff Met I learnt a lot from my time as a student.
Firstly, Learning from the likes of Ian Mitchell, who now works with The Wales squad really helped. He was a great tactician and spoke frequently about the importance of getting the mentality right. Professionalism and resilience was always a key feature of his talks and that resonates in what we are trying to achieve at Ponty.
Secondly, if it wasn’t for my time in UWIC I would never have worked at Valencia which allowed me to request the game from a friend on their coaching staff back in 2014.”
Pontypridd Town do of course have links to Cardiff Met’s university rivals in the University of South Wales, as they play on the same pitch that the university football side does, sharing the same facilities, as well as having a number of USW students at the club, both as players and as backroom staff.
“The move to USW is the start of a very exciting time for us. Since we took the reigns at Pontypridd Town AFC our goal is provide experiences that draw the best players to the club.”
The facilities are very impressive and allow us to place our players into an environment that breathes professionalism. Literally sharing the ground with Cardiff City U23s and their academy allows us to rub shoulders with some of the best players and coaches in the country.
This can only be a good thing. The added bonus of having analysts, Physio’s and coaches helps, not only helps the first team but the development section; who have a few student coaches helping out.”
With both Pontypridd taking on Cardiff Met tonight and then the University of Wales taking on Met’s university side tomorrow, it makes it all the more exciting in a South Wales’ feast of football.
(Featured Image: Pasti Jones)