CRAIG PAPIRNYK: The Welsh Cup has always been special to me.”
CPD Porthmadog manager Craig Papirnyk takes his side to the capital on Saturday, as he looks to topple Welsh Premier League highflyers Cardiff Metropolitan University.
This will be the first time Met play in the competition this season whereas their opponents Porthmadog have already went through two rounds to get to this stage, with a 4-0 victory over Caersws and a 2-2 with Gresford in which they won 3-1 on penalties.
Craig Papirnyk spoke to us before the game on preparations for the game and how much the Welsh Cup means to him.
You play Cardiff Met, who are flying in the Welsh Premier League, have you paid much attention to what they’ve done this season?
“I certainly have , I am a supporter of the WPL. I enjoy watching Sgorio and following results. It is a league that we, Porthmadog FC would very much like to be back in so as well as being a football fan I also have ambitions to one day manage in the league. This is one of the main reasons why it’s important for me to keep up to date with the league. “
On opponents Cardiff Met
“I think they are well organised, fit and have a real togetherness to fight and work for each other.
I am under no illusions of how difficult of a task this coming weekends game is going to be for us but there is no pressure and we will enjoy the occasion.
We will travel with confidence knowing that on the day we will leave nothing in the changing rooms and see where it takes us.
As it is such a long distance trip, are you looking to stay near Cardiff before the game or will you travel on the day of the game?
We will be travelling down together on Friday evening as soon as the fixture was announced preparations where well underway .
We want to give ourselves the best opportunity possible and by travelling down the evening before the lads will have had a good nights sleep and won’t need to travel far the morning before kick off .
The team will also be staying down on the Saturday evening as part of their Christmas team bonding session , so all in all it’ll be a good weekend down at the capital .
How important is the Welsh Cup to yourself and Porthmadog?
The Welsh cup has always been special to me , as a player you always looked forward to the draw in hope to play a new team and challenge yourself against the unknown ! as a Manager that excitement is still very much there , the players and staff are all passionate about the cup and we are hoping this will give us that little extra that we will need on the day ! The club and it’s fans always look forward to Welsh cup games , the support has been brilliant and there will be close to 100 , perhaps more ! making the long trip down there to support us on the weekend , this will give us a little more on the day also I am sure .
Does anyone miss the game due to injury?
At the moment we only have Ywain Gwynedd missing , he has a hip injury which has been affecting him for some time now , he could be out long term and it’s a real downer as his experience and personality this season has had a positive effect on us, he’s a great lad and it’s a shame he’s missing this game , apart from Yws we travel with a full squad
You went through on penalties last round, would you rather the game be settled in normal time this time rather than the lottery of a penalty shootout?
If I’m honest and we’ve taken Cardiff Met all the way to Penalties and it goes down to a lottery of spot kicks then I would be a very happy manager knowing my side have taken the game all that way , however it’s a painful way to lose after giving so much but as we know it’s also a great way to win a game ! we will see what happens on the day but if we can get the win in normal time or penalties I will be happy !! ha ha
With Met playing on a 3G playing surface, do you think you can adapt to their playing surface? Does it make you change your tactics?
We have a great grass surface at the Traeth and we try to play as much football as possible , 3G surfaces allow you to move the ball well on the flat surface and I think this will benefit our style of play so our tactics won’t be modified to much. We have recently played Bala Town FC on Maes Tegids new 3G surface and also CPD Llanuwchlyn at the same venue , and that was all good preparation for Cardiff Met away on the 3G. We are prepared and know that the game will be a tough one regardless of the surface played on.