LEE BRIDGEMAN: WE’D BE IN THE MIX WITH A NUMBER NINE
Winning any kind of competition, never mind a knockout cup competition is an impressive feat, Taffs Well manager Lee Bridgeman speaks on his sides’ Quarter Final with Bridgend Street.
Taffs Well were victorious in their league fixture last week which will prepare them for this cup tie due to the level of opposition they face.
“It was great to win last week and to win it in the 94th minute is a great way in doing so although I’m not sure Lido would agree with that.
I was proud of the boys as they kept going until the death and I think that over the ninenty minutes, we deserved the three points.”
With most clubs at the midway stage of the season, Bridgeman asses the Well’s performance so far this season.
“I think we’ve done okay this season, although we’ve had a slow start, we are gradually getting better. It’s pleasing to see us giving a chance to our taleted youth players this season. I hope we’re still in the mix come the end of the season.”
Taffs Well currently rank as the second worst attack in the league and the former striker confirmed that there has been interest in bringing strikers in
“It’s a big problem for us, we’ve dominated games possession wise but haven’t been able to score. When we played Haverfordwest, we dominated possession from start to finish but never looked like scoring. With the departures of Jason Bertorelli, Curtis Scotto and Richard French, has left us with no recognised striker.
We have tried our best to bring in a striker, but just haven’t been able to. It’s a shame as we’re a goood side, with a number I have no doubt we’d be in the mix come the end of the season, so any strikers out there, get in touch!”
“I’m extremely proud of how the defence has been playing, a massive reason on why we’ve been so good defensive is the signing of Wyn Walters, he has given the back four a huge amount of confidence which has in turn led to this defensive record. We’re lucky to have players like Aaron Thomas, Ricky Hodge and Nick Jones at the back who are all superb individuals but have really gelled together as a unit.”
Being finalists in the competition for the last five years and only losing in the final the once has shown how Taffs Well views this cup.
“You could say as a club, we have a love affair with this trophy. We’ve been lucky enough to win it 4 times in the last 5 seasons I’ve been here. It would be nice to win it this season as it would be 3 times on the bounce.
Myself, the management team and the players feel no pressure at all at retaining the cup. I think if anything the pressure is on the sides we play against to try and beat us. Whatever happens Saturday, if you told me five years ago that we would play 28 League Cup games and win 27, I would have taken that.”
Bridgeman spoke on how the cup tie will see friendships go up against one another, as well as paying tribute to Street manager Craig Dale.
“There is no doubt that this is going to be a tough game but I would not expect anything different at this stage of the competition. Craig will have the Street right up for this one, I would have preferred it to be be played at home but I’m looking forward to it along with the team as there will be many friends playing against each other.
Craig’s doing a great job there and they’ve got some big players in Paul Fowler and Jeff White, so it’s going to be one hell of a cup tie. It’s also good to those behind the scenes at Bridgend Street to have a huge game like this down the Willows.”
I have got a lot of time for both of these youngsters, it was a shame to see them go but at this stage of their careers they both needed to be playing regularly. Nathan Gulley at 20, already has 2 League Cup winners medals having played a part in two of our last finals. I feel he was particularly unlucky here at Taffs Well, as I believe Aaron Thomas is the best right-back in the league.
We must not forget as well that Mike Murphy, Abdul Moshin and Marcus Jones who on his day is one of the best players in the Welsh League all played for Bridgend Street, so hopefully they come back to haunt them.
Bridgend Street host Taffs Well at an earlier kick off of 13:30 at Willows High School.