Stephens predicts big crowd for Druids clash
Llanfair begin the JD Welsh Cup a week early as they host Premier League side Cefn Druids as they look to further themselves in the cup, manager Rhys Stephens speaks before the cup clash.
Llanfair in their history have never reached this stage of the Cup in its long history so its a proud moment for Llanfair.
It’s the first time the club has ever reached this stage so we’re obviously delighted to be here. We will rightly be the underdogs but if we perform we are in with a fighter’s chance.
Victories over Mid Wales sides Llanidloes and Corwen have seen Llanfair reach this stage of the competition and Stephens has praised his side for seeing off potential upsets.
“The Llanidloes and Corwen games were pleasing in the fact that we battled well and made sure we weren’t on the wrong end of an upset winning 2-0 and 1-0 respectively. The Flint game away in the second round was bonkers. We were lucky to only be 3-0 down at half time and in the end we could have won by more than the 4-3 it ended.”
Llanfair have been performing below expectations in the league this season whilst their performance in the cup has been impressive.
“The Cymru Alliance is a very unforgiving league. For clubs like ourselves, no matter who we are playing, we have to be good to get anything. We are definitely a better side than last season and hopefully a bit more consistency in the second half of the season will see us fine.”
The Druids will have to play on grass, which they haven’t been used to since their Huws Gray Alliance days as most recently they’ve been playing on 3G at The Rock.
“The pitch will not be the usual surface Druids are used to playing on this season and it did cut up against Flint on Saturday. Saying that I think good players can adapt quickly and Huw came here last season in the league so it won’t be a surprise factor. Hopefully we can have a good vocal support from the locals which will be a big help.”
Stephens stresses the importance of keeping to the normal game plan and keeping his players disciplined in this cup tie.
“Very important. The better sides punish you when make mistakes or get dragged out of position so it is something that will be emphasised before the game.”
Llanfair and the Druids will be playing a week before everyone else due to the involvement of three Druids players in a Futsal tournament for Wales but Stephens is unhinged by playing the fixture a week earlier.
“To be honest it doesn’t make any difference to us. It has to be played at some stage so it won’t be an excuse if we lose that the game was a week early for us. A plus is neutrals who would want to go and watch Guilsfield v Cardiff Met on the 28th can watch our game as well and with no Welsh Prem games it might even mean a bigger crowd than the 28th.”