West End AFC v Swansea University FC preview
Less than a week into the 2018/19 campaign and a little piece of history is set to be made in Wales’ second largest city.
Wednesday evening’s Division Two clash between West End and Swansea University at Pri Deri Park will be the first Swansea-based derby to take place in the national domestic system in 46 years.
The bragging rights in 1972 belonged to Swansea City Reserves who won the relegation battle to send Swansea University down from the Welsh League South Premier Division.
The students are in a far more promising place this time around. Despite being the new boys in Welsh League Division Two, pundits are already tipping them to mount a second consecutive promotion charge.
Following a successful pre-season, which included a tour of America, Swansea University opened their Division Two account in style on Saturday with a 3-1 victory away to AFC Llwydcoed with goals from Nicky Hyden, Adam Orme and Elliott Jones.
Hyden and Orme were vital components of last season’s championship winning squad, and the strike duo will be seeking to continue their flourishing partnership as they attempt to emulate the heroics of 2017/18.
Fortunes have been less favourable to Wednesday night’s hosts, West End. The 2017/18 campaign saw the Townhill-based outfit narrowly avoid relegation to Division Three, eventually finishing eleven points and one place above Dinas Powys.
Saturday’s opening fixture away to STM Sports also heralded an unwanted opening day record as co-managers Rob Shannon and Christopher Butt saw their team concede a double figure tally, losing 12-3 at Llanrumney.
There have been summer signings aplenty at West End with several new faces having joined from the local Swansea leagues, but there has also been Welsh League experience recruited into Pri Deri Park in the form of Jonathan Eames and Ashley Richards.
Despite Saturday’s setback, West End will be keen to kick-start their campaign in earnest.
Kick off at Pri Deri Park will be at 6.30pm on Wednesday evening.