UEFA Regions Cup 2019 Intermediate Round: South Wales FA aiming to make history
Stephen Green’s South Wales FA side will travel to Bulgaria this week, aiming to make more history in the UEFA Regions Cup.
The South Wales FA have already made history, by becoming the first Wales select side to reach the intermediate round of the competition.
But now they are presented with the chance of going further in the competition, by reaching the final stages, in next years tournament.
The South Wales FA, who were hosts back in June, finished as the highest-runners up, winning two out of their three games.
The squad is made mostly of players from the South Wales Alliance League, with a number of Welsh Football League players featuring in the squad.
Here’s what you need to know about the UEFA Regions Cup and the South Wales FA’s involvement in it.
Where and when are the games?
Wales travel to the city of Sliven, where they will play at the Hadzhi Dimitar Stadium in all three of their games.
Second tier OFC Sliven 2000 play at the 10,000 seater stadium.
Wales open up the group, by playing Istanbul on Thursday afternoon, with a 13:30 kick off.
They then play hosts, the South-West Region of Bulgaria, three days later, with another 13:30 kick off.
Wales then complete their involvement in the intermediate round, by playing Belarusian side Energetik-BGATU Minsk on Wednesday.
Who are the opponents?
Hosts Bulgaria is represented by the South West Region.
They are experienced in this competition, having played ten games. They reached the final stage, back in 2004/2005.
Their last involvement was when they played in 2011. They drew games against Western Slovakia and Belgrade of Serbia, before beating an Eastern Northern Irish select team.
Turkey are ranked 6th in terms of the UEFA Regions Cup coefficient and have put forward an Istanbul team, to represent them.
The Turkish outfit could be seen as the favourites, for their experience in the competition.
They hosted the 2017 edition of the Regions Cup and finished joint third.
They finished top of their group in the preliminary rounds, winning two of their games and drawing once. In the final stage of the competition, they finished second, to eventual winners Zagreb.
Istanbul beat FC Inhulets of Ukraine, but lost to Zagreb 2-0 and drew with Lisboa of Portugal.
Energetik-BSATU make their Regions Cup debut when they represent Belarus in this group.
A majority of the team play for the Belarusian Second League outfit, called Energetik-BGATU.
They played in the top flight of Belarusian football in 2002 but were relegated in 2005. One of their highest accolades, was reaching the semi final of the Belarusian Cup as a second tier side in 2006.
They’re 12th in a 15 team division, winning five games, drawing four and losing thirteen games.
They were in league action yesterday, losing 3-2 to Molodechno, who moved above them with that victory.
Who’s already qualified for the UEFA Regions Cup, in 2019?
The Czech Republic, France and Slovakia have already booked their place in the finals.
The Hradec Kralove Region of the Czech Republic finished top of their group back in June, he’d of the Gyor-Moson-Sopron County of Hungary, East Sarajevo of Bosnia and a San Marino select team.
Normandie won all three of their games in Group Three, by beating LDZ Cargo, Nevezis and Zagreb.
A West Slovakian select side beat the Buzau County of Romania, an England select squad from North Riding and a Munster/Ulster, select team.
In Group Five, the Serbians have the advantage, as they top the group, consisting of Ironi Tiberias of Israel, Bavaria of Germany and Gozo of Malta. Vojvodina play hosts Bavaria on the 3rd October.
(Featured Image: Will Cheshire)