Caerau Ely don’t need to bounce back immediately says Sampson

(Image: Will Cheshire)

Caerau Ely manager Craig Sampson says stabilisation of the club is the task he has been set at the Cardiff West club.

The Young Guns were relegated last season, having not obtained the Tier Two licence, as well as finishing second from bottom.

Caerau Ely won the Division One title back in 2014/2015, but after a number of key player departures and the exit of manager Nana Baah, the club has had to regroup.

But despite being relegated, Craig Sampson says there is no pressure on the club to bounce back from relegation and go for promotion.

Sampson said: “The priority at the start of the season was to stabilise the club.

“If you look at the history of relegated clubs from WLD1 in the last ten years over 50% of clubs have slipped further down the leagues, out of the Welsh League itself or have folded.

“In the summer we created a strategy for the club and we are in the early stages of implementing that.

“There is no expectation on an immediate return to Division One

“It was more focused on getting the facilities, pitch, junior setup & creating a first-team squad of young local players who represent the values of the club.”

(Image: Will Cheshire)

Despite there is no emphasis on achieving promotion at the first time of asking, Caerau Ely welcome early season high flyers Croesyceiliog.

Croesyceiliog were a mid-table side last year, but have transformed to become an early season favourite for promotion.

The Gwent club are yet to lose a game this season, but travel to Cwrt-yr-Ala Road, where Caerau Ely have yet to taste defeat this season.

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“We certainly have looked to establish Cwrt Yr  Ala as a fortress. We know our home form is critical for us. We feel very comfortable in our home environment and believe that brings out the best in us.

“We are preparing for a massive test on Saturday, Croesy are flying high at the top of the league at the moment on merit.

“We watched them play earlier this season & we’re aware of the strengths they possess.

“I’m sure they will be full of confidence and determined to try and maintain their unbeaten run.

“It’s a test we are looking forward too and one we will need to be fully prepared for tactically, physically and mentally to achieve a positive result.”

It was a youthful side last season, as Caerau Ely were relegated, but players like Huw Corne, Jerome Maynard and Rameer Outlaw, who are considered the ‘Grandads’ of the group, have helped support the younger players this season.

“The team does have a youthful look to it with the majority of the lads coming through our youth setup in recent years, added the Caerau Ely boss.

It’s really rewarding to see the young lads adapting to the league.”

On Saturday, Croesyceiliog come as the third top goal scorers in the league, with Zac Osborne currently leading the way as the Division top goal scorer.

But Caerau Ely will be filled with confidence. They’re able to boost the joint best defensive record, alongside Aberbargoed Buds.

“We work very hard on our defensive duties and our current defensive record is one we are proud off and are keen to preserve that.

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Croesy will bring plenty of fire power on Saturday including the league’s top goal scorer in Zac Osbourne. It will be a good test for us and we know we will have to be at our best to limited the threats.”

Caerau Ely host Croesyceiliog at Cwrt-yr-Ala Road, with a scheduled 14:00 kick-off.

(Featured Image: Will Cheshire)

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