Idzi reflects on WPL career after making landmark 350th appearance
After making his 350th Welsh Premier League appearance in Carmarthen Town’s 2-1 victory at Llandudno last weekend, goalkeeper Lee Idzi reflects on some fond memories during his time in the league.
The 30-year-old still has his focus firmly set on helping his current team, but after hitting the memorable mark he has taken the time to reflect on where it all began.
From being on the books at Hereford United and playing in the youth teams at Merthyr, Idzi has come a long way since those days.
“When I joined, it was a couple days before the league started,” Idzi began.
“Haverfordwest needed a keeper and I had just signed for my local club Penydarren. I was very young in a very experienced league with lots of ex-professionals playing around me and in other teams.
“It was daunting but playing with these players helped me progress quite quickly.”
The Welsh Premier League has come a long way since Idzi’s first appearance, with a huge improvement in coverage in recent years. The stopper noted the more professional approach being taken to the league.
“It’s certainly become more professional,” he continued.
“The link with Sgorio has certainly benefited the league and coverage they give gives it a professional look.
“The biggest change is probably the introduction of 4G pitches and the change to just 12 teams competing in the league.”
With spells at Bangor, Neath and Haverfordwest all before Carmarthen Town, Idzi has made a wide impact around the league with his performances in-between the sticks.
The stopper has good memories at all of the clubs he has been a part of, but claims one place in particular is where he enjoyed the most and has plenty of people to thank for his opportunities.
“My time at Bangor was the best time. You enjoy football a lot more when your winning majority of your games.” Idzi remarked.
“My best moments would have to be winning the Young Welsh Premier League player award and playing Champions League and Europa League football.
“Derek Brazil gave me the 1st of the 350, and I will always be grateful for that. Neville Powell was a great man-manager, he had a lot of confidence in me which was one of many reasons I loved my time at Bangor.”
With the Wales C game against England C in Salford on the horizon, Idzi is being careful to focus on his form for Carmarthen Town before he considers any possible call-ups to the squad; but claims he would like to be considered if he is on his best form.
“I’ll try to help Carmarthen finish as high as possible in the league first”, he said.
“If I’m on form and playing my best around the time of the selection for the Wales C team, then hopefully I’ll be considered.
“I think you deserve to be picked on form for squads and there are a lot of good keepers in the league now, so whoever’s playing the best at the time should get picked.”
(Featured image: John Smith)