Shaw excited ahead of Welsh Cup challenge as Llandudno visit Old Road

Briton Ferry Llansawel manager Carl Shaw is looking forward to his side’s JD Welsh Cup test against Llandudno this weekend to measure where his side are in relation to the Welsh Premier League.

Ferry host Llandudno on Saturday in Round Three of the JD Welsh Cup at the Old Road, and Carl Shaw is looking forward to seeing how side fare against top flight opposition.

Llandudno have struggled to begin the season and find themselves rooted to the bottom of the division with just two wins in their 16 league fixtures, however Shaw has insisted that the challenge will be difficult for his side, who have never beaten a top flight side since Llansawel merged with Briton Ferry Athletic in 2009. 

“They have had a difficult start to the season, but they are a Welsh Premiership side, they will be looking at this game as the one to kick start their season, It’s not going to be a easy game for either side but we will try to stay to put them under pressure from the start and see how it goes.

“It will be a good test for us and see where we are in regards to the Welsh Premier league, It’s the first time since the merger that a Welsh Premier League side will come to the Old Road, so it’s an exciting time and hopefully with a bit of luck we can progress to the next round and test ourselves again. We have never beaten a team from the Welsh Premier, so it’s a big challenge but one we will be ready for.”

Shaw’s charges have begun the season in steady form and have consolidated their position in the middle of Welsh League Divison One.

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His side have won four of their nine games in the division, and this summer was one of progress in the transfer market for the Port Talbot based outfit. They added three of Llanelli’s promotion winning side, and Shaw acknowledges the impact they have had on the squad.

But, he knows even with their experience and home advantage, they are prepared for a tough challenge against Iwan Williams’ Llandudno.

“Playing at home is always an advantage, we know the pitch, hopefully we will have a good vocal crowd and the boys will respond to that. It is a long journey down for them, but they are used to that they travel down four times in the regular season to play games and a lot of their players have been playing in the Premiership for a long time, so I think they will be used to the travelling.

The manager added, “I have been watching all their highlights on Sgorio to try to find out information about them , and I don’t know Iwan personally but he did a great job at Caernarfon before going to Llandudno and I think he’s done a good job there so far, I know they will be organised and done their homework on us as well, so hopefully it will be a good game on Saturday.

“We signed three from Llanelli, in Lee Beven, Luke Jones and recently Rob Thomas, all three have done well since joining us, unfortunately Luke got injured a month ago and not played since and Rob got sent off in the last round win and will serve his final game ban on Saturday. But we have a good big squad where others have come in and taken their opportunity well, so yes, I think we can give them a game on Saturday.”

However, the magic of the cup has already seen a number of upsets so far this season. Ynysyddu Welfare are the lowest ranked side left in the competition, as the tier five side face off against Cefn Druids this weekend, whilst Cwmbran Town defeated Division One outfit Afan Lido in the last round.

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Shaw is full of belief ahead of the tie, and after his own exploits as a player, when he reached the quarter finals in 1996/97. However, he is determined to ensure his players go further than he ever did. 

“I have been involved in the Welsh cup now for the past 23 years or so, and I have had some fantastic games along the way, but my best run and most enjoyable run came in 1996/97 season when I went to the Quarter finals with BP Llandarcy when we were a division 2 side eventually losing to Conwy United from the League of Wales 2-0 at Llandarcy, Ironically in the fourth round we beat Briton Ferry Athletic who were a League of Wales side at the time at the Old Road, and if I remember right I’m sure I scored that day!

I love the Welsh Cup and would love to the boys to get further than I did as a player, it’s a great competition with a fantastic history, so hopefully we can create our own little bit of history on Saturday!”

(Featured Image: Briton Ferry Llansawel FC)

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