How Cardiff Met can rid themselves of nearly men label men with Nathaniel MG Cup win
They’ve been nearly men before, but this weekend, Cardiff Met have a great chance to finally record a top flight accolade when they take on Welsh Football League Division One side Cambrian & Clydach.
Since their promotion to the JD Welsh Premier League in 2016, the university side has impressed with their slick passing play and fittingly studious approach to each game under manager Dr Christian Edwards.
And this strategy has paid dividends, with the club securing top six football and Europa League play off finals consecutively, winning admiration from a large number of the league’s other managers.
But despite this success, they have fallen short at the final hurdles, losing their play off finals to Bangor City in 2017 and Cefn Druids last season.
They also endured disappointment in the 2017/18 Nathaniel MG Cup final, losing to TNS, with an indifferent current season placing them in the bottom six for the first time.
But the Nathaniel MG Cup presents Christian Edwards and his students with the chance to cement their status as a successful side, going into the final as the favourites against lower league opposition.
The ramifications of winning the cup go beyond the just rewards of silverware. Met will know that if they are crowned champions, they must use it as a springboard to go on a strong phase two campaign to finish seventh.
If they achieve this, they will enter the play offs and be looking to make it third time lucky in the final to qualify for the Europa League and earn circa 200,000 euros.
Firstly, they will have to overcome a Cambrian & Clydach side who have pulled off some of the biggest upsets in recent Welsh football history in this competition already, beating Newtown in the quarter finals and reigning champions TNS in the semis.
Many a young squad would jump to conclusions facing a lower-league side in a final, but Cardiff Met’s line up of academics rarely show any signs of recklessness, and will be expecting a tough game against Dane Williams’ side.
Whatever happens on Saturday evening, it will go a long way in determining their season as a success and failure.
But with a committed group of fans and officials, tenacious players, and a highly knowledgeable manager, now might be right for Cardiff Met to hit the big time with a trophy win.
The match kicks off at Jenner Park for a 7:30pm kick off and will be broadcast live on S4C’s Sgorio.
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