This weekend, Welsh Alliance League One side Llangefni Town welcome former JD Welsh Premier League outfit Llanelli Town to Cae Bob Parry in JD Welsh Cup Third Round action, and it is fair to say that Cefni are hugely excited to welcome Andy Hill’s Reds to the Isle of Anglesey.
In the midst of a fantastic season and pushing for promotion to the Huws Gray Alliance once again, Chris Roberts’ Llangefni face off against the Carmarthenshire side on Saturday, with the Sgorio cameras also in attendance, and the manager spoke of how much it means to the club to have this opportunity.
“The JD Welsh Cup means an awful lot to us, especially to be facing a JD Welsh Premier League side at Llangefni – it is fantastic for us to be able to welcome a side of that standard to our ground, and it is exactly why we’re in the competition, for moments and for games like this.
“Everyone at the club is really excited, we’re looking forward to going through the preparations for the game this week and can’t wait to see what the weekend brings.
“A few of the lads will need to sort their haircuts out before the cameras get there, but in all seriousness it is fantastic for the club, and shows how far we’ve come to be able to have a venue that is capable of hosting Sgorio – everyone at the club has worked so hard and they deserve this experience.”
There has been no shortage of cup drama already this season, particularly in the Nathaniel MG Cup, where minnows Cambrian and Clydach have stormed their way to the final, ousting four JDWPL sides on the way – including perennial winners The New Saints.
Cefni boss Roberts was in awe of Cambrian’s success, and hoped his side could use their story as inspiration in the JD Welsh Cup.
“Cambrian and Clydach have done fantastically well to get to the Nathaniel MG Cup Final, they’ve worked so hard to beat the teams they’ve come up against and it is brilliant to see them doing so well.
“We can only take inspiration from what they’ve done, really, and just believe in ourselves, our capabilities and what we can do as a team.
“We’ll play with no fear, we will give it everything we’ve got and we’re no strangers to big ties at home like this as we took Caernarfon Town all the way to penalties a few seasons ago – we know it is doable to get a win, but we have to be at our best.”
A club that has had its fair share of ups and downs in recent years – competing in Wales’ premier division some ten years ago – Cefni are very much on the up now and fighting to get back to the JDWPL, Roberts spoke of the culture of the club in some detail.
“It means everything to be in this position, to think where the club was not so long ago and to see where it is now on and off the pitch, it is fantastic and being a Llangefni lad as well, it really means everything me to see what the club has become.
“The majority of the squad is from Anglesey, they have a real local pride and want to do the best they can. They’re a young, hungry squad too who really want to achieve something and I think that has been one of our most important qualities. We’re ambitious, we want to go places, and we believe we have the team to do it.
“It is great to see the local pride in the club, you see people walking through the town with Llangefni scarves on, to see so many people coming through the gates – our fans are exceptional and they’re so important to us, they get behind the team and give us such a boost.
Llanelli have turned a corner in recent weeks in the JDWPL, winning against Cefn Druids and drawing against Caernarfon in their last two games, and they’re now off the foot of the table after struggling early-on with injuries and suspensions.
Roberts is very wary of the threat the Reds pose, but his side have done their homework and know they’ll have to be at their best to sample victory on Saturday.
“I watch Sgorio every week for the highlights, but ever since the draw was made I’ve paid even more attention to Llanelli than usual and we’ve even sent somebody down to watch them in league action against Cefn Druids, so we know plenty of them really.
“We can’t take anything for granted, I don’t think their league position is representative at all of the talent they have in their ranks because they haven’t been able to put together a full-strength side for most of this season for one reason or another.
“The last two games where they have been able to do that, they’ve beaten Cefn Druids and drawn with Caernarfon, so they’re a top quality team. Andy Hill has them playing some really good football, and we know we need to be at our best to get anything out of the game.”
JD Welsh Cup Round 3 – All kick-offs 2.30pm unless stated
Friday, 7 December 2018
Bangor City v Holyhead Hotspur (7.45pm)
Barry Town United v Penybont (7.45pm)
Prestatyn Town v Caernarfon Town (7.45pm)
Saturday, 8 December 2018
Airbus UK Broughton v Porthmadog
Briton Ferry Llansawel v Llandudno
Cwmamman United v Aberystwyth Town (1.30pm)
Cwmbran Celtic v The New Saints (1.30pm)
Denbigh Town v Cambrian & Clydach Vale BGC
Flint Town United v Bala Town (7.30pm – Live on S4C Sgorio)
Goytre United v Carmarthen Town
Guilsfield v Connah’s Quay Nomads
Haverfordwest County v Pontypridd Town
Llangefni Town v Llanelli Town
Newtown v Rhyl
Ton Pentre v Cardiff Met
Ynysddu Welfare v Cefn Druids
The draw for Round 4 of the JD Welsh Cup will be live on S4C as part of the Heno programme on Monday, 10 December.