The New Saints take on Cardiff Met on Sunday, 10 March (2pm) at Latham Park, Newtown with Swansea City awaiting the winners in the FAW Youth Cup final next month.
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Victories over Bridgend Street, Port Talbot Town and Risca United booked Cardiff Met a place in the quarter-final against Llandudno, but their opponents withdrew from the competition to move the Archers within one match of the final.
“It's great to have had a long run in the cup,” explained joint-manager Liam Black to FAW.cymru. “We know that The New Saints are a very successful club and we understand that to make it to this stage of the competition they must have a lot of talent within their team.”
Alongside Emlyn Lewis, the duo have already enjoyed success as players with the Cardiff Met first team this season, lifting the Nathaniel MG Cup with a 2-0 win over Cambrian & Clydach in January.
“For the younger lads to see success in the 1st team it has made them more determined to achieve a bit of their own,” explained Black. “Emlyn and I both agree that player development is the main priority, but we also believe that if the players are improving on an individual level, it gives us an opportunity to be successful as a team.”
Meanwhile, The New Saints have made it to the last four of the competition with victories over Flint Town United, Newtown and an impressive 5-1 win over Cefn Druids.
“We had a game plan for Druids,” manager Steve Benyon told FAW.cymru. “It was based on the previous game and personnel changes, and the players executed it perfectly even though they had the misfortune of going down to 10 men. I feel we were head and shoulders the better team on the day and recent performances have also been very positive.”
A goal from Oli Cooper proved to be the difference between Swansea City and Cardiff City in the first semi-final that was played on Wednesday evening. The young Swans claimed a 1-0 win over their rivals to keep them on-course for a tenth consecutive FAW Youth Cup success. However, they will not take Cardiff Met or The New Saints for granted.
“We feel we should be competing against the likes of Cardiff and Swansea and it will be great to hopefully reach the final to see how far we've actually come,” Benyon added. “However, we know that reaching the final will be a tough ask against a good Cardiff Met side. We will prepare thoroughly and accurately, and the players mindsets are solely focused on Cardiff Met. We will show them the respect they deserve by preparing right, and we will represent ourselves and the club in the correct manner.”