The live Sgorio cameras will head to Ynys Park on Saturday as domestic champions Connah's Quay Nomads take on Trefelin BGC in the 3rd round of the JD Welsh Cup (12.45pm).
Richard Ryan's side are currently ninth in the JD Cymru South in what is their first season in Tier 2, with injuries and suspensions affecting their recent league form. However, the ambitious and progressive club from Port Talbot have enjoyed convincing victories over Fairwater AFC and Briton Ferry Llansawel in the competition this season to set up the formidable challenge of Andy Morrison's Connah's Quay Nomads.
“It's a big occasion for the club,” explained Ryan to FAW.cymru. “Obviously, it's not going to be easy taking on the champions of Wales, but these are the games we want to be playing in and it's something we're really looking forward to. Briton Ferry are a club with big ambitions as well, so to go there and beat them comfortably in the last round was no mean feat. I watched Connah's Quay recently against Barry Town United, they're a very strong team, but we will be at home and that gives us an advantage, and we will need all the advantages we can get against a team like that.”
Trefelin BGC are no strangers to success having progressed through the domestic pyramid over the last few years, and celebrated cup glory in 2018 when they claimed the Welsh League Cup with a shock victory over Llanelli Town. But while the team have strengthened on the field to deliver silverware, their efforts have been more than matched off the field as the club continues to move forward. With a clubhouse extension and a new stand the latest in a long list of recent ground improvements, there is a clear ambition for the club to eventually compete with the elite of the domestic game on a regular basis.
Chairman Steve Green has been the driving force behind the club since it was formed in 1984, and his contribution was recently recognised when the new stand was named in his honour. A popular and respected figure within the local football community, Green will take a moment to reflect on where his club has come from when the live broadcast begins this weekend. “It's unbelievable really to have the live television cameras here,” said Green to FAW.cymru. “It just goes to show how far the club has come from 1984 to where we are today.
“We've progressed through the pyramid system and here we are playing at home against the Welsh champions, and it really doesn't come any bigger than that. It will be a massive day for the club and something that we are all really looking forward to. A good cup run is absolutely massive for the club financially. We've spent a lot of money on the ground to get where we are today, and promotion to the JD Cymru Premier will cost a lot more. But we will keep going, keep plugging away and we will keep improving. One day we might get there.”
Joe Clarke was the hat-trick hero for Trefelin in the 3-0 win over Briton Ferry Llansawel in the last round, and the experienced midfielder has been a regular goalscorer for the club this season. However, the club has a thriving youth system, and 16 year old duo Roan Piper and Harrison Lewis scored a hat-trick and a brace respectively against Fairwater AFC in the previous round. Meanwhile, Connah's Quay Nomads made light work of Rhyl 1879 to progress with a 5-0 victory, but Morrison's side have surprisingly struggled in the defence of their league title recently, losing their last two JD Cymru Premier fixtures.
But while the challenge on the field for Trefelin this weekend is a significant one, the occasion will be a cause of celebration for the tireless band of helpers who play a crucial role in making days like this possible. “We're a club that is run by volunteers off the field and everyone does it for the love of the club,” Green added. “They're absolutely fantastic. They've been a big part of our success over the years, and everything that these people have done for the club is a part of the fantastic journey that we have been on since 1984. I don't know where we would be without them.”
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