Gap Connah’s Quay are under no illusions as to the task facing them at ‘Welsh Premier League outfit in waiting’ Cardiff Met University in the Welsh Cup quarter-finals tomorrow.
Christian Edwards’ side sit top of the Welsh League Division One table, leading Barry Town United by three points, but that is only part of the story.
Nomads assistant Jay Catton was in attendance last Saturday as the university outfit secured a hard fought 2-1 home success over fellow title challengers Taffs Well.
And Catton was impressed by what he saw, explaining: “The model they have there is fantastic.
“It is a university team and all the players have been, or are currently, at studying at the university so that means they have a mix of youth and experience in their side.
“What they also have is an unbelievable togetherness and pride in playing for the team, which showed on Saturday as they came from a goal down to win 2-1 with a late goal.
“Looking around at the set-up they play on 3G, they have around eight coaches and are basically a full time outfit.
“They play on a Wednesday and are in the next day for analysis.
“They are on target to be in the Welsh Premier League next season and it is easy to see why.
“They would be a great addition to the Welsh Premier League.”
Asked who are the favourites to reach the semi-finals of the competition, Catton said: “That’s a good question”, before continuing: “We know they are a strong unit and we have to be 100 per cent on our game.
“We are under no illusions as to how tough the game will be, they will have plenty of footage on us and they are also on television for the first time so they will want to impress.
“It will be very tough, but it will be a very good game in the quarter-finals of the Welsh Cup.”
Nomads boss Andy Morrison, who has been briefed on Catton’s findings, knows what reaching the last four would mean to the club.
Morrison reached the semi-finals in 2012 alongside Andy Preece at Airbus, who were thumped 4-1 by Huw Griffiths’ Cymru Alliance Cefn Druids.
On a potential semi-final spot, Morrison declared: “It would be fantastic. But it would only be good if you didn’t get TNS. Everybody wants to stay away from them.”
Turning to the task in hand, the former Airbus assistant added: “It is going to be what I call ‘proper football’ and then you are looking for Robbie Parry, Nathan Woolfe and Sean Miller to show a bit of magic and creativity within the structure of your team, which is organised, disciplined and very hard to break down.”
He continued: “Cardiff Met are going to be very difficult. We have clips of them and we know we are in for a tough game.
“We’ve got a monkey off our back because we hadn’t won on 3G for two years before we overcame Airbus.
“No-one will enjoy playing against us at the moment.”