WPL 2017/18 PREVIEW: Cardiff Met FC
THE STUDENTS AIMING TO GO ONE BETTER THIS SEASON!
By far the most surprising team last season, Cardiff Met FC enjoyed their first season in the top flight, finishing in the Top 6 and coming 90 minutes away from qualifying for Europe. However, after a fairytale campaign, this season should give people a chance to see if it was just a one off, or if the Students are capable of consistently challenging for Europe.
In terms of transfer news, the University side have brought in highly rated defensive duo Joel Edwards and Dylan Rees from Hereford United and Aberystwyth Town respectively, with John Littlemore leaving to join Holyhead Hotspur, and both Isaac Philpot and Liam Black also leaving the side. With Cardiff Met being a University team, they are in the unique position of only being able to use players who are undergoing courses at the University, so it’s no real surprise to see the core of last season’s squad remain unchanged.
The management duo of Dr Wayne Allison and Dr Christian Edwards remain, with Christian Edwards being Allison’s assistant and having the role of Director of Football at the club. Dr Wayne Allison was a professional striker, scoring over 150 goals in over 700 professional matches, while Dr Christian Edwards was once a full Wales international. Edwards knows the players inside out, and his and Wayne Allison’s experience of the professional game can prove instrumental for the Students as they aim to be in the Top 6 again this season.
Cardiff Met have had an interesting pre-season, which culminated with a 0-0 draw against fellow Welsh Premier League side Carmarthen Town on Saturday, 5th August. Cardiff have played 6 matches during the break, including the aforementioned Carmarthen match, also taking on Taffs Wells, Cinderford Town, Newport County Youth, Newport City and Merthyr Town, winning 2 matches, whilst remaining unbeaten throughout the pre-season schedule. Their most impressive performance came against the Newport County Youth side, as the Students ran out 8–1 winners in a stunning performance!
This season, the pressure will be on the young Cardiff Met side to once again challenge for Europe, and with the core of last season’s squad remaining, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be around the Play-Offs at the end of the season. The trouble sometimes with young sides like Met, are that they can lack experience, but for what this side lacks in experience, they make up for in enthusiasm, unity and togetherness, and having enjoyed a brilliant first season in the top flight during 2016/17 campaign, they will be looking to become European Qualification contenders once again.
Dylan Rees-Aberystwyth Town
Joel Edwards-Hereford United
John Littlemore-Holyhead Hotspur
Isaac Philpot, Liam Black-Both released
‘Cardiff Met have a strong sense of unity, but how high can they reach this season?’
Photo Credit: Cardiff Met FC
Photo available from: https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/news/Pages/Cardiff-Met-FC-reflect-on-a-phenomenal-season.aspx