AMMANFORD will play one of their biggest games on Saturday (Aug 10) as they take on Welsh Premier League side Newtown in the second round of the Nathaniel MG Cup.
Ahead of the game the Herald spoke to Ammanford manager Gruffydd Harrison about their preparations for the new season.
Newtown will likely provide a strong test for Gruffydd’s men but he says they are not just going there to ‘make up the numbers’ adding they will ‘give it their all’.
Ammanford booked their tie with Newtown after beating Ceredigion side Penrhyncoch 2-1 in the first round last weekend (Aug 3) and the manager is happy with what he has seen from his squad so far.
“I’ve seen a hunger from every single player. We have a few new concepts to our play we wanted to implement and so far so good, said Harrison.
“Everyone is motivated and clear on what we want. I’m happy with everyone and their application so far.”
Ammanford will play the 2019/20 season in the newly named JD Cymru South League and Harrison added: “It was important we retained our status in this league last season to ensure our involvement in the rebranding and so far it’s evident the professionalism has raised greatly.
“It’s an exciting time to be involved with any club within this league. Every club has had to sink or swim and that will only raise the standards again.”
The club has had a shorter pre-season than usual with the first two rounds of the league cup being played and Gruff adds that his squad is in ‘good condition’
“We have one slight injury concern but apart from that we are healthy and that is the most important thing for me after preseason”, he added.
Ammanford have boosted their squad with the signings of former Swansea City players Lee Trundle and Andy Robinson who Gruff says have both been great since they joined.
Gruff said: “They obviously will bring great experience and quality, but they understand they are part of Ammanford AFC and that’s the most important aspect of our club.
“They have been great since arriving and will be great assets to go alongside an already outstanding group of players.
“They will also help us within the wider community to establish greater links as we aim to further establish the club within our area.”
Gruff added that the club is not planning on making any more signings before the season starts stating: “I am very happy with the depth within the squad and everyone will play their part this season. We won’t be adding any more before the window closes and I don’t expect anyone to leave.”
Finally the Herald asked about Ammanford’s goals for the new season and Manager Gruff explained: “As they are every season, on the field we want to win every fixture we play in. If we can’t we’ll work out why and try to improve.
“We are working hard to get better and better and that needs to translate into wins and points. How hard we work will collerate with the outcome of football matches were involved in and consequently our league position.
“Off the field I want us to become a community hub and further promote our commitment to the Jac Lewis foundation in relation to mental health awareness.”
Saturday’s game in Newtown will kick off at 2:30pm with the club laying on buses for supporters wishing to attend.
Ammanford’s first game of the new League season takes place a week later (Aug 17) as they travel to Taffs Well.
Their first home game of the season sees them take on Swansea Uni FC on Friday, August 27, kick off at 7:30pm.
Wales v Scotland postponed
WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.
The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.
A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.
“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.
“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.
“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”
Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended
THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.
The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.
The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
Static Bike Challenge
Firefighters from Llandelio Fire Station took part in a 22-hour static bike challenge to raise money for Llandilo Rural Fire Brigade who have been tirelessly battling the devastating bush fires in Australia. LLandilo town in Australia was named after Llandelio in Carmarthenshire and the Fire Stations have maintained their connection over the years.
Seeing the efforts and the devastation of the bush fires in Australia and the work and dedication from the Firefighters to ensure their communities are safe, crews from Llandelio decided to raise funds by undertaking a 22 hour cycle on static bikes to represent the time it takes to fly to Australia.
On the 15th February 2020 at 3pm the challenge started! The firefighters were split into two teams of five, with each team taking it in turn to cycle for 30 minutes each throughout the 22 hours. This ensured that they were continually cycling and whilst still being able to provide operational cover. All this took place during Storm Dennis and during the challenge crews were called out to a total of eight incidents, one of which was a property flooding, during which crews rescued 6 adults and 2 dogs from a potentially critical situation.
Watch Manager, John Herman from Llandeilio Fire Station said:
“This entire experience has brought the two fire stations closer together, and after keeping in contact throughout this last few months, we look forward to continuing that connection for years to come!”
Over the two days, crews welcomed many visitors who came to show their support and donate money to the charity. To date the figure stands at £2,500 which is equivalent to almost $4900 AUD, and this figure is still rising with donations coming in from schools, town councils and public donations! Crews would like to give a special thanks to Llandelio CP School and Ysgol Gynradd Ffaifach who raised collectively over £800 for the challenge.
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