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.
West Wales Cup first round preview
THIS Saturday the West Wales Cup gets underway once more with teams hopeful of a successful run to the Liberty Stadium for the final.
Merlins Bridge are the holders after they beat Carew in the final earlier this year and both have been given byes into the second round this season.
Last year marked the first time that two Pembrokeshire sides reached the final but will that happen again or will another team look to bring the county’s recent dominance to an end.
Goodwick United, Hakin United, Kidwelly Town and Tumble United are some of the other sides to receive byes to the second round.
Pembrokeshire League Champions Monkton Swifts begin their campaign away to Carmarthenshire Premier Division side Loughor Rovers.
The Swifts have made an unbeaten start to their league campaign while the Rovers have four wins from their opening seven games.
Carmarthenshire Premier League champions Trallwm host Swansea Division 1 side Penclawdd.
Both sides have had mixed starts to their season and will be keen to get their cup run going.
Neath League Division 1 side Cilfrew Rovers are the visitors to Fishguard on Saturday with both sides enjoying a good start to their respective seasons.
Clarbeston Road host Swansea League Division 2 side Cwmfelin Press and Neath Division 1 side Resolven are the visitors to Haverfordwest Cricket Club.
Pembrokeshire Division 2 side Herbrandston host Carmarthenshire Premier side Pengelli United.
Herbie have just one league win to their name so far this season while Pengelli have four wins from their opening seven games.
Swansea Division 1 outfit Morriston Town will visit Division 2 Hundleton in what will be a good test for the Pembrokeshire side.
Neyland host Neath Division 2 side Clydach Sports having sealed their first win of the season last weekend.
In two Pembrokeshire versus Carmarthenshire league ties, Letterston are at home to Evans and Williams while Pennar Robins host Dafen.
Dafen are second in Division 1 while the Robins are without a win so far this season.
Elsewhere, Kilgetty travel to Celtic Neath while Lawrenny travel to Bryn.
Division 2 Carmarthenshire side Abergwili host Division 1 FC Carmarthen while Carmarthen Town United host Wern.
Bancffosfelen were heavily beaten at the weekend and they will look to put that result behind them when they travel to Bonymaen Colts.
Premier Division Burry Port host Swansea League Division 3 side Cwm Albion Colts.
Bwlch have only had one win in the league this season and they host Neath Premier Division side FC Clydach who themselves only have two wins to their name so far.
Carmarthen Stars host Pontardawe while Pembrey host Cambrian.
Felinfoel earned a win in their last game in Division 1 and they go up against Carmarthen Premier side Pontarddulais.
Trostre are also at home as they take on Jersey Marine while Seaside travel to Sandfields.
St Ishmaels are away as they take on Gorseinon Athletic, Milford United travel to Murton Rovers and Narberth host Ynystawe.
Good luck to all sides involved.
Raining goals in Ammanford
IT’s raining goals in Ammanford and their reserve team were determined to show that they are a force to be reckoned with and ready in the wings should they be needed to support their first team.
Saturday’s (Oct 5) opponents could be forgiven in thinking that storm Lorenzo had passed but they were blown away literally by a heavy defeat which ended with a full time score of 9-1.
Bancffosfelen found themselves a goal down after just five minutes played when Ammanford’s Ryan Foschi scored with a tap in.
Ammanford took a 4-0 lead into the half time break.
The second half started the same as the first when in the 50th minute Ammanford scored again to make it 5-0.
Ammanford added two more goals in quick succession to make it 7-0. Bancffosfelen did pull a consolation goal back to make it 7-1.
However, Ammanford added a further two goals to wrap up the game with a thumping win. Man of the Match for Ammanford was Alex Arnold.
Ammanford Manager Christian Lloyd was full of praise for his team’s all round performance.
For the record the Ammanford scorers were Ryan Foschi, Ben Edwards, Alex Arnold with a brace, Shaun Williams also with a brace, Rhodri Davies, Aaron Butler and Chris Gregory Evans
Cwm win a thriller
Cwmamman Utd 4-2 Caerau Ely
A VERY damp Grenig Park saw a thrilling clash on Saturday (Oct 5) between two sides who have been struggling to find some form but subsequently played out an exciting end to end match.
Cwmamman started really well and could have been one up in the first minute when an Oly Dymond header was blocked on the line by the Careau keeper.
With both sides competing for every ball there was a melee on 11 minutes but it was mainly a case of handbags and the referee took control.
Then on 21 mins Luke Williams cut inside from wide out and fired an unstoppable shot to make it 1-0 to the Cwm.
Caerau then had a period of pressure and strong defending by Nathan Mcneill and Gareth Howarth ensured danger was averted.
With both sides counter attacking it was on 37mins when a quick Caerau corner caught the Cwm defenders and a strong header made it 1-1 at half time.
Cwm came out firing in the second half and a darting run from Luke Williams and short pass created havoc in the goalmouth and Ryan Thomas poked it home for 2-1 to the Blues.
Ten minutes later another cross from Williams saw the keeper parry a Chrissy Allen attempt but only to Oli Dymond who headed home.
Caerau kept going and a close range shot on 60 mins escaped James Kirkwood as he grabbed the slippery ball and the Caerau striker tapped it in to make it 3-2 and all to play for.
Both sides were creating and Chrissy Allen was injured as he fired an excellent chance over the bar from closed range.
The Blues kept attacking and the killer blow came on 74 mins as a through ball from Williams saw Ryan Thomas get his second with a calm finish.
Both sides saw half chances created and Cwm with Calem Rees, Liam Berner and Ben Thomas supporting attacks were looking for a fifth.
Cwm then suffered a blow as Ross Morgan who had worked so hard in midfield received a red card after a second yellow which had a lot to do with the slippery conditions.
The Blues managed to see it through for a 4-2 win and a very welcome three points. On Friday night (Oct 11) at 7.30pm they welcome Pontypridd Town to Grenig Park for another critical match.
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