This coming weekend sees the ‘Red Kites’ make the short travel down the road to Broadway where they face their biggest rivals, ‘The Spar Men’.
In part one of this 3 post preview we will see how Rhayader players Ashley Jones, Joe Prosser, Tom Bethell and Gavin Samuel will prepare for this game.
Ashley Jones who came through the youth setup at Llandrindod Wells, transferred at the beginning of the season.
“As I’ve only played for Rhayader for a year now, I’ve only faced them (Llandrindod) once. But my best memory of this fixture has to be when I was in the blue of Llandrindod playing in the Radnorshire Cup Final in Newbridge-on-wye, even though I was on the losing side! The game was amazing and a great goal from Jonny Williams to equalise in extra-time topped things off.”
The centre-midfielder went on to talk about the only encounter with Llandrindod in a red jersey.
“We won last time out so I’m hoping we can do the same again. Although in a derby game you can never be sure of what’s going to happen. We have to prepare the same as we did last time and can’t let the occasion get the better of us.
Robbie Nichols has to be the stand out threat for them, he’s very quick and can turn in a blink of an eye.”
‘The Red Kites’ number 1, Joe Prosser, also mentioned Robbie Nichols.
“Robbie Nichols is always a threat when he’s on the ball, doesn’t matter where he picks it up. But Ashley Jones will be a vital part of the team come Saturday, and the players on both teams will know that they are involved in a big tie.”
Joe spoke of what was his favourite game between these two sides, and like Ashley he replied;
“It has to be the Radnorshire Cup Final. Unfortunately we lost on penalties, but was still a great game to be apart of.
This weekend if we can do things right, like keep our cool and keep solid at the back like we have been all season then there’s a very good chance we will come out on top, and I’m sure the boys up top will do their business.”
The thing that made it clear to me that he still had a bit of blue in his heart.
“No not at all. But one thing I do know, they have big hearts in the Landod dressing room and we are in for a very tough game”
A third transferred player from Llandrindod in Tom Bethell, who started his career with the ‘Red Kites spoke of what it’s like at Rhayader now.
“We pride ourselfs with our defensive unit, we are hard to break down and we know that we have the players up top to put the ball in the net.
Our set pieces in the reverse fixture were immense and it helped us to control the game in the second half.
We have to keep an eye on Robbie Nichols, but they have other players that could hurt us so we can’t focus on him.”
Captain of Rhayader Town Gavin Samuel agreed that Robbie Nichols is a very dangerous player:
“We have to prepare the same as any other game. We can’t let the fact that it’s a derby get in the way of things. It was a bit tight in the last fixture till Llandrindod went down to 10 men, we need to cut down the errors, and have a high work rate throughout the game. Failing all that, sometimes you just have to have a bit of luck.”