Rhos Aelwyd manager Huw Rolands is hoping his side can knock out their higher ranked opponents and reach the FAW Trophy final, which he believes can be the start of the club replicating its success of ten years ago.
Aelwyd has been on form this season after a mid-table finish in their 2016/17 campaign. They sit comfortably atop of WNL Division One, having lost just once, and continue to push for silverware in both the league cup and the Welsh Trophy.
After an impressive win in the last 16, a 3-1 victory over their South Walian counterparts Abertillery Bluebirds, they then tackled WNL Premier side Buckley Town, who came into the match on the back of two consecutive defeats, and the hosts picked up a 1-0 victory. With attention now turned to Saturday’s cup tie, Rowlands talked about how impressed he had been with the team’s form so far.
“It has been a tremendous cup run and it is all down to the togetherness of the squad. It is fair to say that the players know that they have been the underdogs in nearly every round and that has allowed us to play with no pressure and just enjoy our football on the pitch. We have steadily built a competitive team with talented players. They all play for each other and with our good run of form we are in, all of the players are confident of their ability as a team.”
The task against Greenfield is expected to be a tough encounter, with a berth in the final the reward for the victors on the day. The manager is well aware that the squad will need to be at their best but is making sure not to put too much pressure on his players ahead of the all-important cup tie.
“Greenfield have done well recently and we know that they can score goals…but we will approach this game like we have every other knowing that we will have to be on top of our game to compete with them as they are a team a tier above us and have beaten very good teams to get to the semi-final.”
The club will be pleased that they are heading into the game with every chance of coming out of it with a positive result, given that their top strikers, Rogers and Hayes, who have 38 league goals between them are fit for the match.
“We have a fully fit squad for the game Saturday and the squad are looking forward to the challenge. Top goalscorers Jamie Rogers and James Haynes are available and will be hoping to add to their season tallies. The team can play well together and if we hit the right notes on Saturday there are many other players who might hit the headlines for their performance.”
As someone who has been around the club for much longer than just his time as manager, Rowlands is also aware of how much the Trophy means to the club and is very passionate about succeeding in the competition.
“I would be thrilled if we won on Saturday. It would be a fantastic achievement for the club as I don’t think anyone expected us to reach this stage of the FAW Welsh Trophy. We last won the Welsh Trophy 10 years ago under then manager Steve Walters and I remember the good feeling around the club when I was a supporter watching the club lift the trophy, I would like to replicate that good feeling around the club and village.”
Finally, Huw gave a mention to all those who have made the outstanding Trophy run possible and highlighted that enjoyment is key for everybody come game day.
“We are immensely proud to be in the Semi Final, we had great support to Abertillery and a god home crowd v Buckley and we are hoping for the same on Saturday at Airbus. The committee have been excellent with all their hard work that goes on behind the scenes. The reserve squad have been awesome and have supported us throughout the competition rooting for the club to do well…The managements message on Saturday will be for all involved to enjoy themselves and who knows there could be another surprise in store.”
Greenfield v Rhos Aelwyd takes place at Airbus Broughton UK’s pitch with a 2.30pm kick-off and a spot in the final at stake.
(Featured Image: Mike Roe)