Following three promotions in the last four years, Cardiff Met provide capital city representation in the top flight of Welsh football for the first time in 10 years.
Under the leadership of Dr Christian Edwards – once of Swansea City and Nottingham Forest – Met employ a high pressing game allied to excellent ball retention, an approach they may find more difficult to enforce as they take on Welsh football’s elite.Current Squad and New Signings
It is well documented that the squad is comprised entirely of players who are students at Cardiff Met. None of the players are paid (in fact they pay a £150 yearly subscription to play) and no players are signed from other clubs. Whilst some would see this as detrimental, the flip side is that the players have a unique togetherness and the club are free from much of the jealousy and in-fighting so prevalent at other clubs.
The key to a successful season for Met will be their ability to keep key players fit and they will need to hit the ground running and adapt to their new surroundings as quickly as possible in order to quell any lingering early season nerves.
Goalkeeper Will Fuller, central defenders Emlyn Lewis and club captain Brad Woolridge form the core of the defence with strong, running left back Kyle McCarthy providing width and often deadly set piece delivery. The right back spot will keep the fans guessing as both Joel Letori and Isaac Philpott will be looking to make the position their own.
In midfield, Met have a number of options, from the trickery of Elliot Evans and Jordan Lam to the robust central pairing of Chris Baker and Ben Bowler. After impressing in pre-season, Josh Barnett will be looking to force his way into the reckoning for a starting place come 14th of August.
Operating equally as effectively as a winger or striker, Adam Roscrow has the ability and pace to unlock the meanest of defences as demonstrated by a superb solo goal at Penybont during last season’s title run-in. Linking midfield and attack is Charlie Corsby, a talented player who epitomises the high pressing style favoured by Cardiff Met. His energy and experience will be vital to the Met as they seek to consolidate their position in the WPL.
Jon Littlemore and Dan Spencer provide the attacking choices and with support from midfield I would expect Met to play a lone striker for some of the more demanding fixtures, allowing the attacking midfielders to support the striker in offensive situations and staying compact across midfield when defending. Both Littlemore and Spencer and have the ability to unsettle defences and the latter’s aerial ability will provide Met with another option should they need it.
It will be an interesting season for the boys from Cyncoed but one they should relish as they look to consolidate their place at the top table of Welsh Domestic football.
Despite their inexperience at this level, I expect a season of consolidation and a 7th place finish.