After securing promotion to the Welsh Premier League last season, Cardiff Met have gave a good account of themselves so far this season.
With an unusual approach of not signing any players unless they have an affiliation to the university. It offers a different approach to the league which has one professional side and the rest semi-professional.
Tight knit unit
As the players are members of the university, they are in each others company for a majority of the week. gap Connah’s Quay Manager Andy Morrison said that the Archers were effectively a professional side as they train each day, whereas other teams in the league don’t have the chance to do that.
The players themselves have to pay to play for the club so it means that the players aren’t competing with each other for a wage, they are all playing for the same cause so are the ultimate professionals as they are not making a living from football.
Many of their players help in the community working with the younger squads, this gives them a sense of responsibility so it keeps them focused as well.
With the support of family and friends at home games, they know they won’t come under any pressure from fans as the club has a togetherness about it.
Met have yet to lose a game by more than one goal despite playing against The New Saints who are the top scorers by far this season. They played The New Saints a few days after they defeated Rhyl 10-0 at home so to hold out against a team who were
The New Saints and Connah’s Quay are the only teams to have conceded less than
Met so far this season, which is impressive as they are the top two this season.
It shows that Met are hard to break down and tend to frustrate sides due to their levels of fitness, which is good for grinding games out. Before losing to Bangor City, Met had a run of three wins despite spending a majority of the season around the drop zone.
Dr Christian Edwards who played as a defender in his professional career, will be the perfect example for the fairly youthful squad to look to. As an assistant manager with Aberyswyth Town before he has had a taste of the Welsh Premier League and that’s important.
Multiple promotions in recent years means that the opposition are unaware of who they are really playing against. In the Welsh Premier League, some players tend to play for numerous teams due to the close proximity but with Met, their players aren’t as well known to the league.
This gives them the chance to build up a name for themselves. For an example, Chris Baker scoring a magnificent strike against Aberyswyth Town can allow him to go on to greater things, receiving wider recognition as his goal is shared on social media. If Met can stay in the league for years to come then opposition fans will start to get used to the names of players.
It is a self imposed rule and one that could be abandoned at some point but it gives more of a reason for students to sign up to the university if player recruitment is in that sense. It can allow players to play at a level that they never knew they could play at before.
In January whilst teams are looking at targets to sign players, Met will be assessing the freshers who came to learn the university for the academic year. That itself can nail down a player for three years if he can play at this level, there is no worry about a player leaving.