On Tuesday afternoon, it will be the battle of the Gwynedd as Caernarfon host Porthmadog in a derby fixture. Manager Craig Papirnyk is aware of the importance of the match.
After beating Ruthin in a remarkable fashion in which there was drama of all sorts, with a sending off for the Port, as well as a winner after a lately equalier, Papirnyk reflects on the previous match as well as looking ahead to Tuesday’s clash.
Rob Evans handled the ball on the line to stop a certain goal, he was sent off and is now suspended for Tuesday’s clash, there are no quarrels with the sending off.
“Firstly Rob is going be a massive miss for us, he has really come into form as of late. He is disappointed to be missing the fixture, the sending off was the right decision but thankfully it didn’t effect us getting the three points.”
With the fashion the game was won in, after Julian Williams’ scored with a fantastic strike, Papirnyk summed up the teams’ performance.
“Every win is important to us, but it was a great way to win it with the last kick of the game, the dressing room was buzzing at the end and that’s a great feeling.
I’m always proud of my team, they give me everything in the games we play, always playing to the final whistle. I have a great bunch of lads who believe in each other and have a real togetherness.”
Caernarfon lost a crucial fixture to Prestatyn Town last weekend but the Port manager says his focus only lies on his own club but paid tribute to Cofis manager Iwan Williams.
“I try not to take notice of what others are doing. Iwan is doing a great job at Caernarfon.”
With both teams near the top end of the table, occupying 2nd and 4th, the derby couldn’t be anymore important as both teams will want to start the new year in the highest position possible.
“We want to win every game and I believe that I have a squad that is good enough to compete week in, week out for points.
Our form dipped in November and now we have momentum on our side again. The points on offer at the Oval are massive for us. It would be of huge importance to come away with the win and continue to close the gap on those above us. “
Some managers aren’t a fan of festive period football, but Papirnyk is relishing the chance to play at Christmas and says that his side will remain disciplined over Christmas week.
“Christmas is and always has been a great time of year for football, local derbies and football on the TV are what makes it such a special time for year for me and football lovers alike.
It always a difficult time though as you want your players to enjoy their Christmas, and considering the lads aren’t full-time, they understand the importance of preparing right for any game. We will train well leading up to the weekend break. I trust my players to be responsible but enjoy their time over the holidays.”
Of course when it comes to a derby fixture, passion runs high but in this derby, it is more on the base of respect and the close proximity of the two clubs.
“They are great games, we’ve had some really close ones in the past few seasons with most ending by the odd goal. The crowd have always have been fantastic, the Cofis have a great supporters group as do we at Porthmadog. Both sets of fans are very passionate about their clubs and it makes for a great atmosphere.
Both are massive clubs within Gwynedd. Both clubs have a mutual respect for one another and the past fixtures have always been in good spirits and of the highest quality. I expect no different Tuesday afternoon.”