Port v Buckley - 26/10/02
There's only one place to start this afternoon's View from the Bench and that is with Wales's terrific win against Italy. To win and to be heading the group even at this early stage is absolutely brilliant news for Wales. I hope that this is not a one off result, I'm sure it wont be. The current squad really seem to have something about them. There is a nice mix of experience and youth; the emergence of players like Simon Davies, Craig Ballamy and Danny Gabbidon has been a massive plus for Mark Hughes. I can remember another good Welsh side, which included Rush, Southall, Radcliffe and Hughes himself, which went close to World Cup qualification, but this one could go on and do something special over the next few years.
It is amazing that a country of just under 3 million people can get 72,000 people to watch the national side even if it is in one of the most impressive stadiums in the world. It is not all that long ago when Wales were struggling to get a few thousand to watch them. My only hope is that the whole of Welsh football, down to the grass roots, can benefit from this feel good factor and from the success of the national side. Let's hope that the growing popularity of football can rekindle interest in domestic competition. Let's hope that a few more people come out to watch matches and that the whole of football in Wales can move forward. It appears that rugby are in the doldrums and that it is football, which will carry the hopes of Welsh sport lovers in the coming years.
May I welcome you all to Y Traeth for this afternoon's match against Buckley Town. We know from past meetings that Buckley are one of the strong teams in the League and we face a tough test this afternoon.
Looking back at our Welsh Cup defeat it is sad when an unbeaten record goes but it has to go sometime. Collectively on the day we did not hit it off. Silly mistakes at the back coupled with missed opportunities ensured we were out of the cup. The players have had a couple of weeks off and they will be rearing to go this afternoon.
It is interesting looking at the League table, a number of sides have strengthened this season with a number of teams are more than capable of taking points off each other. Ruthin are top at the moment but have played more games than anyone else. Possibly six or seven sides look capable of making an impact. Teams have to battle hard to put any sort of run together in such a competitive League.
Let's hope we can get back to winning ways today and once again thanks for your support.