Date: Mon 08 Jan 2018

Iwan Williams sets sights on Druids showdown

With the dust having settled from a fantastically dramatic MD21, Llandudno know that victory over Huw Griffiths’ Cefn Druids in their final Phase One fixture this coming weekend – barring Barry Town United thumping Bala Town and beating The Seasiders’ score by more than seven goals – will send them into the top six for Phase Two.

Read on to hear from Iwan Williams ahead of his side’s trip to The Rock to face The Ancients.

Williams caught up with WPL.Cymru correspondent Jamie Thomas after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Bala Town. Llandudno did very well in the game, with new signings Wes Baynes and Marc Evans making strong debuts for the club, and although a draw against Colin Caton’s side in any circumstances is a very credible result, Williams confessed both his pride and disappointment regarding the result.

‘On the one hand I’m very pleased to still be in the top six race, but on the other hand I’m disappointed because I thought we steamrolled Bala in the first half, we carved them open, created so many chances, and that little bit of criticism I had towards the players at halftime was that we weren’t two, three or four nil in front.

‘If you’re looking back at the game we’ve been involved in, Bangor twice, Cardiff Met, TNS and Bala, to still be in the mix of achieving top six football, I couldn’t be prouder of the lads and I can’t be happier for them than I am.’

’It’s a straight shootout next week at Druids.’

Of the two lives games so far in 2018 – with Bangor hosting Llandudno on New Year’s Day and Aberystwyth travelling to Cardiff Met this past weekend – they’ve certainly been full of action and excitement, but that promises to be nothing compared to this coming weekend’s fixture as Sgorio announced they would be broadcasting Cefn Druids and Llandudno’s top six showdown.

To seal a top six spot, the home side need to avoid defeat, with Llandudno needing a victory and the manager of the latter outlined his respect for the former, before noting how eager his squad are ahead of Saturday’s game.

‘It is a straight shootout next week at Druids, I’ve got a lot of respect for Huw Griffiths and the work he’s done there – they’ve had a fantastic season so far – but it was the objective (to reach the top six) when I came into the club and to still be in the mix is something I’m quite proud of myself, but I can’t be any prouder of the effort and determination shown by the lads.

‘Look at today, a number of lads carrying knocks, they’ve worked their socks off for me since day one and especially recently over a busy Christmas period, and yet we’re still in it, we’re not giving up and we’re really looking forward to Saturday.

‘Marc Evans did very well, he’s come in and brought something a bit different to what we’ve usually had on the table at this club in terms of our work up front. He likes to play on the shoulder, I thought his work-rate in the first half was phenomenal ad the same for Wes Baynes coming into an unfamiliar role for him.

‘They both coped very well, both could have got on the scoresheet, but they added a lot to the team’s performance, worked very hard, and that’s all I can ask for – I’m sure they, and everyone else, will be chomping at the bit to get into the XI for our game against Druids.’

’It’ll be my greatest achievement as manager.’

Echoing the sentiments of his counterpart a few weeks ago, Williams – who has already had a successful career in management despite his age – outlined exactly what it would mean for him and his side to secure a top six berth for Phase Two.

‘I’ve got a strong affiliation with the people in and around this football club having been here for so many years previously – I can’t go from the team talk in the executive box to the changing room for pre-match without being stopped and so on to have a chat with people, and that’s great, because they’re phenomenal people in this club – but that’s one of the main reasons why I’m here.

‘I love being here, I’m so proud to be the manager of this great football club, and there’s nothing more that I would like than to take this club into the top six.

‘I think getting there would top off everything I’ve achieved so far. The win last week at Bangor was probably the best result I’ve ever had as a manager, because of what it meant and that momentum has carried into today. There were a few tired legs out there, I think we deserved to win, but we’ll review, plan, and head to Druids ready to go – if we do get into the top six, it’ll be my greatest achievement as manager.’

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Cefn Druids 3-1 Bala