It’s hard to believe we’re already a week into the World Cup. It’s even harder to comprehend how much time has flown past since the end of the season in the Welsh Premier League – thank goodness for the World Cup to entertain us!
High-time then for a quick catch up with some of the league’s familiar faces, to ask what they’ve been up to since the end of the season and to also look forward to the season ahead!
Nicky John has been chatting to the Welsh Premier League’s player of the season and Golden Boot winner, Chris Venables.
There are only a few days until the Europa league draw… Any thoughts on who you’d like in the Qualifiers?!
If I could pick anyone I would choose Aberdeen, I’ve played in Scotland before in the Europa league and it was a fantastic experience. There was a tremendous atmosphere and it was a game I’ll never forget so to go back there again would be great.
Tickets are selling fast for the match at Park Avenue – and that’s before the draw has even been made – it says a lot about what it all means to your fans, doesn’t it?!
Yes, it certainly does. Our fans are fantastic and there’s a real buzz around Ceredigion for the game already. We had great support all season – especially in the Welsh Cup final, so it’s nice to have the European tie at Park Avenue to repay them for their great support.
It won’t be your first time playing in Europe…
I had some great experiences with Llanelli in Europe, playing alongside some of our current squad – so hopefully our experiences with the reds can help us get a positive result this time around.
You had a fantastic year last season, winning the Golden Boot and being named WPL Player of the Season – what were some of your highlights along the way?
Last year was a great year for me and by far the best year in my career to date. Getting to the Welsh Cup final was a great feeling as it was tied in with knowing we had qualified for Europe too.
Any goals or individual moments were far outweighed by this, and the semi final win in Newtown against Holywell was a great day for everyone involved with the club.
What have you been up to since the end of last season?
I haven’t been away on holiday, although I did go on a stag do to Dublin for a few days which as you can imagine was very enjoyable – even though I did have to spend the whole weekend babysitting Ross Stephens (Prestatyn)! Other than that I have spent most of my time on my road bike.
We’re now a week into the World Cup. Favorite moment so far?
I haven’t actually managed to watch a great deal of it if I’m honest, but I’d have to say the Dutch getting revenge from the last World Cup and running riot against Spain was my favourite moment so far.
Which team have you mostly been cheering on?
A bit controversial perhaps, but England. All the players play in the English Premier League which I follow being a Spurs fan, so I’d like to see them surprise a few people and do really well.
Have any teams or players surprised you?
Spain have surprised me, as I fancied them before the tournament to do really well again.
On the evidence of what you’ve seen so far, which player would you most like to be compared to?!!
I’d most like to be compared to Messi if I could choose, but I’m well aware I don’t play anything like him!
Perhaps Muller from Germany – he plays in my position and seems to chip in with his fair share of goals, so I’d be happy with that.
What’s your earliest World Cup memory?
My earliest World Cup memory was USA ’94. I watched the final whilst on a caravan holiday in Devon with my family.
Prediction for this year’s final?
My prediction for the final is that Germany will win it.
We mentioned your Golden Boot earlier… Have you set yourself a target for next season?!
I didn’t really set myself a target last season except to improve on the previous one, so if I can move forward and do that again I’ll obviously be more than happy.