The Welsh Premier League season kicks off on Friday as we bring you live coverage of the match between Bala Town and Carmarthen (Facebook Live), before we head to the Oval on Sunday where newcomers Caernarfon host Cefn Druids live on S4C.
Bala Town v Carmarthen | Friday – 19:45 (Facebook Live)
There’s excitement in the air at Maes Tegid as their impressive business during the transfer window has had people talking of a title contention.
Experienced striker Steven Tames might be the natural goalscorer that Bala have been missing over the past few seasons, while ex-Bangor midfielders Henry Jones and Danny Gosset will bring class into the middle of the park.
Carmarthen Town finished in the relegation zone last season, but dodged a bullet as Bangor were withdrawn from the league in their place following their license issues.
It was a long and troublesome season for the Old Gold in 2017/18, but they certainly enjoyed their last trip to Maes Tegid where they returned home with a shock 4-0 away win.
Aberystwyth v Llandudno | Friday – 19:45
Although their league form was below average, Aberystwyth managed to reach the Welsh Cup final in 2017/18 before eventually losing out 4-1 to Connah’s Quay.
Declan Walker was the star-man at Park Avenue, netting 14 goals from the right back position, but his swap in shirt number from no.2 to no.10 suggests that he might be planning to play a more attacking role this season.
Iwan Williams has been a busy man over the summer break as his squad has had a complete revamp with the likes of Kai Edwards, Michael Pearson and Mark Connolly arriving at Parc Maesdu.
John Owen also returns to Llandudno from Aberystwyth, while two have gone the other way with Ryan Edwards and Wes Baynes swapping the Orme for Consti.
Cardiff Met v Newtown | Friday – 20:00
In the capital, Cardiff Met are ready for their third season in the WPL, and having fallen at the final hurdle in the play-off final in their last two seasons, they’ll certainly be hoping that it will be a case of third time lucky this time around.
There hasn’t been much change in Christian Edwards’ squad as the students will be keen to show that consistency is key as they set their eyes on European qualification.
Newtown will be the visitors at Cyncoed Campus on Friday night as the Robins search for their first away win against Cardiff Met in the WPL.
Young striker Ethan Jones was a breath of fresh air when he arrived at Latham Park in January and he will be one to watch this season as he showed glimpses of real quality towards the end of last term and will look to hit the ground running in 2018/19.
Llanelli v Connah’s Quay | Sunday – 14:30
In May 2008, after beating Connah’s Quay on the final weekend of the season, Llanelli lifted the WPL title for the first and only time in their history.
A decade later and both clubs will go head-to-head again as Llanelli make their return to the WPL following a six year absence.
The Nomads will aim to close the gap on TNS this season after another good year under Andy Morrison where they lifted the Welsh Cup for the first time.
The progress has been remarkable at Deeside under manager Andy Morrison – reaching Europe fo the first time in 2016, highest ever finish in 2017 (2nd), won Welsh Cup in for first time in 2018… so the next natural step is surely dismantling the Saints from the top of the tree.
The New Saints v Barry Town | Sunday – 14:30
Back in March, The New Saints got their hands on the WPL trophy for the seventh consecutive season, and for the 12th time in their history.
Since then, Scott Ruscoe’s side have been busy competing in Europe, and with a trip to Denmark coming up for the Saints next week, could this be an ideal time for Barry to cause an early upset?
Barry Town made a strong return to the WPL last season with Gavin Chesterfield’s men managing to reach the play-off semi-final.
Kayne McLaggon’s solo goal was the difference when the sides last met at Park Hall (0-1) as Barry proved to the champions that they were no push-overs.
Caernarfon v Cefn Druids | Sunday – 17:15 (S4C)
Almost ten years have flown by since the Canaries fell from the Welsh Premier League… but after gaining promotion from the Cymru Alliance, the Cofis are back at last.
Sean Eardley took the hel at the Oval back in November 2017, and Caernarfon are yet to lose a league game since then!
Cefn Druids enjoyed a memorable summer as they competed in Europe for the first time in six years.
New additions, Dean Rittenberg and Jordan Evans will bring a creative spark to the disciplined Druids side who will be targeting a Top Six spot again this season.
Highlights of all WPL fixtures will be on Sgorio every Monday at 5:35 on S4C.
On this day in 1978 Wales played a friendly international against Iran in Tehran.