As a fan of Welsh league football, I enjoy all games. Whether at Park Hall or Park Avenue, Bridge Meadow or Belle Vue, I love the buzz that accompanies matchday. However, and that’s not taking anything away from the WPL of course, there is that extra something that goes with European football. Especially the Champions League.
Tuesday just gone (depending on when you read this of course) was the club’s seventh game in the competition in just over twelve months. Up against the strong favourites for the tie, Apoel FC, it was a superb performance that saw us take a 0-0 into the second leg.
If two out of three ain’t bad for Meatloaf, then with just the Videoton at home defeat in two seasons so far, one out of seven is pretty decent as far as I’m concerned. Although it’s going to be tough in Cyprus on Tuesday, it’s still a delicately balanced tie. More of that in next week’s column though, for now back to the Park Hall leg.
It was great to see media, local, national and international, out in force covering the game. From SKY Sports through to Cypriot-based organisations, it was once more elbow-room only in the press box. TNS Radio was again in esteemed company as we had UEFA’s Wales’ representative, Mark Pitman, on one side and BBC on the other.
It was good to see our friends again, James Bond and Nick Southall, as they covered the game for Radio Shropshire and Radio Wales. In fact we grabbed Nick for the latest TNS Radio Football Show, otherwise referred to as our weekly podcast. You can listen to that via our website.
We also chatted with Nicky John. If you’re a fan of S4C’s Sgorio programme, as indeed I am, then she will need no introduction. Of course, she’s been missing from our screens since the beginning of year, and the answer to that is in the podcast.
As always, post-match we interview those involved on the night, and this time it’s Carl Darlington, Ryan Pryce and Phil Baker who face the mic. We chose the specific players for a reason as well, and of course all is revealed in the show.
If you’re a regular listener to TNS Radio then you will know that one of our popular features is #BeatTheBelle, where Cortez gives us a prediction and we open it up to see if anyone else can do better. Following on from his 2-1 correct score at home to SP Tre Penne, it’s been downhill ever since.
— Paolo Fabrizio (@paolothebaker) July 12, 2016
Well done though to the TNS Radio cake-maker Debby Bloor, Mike Clarke and yours truly, who all went for 3-0 in the second leg. I’m certainly on a roll at the moment as I also went 0-0 in the home tie with Apoel, along with Gavin Pritchard and Darren Lamble.
What will the away fixture bring? Well, Mr. Belle goes for a 2-1 win for the champions of Cyprus. How about you though, what do you think? If you’re reading this before Tuesday evening, send us your prediction for TNS Radio. Get it right and you’ll get a mention in this column. Go on, don’t be shy!
@TNSRadio Hard team to beat, APOEL are savages, Rev is fantastic!!
— Darius Jason (@DariusJasonX) July 12, 2016
Finally, why not join us on TNS Radio for the Apoel game (Tuesday 19th at 6.00 pm UK time). We will be going on air fifteen minutes before kick-off and the link is on the club website. As well as commentary, chat, banter and #BeatTheBelle we also have the regular Word Plant game.
This time it’s TNS’ right-back Simon Spender who has given us something to drop into the show. Tune in and see if you can guess what it is. It’s another just-for-fun competition so why not have a go. We look forward to your company! Thanks to everyone who listens in, it really is appreciated.
Stewart Bloor. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org