Rev's Ramblings – Reasons to be cheerful, One, Two, Three

Although I’m a soul man myself, it was the lyrics from Ian Drury and The Blockheads’ song ‘Reasons to be cheerful’ that came to mind when I thought about the content of this week’s Rev’s Ramblings. ‘Reasons to be cheerful, one, two, three’. So, what are they?

First up, it was great to be at Park Hall on Friday for the England v Republic of Ireland U18s game. It was an honour for TNS Radio to broadcast both semi-finals the week before in the JD Welsh Cup and equally so to cover the schoolboys’ international.

With Andy Wycherley pre-match
With Andy Wycherley pre-match

The icing on the cake though was witnessing our very own Andy Wycherley in action. What an honour it is for anyone to represent their country but to do so at your own club’s stadium, and lift the Centenary Shield in the process, must be mind-blowing.

I was buzzing for Andy, he must still be on cloud nine. England’s equaliser in the dying minutes that ensured they won the trophy, followed by his sprint from goalmouth to corner flag at the opposite end of the ground to join in the mobbing of the scorer, is one of those memories that will remain for a long time.

Programme signed by cover-boy Andy
Programme signed by cover-boy Andy

We interviewed Andy pre- and post-match so make sure you check out TNS TV – the link is on the club website. He was also one of the cover-boys on the programme, and as always I got that signed for my personal memorabilia collection. It’s growing nicely, more of that in future Rev’s Ramblings’.

It was good to have TNS Ladies manager, Joe Thompson, on air with us and in with the guests we had Iain Sankey. Having featured briefly for Total Network Solutions he has also played for Ipswich, Walsall and Telford United. Plus England schoolboys, so that was very appropriate on the night. We have some great guests on TNS Radio

Iain Sankey on air with TNS Radio
Iain Sankey on air with TNS Radio

Secondly, a day later and TNS made it five on the bounce as far as Dafabet Welsh Premier League titles are concerned, with a 2-0 victory against Bala Town. What a fantastic day it was. Following a blip – certainly by TNS’ very high standards – of just one point in three games, it was great to get back to ‘business as usual’.

For those people who think The New Saints winning the league is a mere formality each season, it’s anything but. Without a doubt the TNS Scalp is one that all teams want and consequently games are raised. For me it’s not even just a case of having the best individual players but the fact they mould together as a unit.

The cake gets the UEFA seL of approval
The cake gets the UEFA seal of approval

The TNS Radio cake continues its elevation to legendary status, with the latest seal of approval from UEFA’s man in Wales, Mark Pitman. Sampled by fans, WPL and FA Wales officials, Sgorio staff and TNS personnel on the balcony it was amazing that any was left over at the end for the players. It was like the feeding of the 5,000 this week.

It was great to see TNS fan, Graham Vince, again. From Huddersfield, he travels to a number of games during the course of the season to see (in his own words) his heroes. He departed Park Hall a very happy man, not just because of the result but that he left with more than he arrived. A signed shirt from his heroes!

Graham Vince with one of his heroes
Graham Vince with one of his heroes

The third reason to be cheerful? Well, if you’re a regular listener to TNS Radio then you’ll know all about #BeatTheBelle. Welsh Premier legend, Cortez, gives us a prediction and then we open it up to see if anyone can beat him.

Brian Jones in TNS war paint
Brian Jones in TNS war paint

I’ve often introduced him as Cortez ‘hasn’t got one right in two seasons’ Belle, but as from 6.00 pm on Saturday afternoon that has now been well and truly made redundant. The funny thing was that I fancied 2-0 myself but went for 3-0 once Mr. Belle texted me his prediction.

Well done though to Steven Matthews, who was not only our guest on air, but also went for the correct score. I’m still in shock though at Cortez! Two league campaigns, two cups per season, Champions League fixtures and friendlies. We even gave him the England v Ireland game on Friday, all to no avail. Until now that is. As I said to him though, even a blind squirrel finds a nut eventually.

With Sam Thomas ready to go on air
With Sam Thomas ready to go on air

Will lightning strike twice in a week? Why not join in this coming Saturday’s #BeatTheBelle? We travel to Flintshire and Cortez reckons Airbus 0 The New Saints 3. What do you think? If you’re at the game then don’t miss out, as TNS Radio will be broadcasting fifteen minutes before kick off. The link is on the club website. We look forward to your company.

Contact me: stewart.bloor@tnsfc.co.uk