Rev's Ramblings – Making History At Park Hall

It’s always great to witness history in the making, and when I read the FA Wales’ tweet ahead of the Aberystwyth Town game, my opportunistic media mind started to click into gear. For the very first time, a female official was to be involved in a WPL game, as Cheryl Foster picked up the flag.

Prior to kick off, I spoke with Cheryl seeing if she was ok for an interview after the game, and with the green light given, that’s exactly what we did pitch-side. We covered everything from Conwy Devils right through to the present time and how she’s made the transition from Wales international to official.

Interviewing Cheryl at Park Hall
Interviewing Cheryl at Park Hall

I enjoyed the chat, in fact it went on for almost ten minutes, and it forms the backbone of the current TNS Radio Football Show (episode 51) that you can listen to via the club website. Not only was it ground-breaking in the sense of the first WPL official, which is by far the most important thing of course, but also that TNS did the very first post-match interview.

So, on a personal level, it was also nice to be part of Welsh footballing history. It’s my claim to fame. Back to the subject of women in football, I hope there’s much more to come as well. I’ve been a keen follower of TNS Ladies since my time at the club and it’s great to see things moving forward.

On air with TNS Radio at Llandudno
On air with TNS Radio at Llandudno

Following the 2-1 win at home to Aberystwyth that saw the club go joint top of the table, the pole position became exclusively ours following the visit to Maesdu Park on Saturday afternoon. A convincing 5-0 victory, followed by other results over the weekend, means that TNS are currently the only team with a 100% record.

When you consider that clubs have only played two matches each, that could well be an indication of how tight the league will be this time round. Although I do feel our players will lift their sixth successive WPL trophy, it will certainly be a tough campaign. Whatever happens though, I’m looking forward to the weeks and months that lie ahead.

Sadly though, the emphatic victory and performance on Saturday was overshadowed by the injury to Adrian Cieslewicz. There is currently an update post on the club website, and more news will be released as and when, but I certainly felt subdued on the team bus journey home.

Just before kick off, I reminded Ciss of the last time we were at Llandudno, as we were by the very spot that I interviewed him following his hat-trick. For very different, and most certainly unwelcome reasons, he was back in the news this time as well. Without doubt, all our thoughts and prayers are with Ciss and his family at this time.

It was great to get back on the #TNSTownTour last week. You may have seen the photographs on the club’s Twitter account this week, giving you an insight into what it’s all about. Shops and businesses display a poster for the upcoming home game and in return they get publicity.

There’s no cost involved and both parties benefit. Fancy a visit from yours truly? I’ll be back out on the town very soon, so get in touch and I’ll happily add you to what is already a decent list. One of the regular stop-off points is Shlurp! which is run by Mike and Jemma.

The business has a board at Park Hall, situated just to the side of the dug-outs. There is no pressure whatsoever, by the way, if you contact me. Whatever gifts and abilities I may have, salesman is definitely not one of them. The idea of the #TNSTownTour is simply to bring the club and the community together.

I enjoy meeting people and especially when you go back a number of times, relationships do develop. I’m quite used to the ‘We were just talking about you and wondering if you’d be in today’ through to ‘Fancy a cuppa?’ I especially like the latter, and as The Venue staff will tell you, I drink tea fast and often.

It is also great to connect with new people along the way and that was the case with Emily, who was looking after Twelve Green Bottles, while her mom was on holiday. I offered every business owner a photo, this week it seems that, apart from Mike and Jemma, selfies ruled the roost.

Finally, two years ago today (August 22) the 2014/2015 WPL season kicked off. I sat in the same seat behind the goal at Park Hall, as an anonymous fan, that I had occupied for a number of visits over the previous season or so. It was my intention to do that as well for the rest of the campaign.

Little did I know that would be my last time in that seat as a spectator. The next home match was against Rhyl and I was on the fledgling radio show that the club was launching. When Gilbert Woolley spoke the words ‘Can you come back?’, I had no idea exactly where that would lead. To say it’s been an incredible journey is putting it mildly.

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