So today’s match marks the end of an almost 11 month season for The New Saints, writes Sam Wood. It also brings and end to Scott Ruscoe’s first season as first team manager. Now I’ve only been on board for roughly half of the current campaign, and the amount of matches that have been played in just those 6 months is simply unbelievable. To think that the team and players had already been putting in the same amount of effort for the previous six, shows tremendous dedication.
I think Scott Ruscoe can safely call his first season a success though. He was instantly thrown in at the deep end, with his first competitive matches coming against top calibre opponents in the Champions League. Since then, he, along with Steve Evans, have led the team to two domestic trophies – the Nathaniel MG Cup and the JD Welsh Premier League.
After a great result last weekend against Connah’s Quay Nomads, coming from a goal behind to win after half-time, I’m certain Scott and the players will be desperate to finish on another high tonight.
Cardiff Metropolitan University are the only side that TNS have failed to beat in phase two this season, but the visitors have struggled with injuries for most of it. The students should provide another stern test at Park Hall, but The Saints should have too much for the travelling contingent.
With the end of season awards evening approaching tomorrow, a win tonight would put the entire club in good spirits as contributions are recognised.
When Craig Harrison first joined the club, he managed to win two trophies in his first season. He then went onto lift a series of domestic trebles and broke countless records along the way. The challenge for Scott Ruscoe now is whether he can do the same. From what I’ve seen from The New Saints and their manager this season, I’m feeling confident.
Sam is part of the media team at TNS. Lead photograph from the 1-1 draw with Cardiff Metropolitan University FC last month in the capital. Credit: Brian Jones.