12/04/2013 Sport Wales


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Good evening and welcome to Cardiff City Stadium where hafts are surely


beating a little bit faster as they inch their way to securing --


promotion to become the second Welsh club to play in the Premier


League. So stay with us for that and plenty more on tonight


programme. We meet the rising star of motorsport, the Welshman who has


set his sights on Formula One. aim is to be the next Welsh Formula


One superstar. A as Glamorgan begin this season, we hear our -- how


hopes are high. There is no reason why we should not go out. And in a


special report, we look at the role of the League of Wales in


developing Welsh footballers. Playing in the League of Wales with


Carmarthen was my showcase. Cardiff City drawn Europe Sue five


months at the top of the championship, the two recent


consecutive draws will surely have tested fans' nerves as promotion to


the Premier League remains tantalisingly close. Our reporter


caught up with the club ahead of tomorrow's home game against


Nottingham Forest. Cardiff City stand on the brink of Premier


League football. They play five matches over the next four weeks


and needs seven points to guarantee promotion. They have been close


calls already. Last season's play- off semi-final defeat to West Ham.


2011's Gloucester Reading at the same stage. And in 2010, they made


the play-off final at Wembley but lost to blackball. This year the


play-offs and not on the radar. Automatic promotion is key. Off the


field, the club launched their latest community project this week.


Even if owner Vincent Tan has called upon a higher power to help


them in their bid. With a divine blessing and good luck to our


players, we hope and pray we will be there. It is about sticking to


the plan and your beliefs. That is what I do. We have to have a


certain coldness and calmness about what we're doing. Our players are


delivering the plan. To have or that nine-point gap with five games


to go shows a great consistency and a great character. Two seasons ago


Swansea City received an estimated �90 million in additional earnings


from their promotion to the Premier League. That figure will now have


almost increased after the Premier League signed a new �3 billion TV


deal. This week Swansea revealed profits of �15.9 million. Looking


on a commercial basis, the media coverage is probably the biggest


thing that any club coming up will find. It is a totally different


level. Commercially, exactly the same. The media coverage is


worldwide. When you found it difficult to do major sponsorship


deals locally, now you can go worldwide. That is the biggest


thing. Everybody can see what football at the top level does for


a community and an economy and a nation. We want to be part of that.


Everyone is looking for that prize. That is why there is so much


investment in championship football clubs. Vincent Tan has put a huge


amount of money in the club for four years. He has invested in the


local community as well. That allows his investment to grow.


the impressive Norwich defender Leon Barnett remaining with Cardiff


until the end of the season, the first of Cardiff's final five games


is at home to Nottingham Forest. They are a club that have a good


squad and have had a lot of investment over the years. They are


seen as one of the bigger clubs in the division. But we've had good


teams put in front of assault -- of us all season. We are at home with


a lovely surface and 25,000 people cheering us on. I am now joined by


two former Wales internationals. You have both been there and


experienced promotion to the Premier League. In your experience


with Norwich, you won the championship in 2004, can you


sympathise with what Cardiff City are going through? Yes. It is time


for cool heads and not to panic. You have to take one game at a time.


What kind of experience does Martin McKay bring to this set-up? He will


be the key man in the dressing room. He will calm things down. You have


to play the game and not the occasion. It is only natural that


the crowd is on edge because of the disappointments they've had in


recent years. It will be there until they get over that the


finishing line. He has got experienced players. He has got


players who have played in big games. These next five games are


going to be massive. He knows he's got enough and that dressing room


to get them over the line. If they were not performing and they were


looking like a nervous team it would be different but I don't see


that. From what I saw against Blackburn, it doesn't look like a


team which is nervous and frightened to do the job. How much


will Cardiff City especially wants to avoid the play-offs? They won't


want that situation. I doubt the players will have spoken about it.


They will want to go up as champions. I don't think they'll do


it in the next two games but I do expect them to go to Burnley and


win promotion at there. I'm the same. There is no doubt in my mind


they will get promotion. It will be disappointing if they don't go up


as champions. But I am confident Cardiff City will be in the Premier


League. They have been the best side in the championship. They have


won more home games than any other club in the championship. They have


the best court and they deserve to go up as champions. Stay with me


and we'll talk more football shortly but now we turn our


attention to motor sport and last weekend Welsh driver Matt Parry had


a great start to his former Renault season with two podium finishes in


Hockenheim. We have been following the end was driver as he aims to


become the first Welshman since Tom Price in the 1970s to race in


Formula One. At just 18, Matt Parry has been racing since he can


remember. A karting start, he is out combining a day-job with his


bid to rise through the ranks drive form a one. -- Formula One.


started with my dad. We used to look to the Welsh mountains and do


some motocross. We used to take a bacon sandwich and go far hours on


end. That gave me a love for motor sport in general. From then, go-


karting seemed like a good thing to do and we started doing that at an


amateur level. Then it progressed to European and world championships.


It quickly escalated into something a return full-time. Without doubt,


I would not be where I am today. -- without my father. I have been with


this company for over a year and they have become my family in terms


of a team. We have got to know each other's characteristics and now we


work very well together. This season, could you a race in the


European Cup for the top British team. I did not sleep last night.


This is the first time I have seen the car and I think it looks


fantastic. The weather is not great so we were just to a few things and


try out a few ideas. In this game, we're talking about tenths of


seconds. Anything we can find to produce a better time is important.


He is very aggressive. He is one of the fittest young drivers we have


ever worked with. He does not get tired. He is a very exciting young


driver. I think he will go a long way. There is no reason why he


can't go all the way to form a low one. -- Formula One. Tom Price was


your last one in the 70s and is no reason why for it -- Wales can have


another former One driver. I am a occupational therapist assistant.


We lay on activities for the patient in mental health. We try


and build on their life experiences in terms of cooking and cleaning


and various different activities. Even hobbies like playing football


and gardening. We assess their abilities to do that activities.


Then when the going to the community, they know what to do and


they have or those key skills. -- they have those key skills. It is


very difficult but it is something I wanted to do. It's great to get


some life experiences. It is nice to have an academy of young drivers


to bring them through. We are helping him out in these early


stages. It is a fantastic tool to be able to learn theorist different


circuits and also just to get a feel for formal one. Obviously the


braking force and acceleration is different. He is 18 and now and if


he races in the top three here, he has a good chance of moving on.


were able to get two propositions from the first two races. The first


race was disappointing because I had a few technical issues with the


tears but we hung on to 4th place which was a great result. The


second and third race, we got onto the podium. The aim is to come --


is to become the next Welsh Formula One superstar. I would love to have


a career in motor sport but at the moment I am focused. It may only be


the beginning of April but Glamorgan's season is under way


with a four-day match against Northamptonshire. Last season


proved to be another disappointing campaign for the Welsh county but


the players and the coaching staff are desperate to make a big


impression in 2013. When the former England captain Michael Atherton


wrote last month that Glamorgan were no-hopers, it was a


predictable observation to make considering last year's record of


just eight wins in 38 matches. But in the off-season, there was no


repeat of their head lens of past years. Last winter was the quietest


the club that had for some time. With the coaching staff working


hard to avoid a repeat of 25 -- 2012. We looked at last year and we


did not get out side enough on the turf. Sometimes the weather


prevents that. Through the club's initiative, we have got into our


indoor and outdoor marquee. It has been amazing for the bowlers in


particular to run in and bowl full tilt. To be bowling on grass when


it's raining, it does not get any better than that. We had 10 days in


South Africa to prepare as well. Our preparation has been first-


When Murray Goodwin was released by Sussex last September, Glamorgan


signed him up with three county championships to his name, he


brings huge experience. What we hope he will bring is not only his


runs, which are important, that experience of being involved in a


winning unit. Having been in a successful environment, not only in


western Australia, also with Sussex, it's the sort of culture that I'm


used to. Then, to doom here, I could see that Glamorgan are making


strides all the time in getting better as a county. For young


players, young players, not talking about the first team, young players


in the Glamorgan squad, they should watch and learn. Also playing his


first game for the club is the Australian Michael Hogan. He wasn't


a full-time professional until his late 20's. I think people that


follow their cricket know he has done a good job in Australian


cricket in the last three or four years. We are lucky he had a


British passport. He was keen to come over here. We tried to sign


him last year. He had an offer on the table, he honoured the contract


here. That is great for our club. There is a little bit of


expectation, I suppose, maybe a lot of it is put on by myself, the


pressure to perform. I mean, I'd like to go out there and do a good


job and take wickets and be on the winning team for the season.


successes of the '90s are fondly remembered around the stadium.


Recently, the supporter numbers have dwindled. There is a lot of


good feeling around this club, if we doo-doo well the supporters will


get on board. Even our one-day kit you will notice this year is


receipt owe. Back to the last winning side. The guys in this


squad are aware of what happened before. They are keen to emulate


what went on as well. For me, it's about seeing our players reach


their potential. And, if you get more players than not reaching


their potential through a season, then the chances of you being a


more successful unit are higher and greater. Despite the pre-season


optimism it has been another disappointing start to Glamorgan's


season. It's been an up hill struggle. At the end of Day Three


they are 96-4 in the second innings, needing another 612 runs to force


North Hants to bat again. Back to football now. A special feature on


where the next Ryan Giggs or Gareth Bale might be unearthed. Ian Hunt


has taken a look at the role of the Welsh Premier League and asking


whether they could play an important part in developing the


next generation of Welsh footballers. It's looking good at


the top of the Welsh game. Cardiff and Swansea about to be reunited in


the Premier League. Fresh young talent at national level. A world-


class star in Gareth Bale. What chance of the Bale's and Giggs' of


the future coming from the domestic league. It's important to develop


players in Welsh football be that in the domestic or in particular


the late developers. Playing in the League of Wales was my showcase.


as a country have to be able to provide a football infrastructure


for those talented players that, perhaps, haven't caught the eye of


the Manchester Uniteds. This is where the powers that be see the


local future. Local clubs opening their gates to the community and


giving youngsters like these a chance to make it to the top. It's


admirable, but is it realistic? How many kids at grassroots level will


make it to the Premier League or international stage? Mark Delaney


made the leap from Welsh Premier to English Premier and full Wales


international. He moved to Aston Villa via Cardiff City with Wales


caps along the way. It made me the person I was. It made me a strong


character. No doubt about it. No scouting system really down the


West Wales area. If there is, it's very limited. Me, playing in the


League of Wales with Carmarthen was my showcase. That was the only


place I could play on the off chance there would be scouts going


to watch because it was the highest league in Wales. For me, Carmarthen


was my steppingstone to play professional football and


international football. How strong is the League? Clubs are struggling


to survive on gate recipe -- receipts alone. The Football


Association of Wales will try to help clubs by make an investment in


so-called third generation all weather pitches. You are the man


who runs the Welsh Premier League, how sustainable is it in its


current format? Well, the investment in the League is


�650,000 a year. That is more than doubled in the last four years. We


are looking to 3G strategy which hopefully will make clubs more


community-based and community hubs to give it more of an identity and


sustainability. People are sick and tired of playing the teams over and


over again with the format it is. The attendencies went up initially


with the introduction of the Super 12 went down to what they were


before. The average attendance this season 285? The attendances aren't


good enough. The standard of play deserves better support. You are


also asking about the Super 12 format. We are in the process at


the moment of developing a strategy with our clubs, with our stake


holders, and only one club mentioned they would prefer 16


format. Many clubs need more cash if the league is to thrive. You


only get �15,000 in prize money for winning it. Now the National


Assembly has got involved, held an inquiry and made recommendations


but no promises of major financial support. The Government are happy


to take on the recommendation that is apply to them. Recommendations


they should talk with the FAW, particularly around the community


hub. Money is tight. Therefore, it's about making the best of money


that is available to get the best outcomes. The FAW say they are


disappointed the money is not match-funded is there any money


from the Welsh Assembly? There is money for the sport. How much?


don't know the figures. There is money there. It's careful use of


that. It's good sensible use as well. It is not saying, there is


Government money, off you go. It's saying, there a pot of money. How


can we get the best interest for everybody. Was it really worth be


successful in the first place? were unfortunate getting into


Europe. We drew. The trip had huge costs. We had to (inaudible) which


cost money as well. We made a loss on what we got from UEFA. So we


really didn't make a penny. There are plenty of tales around Neath


went bust after gambling on big signings and wages. Bury Town


struggled to stay afloat as they were left locked out of their own


ground for a time. There are success stories. TNS have equaled


Barry's record of seven Welsh Premier titles. We have a business


that runs 365 day as year. We take babies into mothers clubs. We have


kids' play areas. We have bowling. We are the hub of the social area


so people with hire out our place. People get married here. We hire


out the pitch. We put that revenue together and it allows us to use


that profit to fund a full-time football team. How realistic do you


think it is that the next Gareth Bale, Joe Allen, whoever, is going


to come from the Welsh Premier? have to be able to provide a


football infrastructure for those talented players that perhaps


haven't caught the eye of the Manchester Uniteds, but would still


be great players and, possibly, turn into Ryan Giggs' or Gareth


Bale's if they had support. Clubs are trying to reach out to


youngsters in their local communities. The Assembly and the


FAW want to see more of what Rhyl are doing. The power of football is


immense. Every English football club in the Premier League run a


community programme. I think it's got to be the way forward for Welsh


Premier League football clubs. can the most talented youngsters


make the grade here? Before becoming part of the senior Wales


setup this man managed in the league. A young player in Wales


will have the opportunity to progress in some shape or form.


Obviously, if they are picked up by the professional clubs, be it


Wrexham, Newport County, Cardiff City or Swansea, they are in the


system from the beginning. If they are not, we have the 12 Welsh


Premier League academies that are funded by UEFA, because of their


membership in the National League. Below that, there is excellent work


being done by clubs who don't get that funding, but still think it's


important to develop players in their community and their area.


realistic is it that those young players could end up playing one


day in the Premier League and for Wales? There are improvements to be


made, the structure is in place to allow young players to centre that


opportunity. While the opportunity is there, it seems likely the most


talented youngsters would choose Swansea over the New Saints,


Cardiff City over Carmarthen Town, even if there are plenty who


started in the Welsh League and made it to the football league in


the end. Gareth Bale, Bellamy's and Ryan Giggs will get there. They


don't need that stepping stone. They will get picked up. The likes


of people of my ability, that need the League of Wales, they need


grassroots football to get there. Well, we have just seen a piece


there on the League of Wales, how important is that league for Welsh


football? It's important for Welsh people that they have their own


Welsh league. The big thing, for me, is how to develop and how to make


that league longer. I think only TTNS are the full-time side in that


division. Probably, while that is still the case, there is not going


to be the interest that maybe there should be. It's difficult for all


the clubs now because professional clubs have got such a network of


scouts out there that the best players will get, at a young age,


will be taken from the local communities, from Community Clubs.


I echo the fact it's massively important for the whole Welsh


community, if you like, for the population of Wales to have their


own league. I have a question mark, how much does it, in terms of


making any impact on the prafgsal game? Let us talk about Wrexham and


Newport. What a season it has been for both clubs. What do you see


happening? A tough one to call. Delighted that they have both


secured their play-off positions. I think they will both be slightly


disappointed that they haven'ted a had more of a push towards that top


spot in the Blue Square. Now, it's all about gaining momentum, going


into the two legged semi-final. Mansfield look like winning the


league, Grimsby, I can't see anyone else knocking into that top five.


Everyone is hoping one of them gets up. It's not over and done and


dusted. With kid minister in there as well and Grimsby Town it will be


a fight to the end. They will forgive me for saying that maybe


the automatic spot has gone. It would be nice to see one of them


come through and get back into the League and underline how the upward


curve Welsh football is on to make sure one of them gets in there.


Thank you both very much for joining us on Sport Wales. That is


it for this week. Best of luck to Cardiff City against Nottingham


Forest tomorrow. We leave you with this, Rio Ferdinand thought that


David Marshall's save against Watford last Saturday was the best


since Banks banks at the 1970 World Cup. We will enjoy that again and


leave you some great Welsh moments. leave you some great Welsh moments.


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