Former Swansea City stalwarts Kristian O’Leary and Lee Trundle will be on opposing sides when Carmarthen Town face Ammanford in the Welsh Cup next month.
O’Leary was appointed manager of Cymru Premier strugglers Carmarthen on the weekend and will be in the dugout as former teammates Trundle and Andy Robinson line-up for Cymru South Ammanford, in what should be one of the choice ties to come from Monday evening’s third round draw.
Current holders The New Saints host tier three Mold Alexandra, while Tier four side Abertillery Bluebirds, the lowest ranked team still in the competition, host Cymru Premier leaders Connah’s Quay.
Barry Town and Newtown will face each other in the only all-Cymru Premier tie to come out of the hat. Former Welsh Cup winners and Cymru North table-toppers Prestatyn Town will face Penrhyncoch after eliminating Bangor City on the weekend. Cymru South leaders Swansea Uni, who won 6-5 at Undy in the previous round will host Cambrian & Clydach.
Shortly after the draw was made, O’Leary took charge of training at slumping Carmarthen for the first time – his briefing upon taking on the job will have been quite clear: Stop the rot!
Carmarthen’s start to the season has been disastrous with them sitting at the foot of the table, yet to win a game this season. Four draws from 13 games is all they have to show for their efforts to date and they are perhaps fortunate that they are only still only six points off from safety.
The squad itself has plenty of Cymru Premier experience and players like Liam Thomas, Luke Bowen, Declan Carroll, Lee Surman and goalkeeper Lee Idzi are all well-established in the league, but there is little doubt the team find themselves amidst a deep-rooted rut which Kristian O’Leary needs to lift them out of.
I’ve seen enough of Carmarthen to know this season that there’s been games that they should’ve won, games which they should’ve drawn and games in which they just weren’t good enough. Invariably, confidence and momentum suffers as a result but with the calibre of players at his disposal, plus perhaps some fresh faces in January, Kristian O’Leary should be able to make the Old Gold a more resilient and competitive outfit.
Avoiding the Cup banana skin that is Ammanford and getting a win over messrs Trundle and Robinson next month could go some way to getting Carmarthen Town’s season back on track.
Welsh Cup Round 3 draw in full (ties to be played over 6/7/8 December)
Penybont v Porthmadog
Pontardawe Town or Croesyceiliog v Buckley Town
Swansea University v Cambrian & Clydach Vale BGC
The New Saints v Mold Alexandra
Barry Town United v Newtown
Cardiff Met v Pontypridd Town
Aberystwyth Town v Ruthin Town
Cefn Druids v Guilsfield
Abertillery Bluebirds v Connah’s Quay Nomad
Penrhyncoch v Prestatyn Town
Colwyn Bay v Airbus UK Broughton
Rhyl v Chepstow Town or STM Sports
Carmarthen Town v Ammanford
Goytre United v Caernarfon Town
Flint Town United v Bala Town
Afan Lido v Llandudno