Posted: Mon 7th Mar 2016

Cardiff Met Uni FC to star on Sgorio

This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 7th, 2016

Cardiff Met Uni FC will star on screen tomorrow, as their JD Welsh Cup Quarter Final match against Welsh Premier team Gap Connah’s Quay will be broadcast on S4C’s Sgorio from 5pm. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Pre and post-match footage from the Cyncoed campus Students’ Union with a guest panel, staff and fan interviews will also feature on the programme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The University’s Director of Cardiff Met Men’s Football, Dr Christian Edwards said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us as a club and the University as a whole to host the game live on TV. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“More importantly, it’s a great chance for the players to showcase their abilities against a very good Dafabet Welsh Premier League team.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The University is now ranked to be the UK’s top university football programme and the team last reached the Quarter-Finals stage in the 2010/11 season when they were UWIC, with Gap Connah’s Quay the opponents. They lost the match 4-0. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Gap Connah’s Quay reached last year’s Quarter-Finals but were defeated by current holders, The New Saints 2-0. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Former professional player with Swansea City, Notts Forest, Bristol Rovers, Forest Green Rovers and Aberystwyth Town, Dr Edwards is believed to be the first former International player in the world to study for a PhD, although other professional players have done so. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Under his leadership, the Cardiff Met team has enjoyed a great run in the Welsh Cup; are also currently at the top of Welsh League Div 1 and are challenging again for promotion to the Welsh Premiership next season. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The team trains on the University’s high spec 3G Cyncoed pitchAnd was in Division 3 of the Welsh League when Dr Edwards, who won his full Welsh cap against Switzerland in 1996 as well as two ‘B’ caps and seven under-21 caps; came to the University in 2006 after retiring from football. Aswell as progressing to this latest Quarter Final, they are also currently top of the Welsh League and will play in the Semi Finals of the British Universities Cup. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Dr Edwards, from Caerphilly, said: “This wouldn’t have been possible without great staff like Professor Robin Jones and Graham Haines and of course, the players, who have a real sense of togetherness. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I really enjoy doing what I do and despite playing in the Premier League, the PhD has been my crowning glory – I was expected to do well in football, but no-one expected this. Apparently footballers aren’t clever, so it’s my duty to fly the flag!” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A talented rugby and football player, Dr Edwards started studying Sport Development and Coaching at Cardiff Met when he was 30 and gained a first class degree. He went on to study towards a Master in Coaching and completed his PhD in Sociology of Coaching in November, after beginning it in 2012, the year he also became a full time member of staff. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Dr Edwards said: “I didn’t want to take the more traditional route of retired footballer going into coaching and was always more focussed on going into education when I came out of football. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I was probably better at rugby than I was at football and played at under-16 level in both sports, but I enjoyed the football set-up and also always enjoyed my studies. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I got my GCSEs while and pursued my A levels at Filton College while I was playing for Swansea. I was then lucky to become a professional footballer but always thought in the back of my mind that if something went wrong, I would try and train to become a PE teacher. I liked both Geography and Geology, but progressed in football. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Football was lucrative – the gravy train was nothing to what it is now, but it did me well.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Dr Edwards was encouraged by Caerphilly friend and former Wales rugby international Ben Evans, also Cardiff Met alumni, to come to the University. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He said: “Ben was the year above me at school, but we are great friends through Bedwas Rugby Club. He emphasised to me how Cardiff Met, then UWIC, had been so good for his development and I really felt that when I came here. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“There are also all sorts of opportunities on the football programme here for youngsters who might not quite make it as a professional player. We provide a great grounding here.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Related links: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Gap Connah’s Quay aware of Cardiff Met threat in Welsh Cup quarter-final​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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