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Football Round Up 25/11/23

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Goodwick United continue to impress as they yet again won, this time 5-0 away at Grange Albion in the capital. The venue and the kick off time was moved last minute however it didn’t seem to disrupt O’Sullivan’s men goals coming form Haworth, Dalling, Jones and O’Sullivan and a fourth clean sheet in a row meant it was plain sailing into the next round of the FAW Amatuer Trophy.

Closer to home a late goal from Jay Power ensured Hakin claimed all three points away to Carew who again for the second week running pushed the Vikings hard. James Hinchliffe grabbed a brace for the hosts who will be gutted to have conceeded so late after a good peformance. As predicted newly promoted Milford United gave Merlins Bridge a good game and it was a narrow 1-0 victory for the Haverfordwest based team thanks to a goal from Steffan Williams.

Neyland and Monkton Swifts couldn’t be sepearted as they drew 1-1 with the visitors ending the game with nine men after losing Steele and Ferrier to red cards. Dylan Davies opened the scoring for the Swifts after 15 minutes before Max Bowman Davies equalised after 39 minutes. It would be unfair to say the sending off’s had much of an impact on the result as they came very late in the contest. Neyland are likely to be the happier of the two with this result as the Swifts struggle to find form. Tenby came from behind to beat Pennar Robins 2-1 with goals from Muskett and Ferney in reply to Williams’ opener for the hosts. The result lifts them to fourth in the league and they will be pleased with their return of 15 points so far following their promotion last season. The Robins sit 9th on 9 points and with Neyland and Carew improving and both just a point behind them, they’ll be keen to pull away from the foot of the table sooner rather than later.

A tense local derby was expected in Little Castle Grove as Herbrandston hosted Hakin Reserves, having drawn 2-2 earlier in the season. However Galdo’s men took any prospect of a nervy final twenty minutes out of the picture as they were 4-0 after an hour played. Goals from Whatling, Plunkett (2) and key midfielder Beach put the result to bed. Lees added the fifth after 70 minutes and a clean sheet ensured a pretty perfect afternoon for the yellow and blacks. Monkton Swifts Reserves however just keep winning this time 6-1 at home to Carew Reserves. Liam Butland grabbing a brace and an assist as he takes his total league goals for the season to 12 already. A sign of the Swift’s strength is Butland not even being close to their leading scorer, William Davis scored twice yesterday to bring his total to 25 from 12 league games, not to mention the 6 assists. Carew continue to struggle and only Cosheston sit below them in the table as it stands. Meanwhile in the mid table battles Camrose and St Ishmaels drew 2-2, with the hosts coming back from 2-0 down with ten men, they will definitely be the happier of the two sides. Also in the mood for a comeback yesterday were Broad Haven they also showed good character to come back from 2-0 at home to St Clears it finished 2-2 here too.

In the second division cup Narberth hosted Merlins Bridge in the standout tie of the two, the hosts took the lead through Ashley Williams before subsitute Martin equalised for the visitors. Chris Brown restored the hosts lead, before Bridge had enough of the back and for and two assists for veteran Matthew D’Ivry set up Jago and Martin again to make it 3-2. Leahy then converted a penalty after 70 minutes and there was no looking back for Bridge as they progress into the next round. Meanwhile Johnston also secured their place in the next round after putting 7 past Cosheston, the visitors did manage two consolation goals but that’s all they were as they continue to struggle.

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BBC Cymru Wales announces new line-up of sports content

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BBC Cymru Wales has announced an exciting new fixture list of content for the forthcoming sporting season. With sports fans looking for immediate coverage of their team, keeping up to date with the latest news and analysis, the broadcaster will be introducing new content on iPlayer, Sounds and online.

Under the Scrum V and Feast of Football brands BBC Cymru Wales will be launching two new digital first, multi-platform programmes – designed for audiences to watch or listen to on their phones, tablets and laptops as well as on television or BBC iPlayer.

The multi-platform Scrum V show will feature big names talking rugby in a relaxed and no holds barred environment, presented by Lauren Jenkins.

And of course there’ll be plenty of live action as Scrum V’s first URC game of the season kicks off on Friday, 20 September when Cardiff take on Zebre. Sarra Elgan will bring all the action from the Welsh clubs every Friday evening on BBC Two Wales, following all four Welsh regions in their quest for this year’s title.  

With audiences wanting their highlights quickly, Scrum V’s evening highlights show will no longer be on Sunday nights.  Instead, highlights will be available shortly after the final whistles of all Welsh regional matches online and on Scrum V’s social channels.  These highlights will also be combined and shown as one comprehensive package on BBC Wales TV and iPlayer. And the Scrum V Podcast continues weekly on BBC Sounds with Gareth Rhys Owen.

Other new shows under the Scrum V banner this season include Scrum V Top 5s which sees Mammoth star and diehard rugby fan Mike Bubbins inviting guests to choose iconic moments and characters from the game. Among those featured in this eight-part series is Sam Warburton who reveals some very unlikely choices for his Top 5 Teammates.

Football fans also have a new multi-platform show. With a bumper autumn of international football approaching, an eight part series of Feast of Football will have unparalleled access into the national squad – capturing all the excitement and the big talking points of the Welsh game.

Presented by former Wales captain Ashley Williams, this will be a must watch for football fans and will tap into the spirit and passion of the Red Wall.  Filmed at the Football Association of Wales’s headquarters on the eve of the men’s and women’s internationals, the show will feature interviews and exclusive access to players from both camps, as well as short films from around Wales.

Ashley Williams said: “I’m really excited to be presenting Feast of Football. We’ve got great access to the squads and we’ll be giving fans a brilliant insight into Welsh football and talking about the things that matter to them. We want them to feel they’re right at the heart of the camp and part of the story.”

BBC Cymru Wales is also increasing its online sports coverage with more team topic pages and live text pages while a new BBC Radio Wales and BBC Sounds series this autumn – Iconic: The Rise of the Women in Red – presented by Wales’s most capped footballer Jess Fishlock will chart the growth of women’s football.

Carolyn Hitt, Head of Sport at BBC Cymru Wales said: “Scrum V is our iconic rugby brand and will remain at the heart of our sports coverage, with content throughout the week offering analysis and predictions, timely highlights as well as marking the remarkable moments. BBC Wales is proud to have brought Scrum V to audiences for almost 30 years and our aim is to capture the interest and imagination of a new generation of rugby fans as well as rewarding our longstanding audiences with new content.”

“As the game evolves and the way we consume sport changes, we’re looking to provide more instant coverage, courtesy of our new digital formats. Rugby and football fans can rest assured that the new offer will bring the latest news, views and analysis to their laptop, smart phone and TV.

“I’m delighted that from next season we can bring more football to fans across Wales.  Feast of Football will expand with a podcast and iPlayer and TV versions. Feast of Football will talk Welsh football in all its glory and in the slightly less glorious times. 

“It’s also true that the BBC, like other broadcasters is having to cut its cloth in line with its budgets. Increased costs across the board, as well as our ambition to cover a broader range of sport means we’re having to focus where we spend our money and ensure we’re giving our audience the sport coverage they want in the places they want to enjoy it.”

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European stars line up for European Rally Championship

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THE FIA European Rally Championship will return to Wales for the first time in 28 years as the JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion returns this year with an exciting new route covering the stunning landscapes of Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, and Powys.

Taking place from 30 August to 1 September, 2024, the event will attract top competitors from across the world, with an extended and demanding route that will offer both participants and spectators an unforgettable experience. 

Spectators are invited to join the action and community festivities. Key viewing areas and fan zones will be set up along the route. For details on the best spots to watch and ticketing information, visit Rali Ceredigion’s official website

This year, Rali Ceredigion not only aims to deliver exhilarating motorsport entertainment but also to promote local tourism and sustainability. The rally route showcases the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Mid and West Wales, encouraging visitors to explore and appreciate the region. Efforts are also being made to ensure the event is environmentally friendly, with initiatives such as low-carbon race fuel and one of the world’s largest carbon offsetting programmes for rally events ensuring the event offsets and captures more carbon that it produces through local and national environmental projects.

Rali Ceredigion was the first UK event to have a specific class for electric vehicles and is the only rally in the UK to have achieved the stringent FIA environmental accreditation.

As part of the ‘Rali Engage’ initiative, Rali Ceredigion is visiting schools in the area and has launched a competition for schools to win up to £1,000 to spend on environmental projects. There is also a competition for children to design one of the rally cars that will take place in this year’s event.

Charlie Jukes, Rali Ceredigion Event Director said“We are thrilled to bring Rali Ceredigion to these new and exciting stages and, through the extended coverage of the event, create global awareness of the region and drive tourism opportunities. This event is a celebration of not just motorsport but also the vibrant communities and breathtaking landscapes of Wales. We encourage everyone to join us and experience the thrill and beauty of this event.” 

In a joint statement, Councillor Darren Price, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Councillor Bryan Davies, Leader of Ceredigion County Council, and Councillor James Gibson-Watt, Leader of Powys County Council said: “Rali Ceredigion is a prime example of an event that brings economic as well as wider benefits to our area. We are excited to welcome a large international audience to mid and West Wales for an event that highlights our natural assets. The event is also on an exciting journey to boost its sustainability, providing a world-leading example of how such an event can drive environmental performance whilst delivering a great experience for local people and visitors alike.”

The event is being supported by Ceredigion County Council and partially funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund from the UK Government. Rally organisers will be on hand to talk about the event in more detail at this year’s Royal Welsh Show. Come and say hi and pick up a rally guide from the Ceredigion County Council stand on Thursday afternoon, 25 July (Stand 477-E. Grid ref: F4, situated behind the main ring).

Plan Your Visit 

For comprehensive details on the event schedule, road closures, and spectator zones, visit www.raliceredigion.co.uk. Follow us on social media for live updates and join the conversation using #RaliCeredigion2024. 

Staying for longer in the area? There are many beautiful places to discover. Visit Discover Powys for inspiration for your stay: https://www.midwalesmyway.com/

Join us for an unforgettable weekend of rally excitement and discover the best of Wales with Rali Ceredigion 2024! 

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Gareth Southgate resigns as England manager following Euro final

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In a significant turn of events, England manager Gareth Southgate has stepped down just two days after England’s 2-1 defeat to Spain in the 2024 European Championship final in Berlin. This marks England’s second consecutive Euros final loss, having been beaten on penalties by Italy at Wembley three years prior.

Southgate, 53, who led the national team in 102 matches over his eight-year tenure, was due to see his contract expire later this year. In a heartfelt statement, he expressed his deep pride in having served his country: “As a proud Englishman, it has been the honour of my life to play for England and to manage England. It has meant everything to me, and I have given it my all. But it’s time for change, and for a new chapter.”

Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham announced that the process to find Southgate’s successor is underway, aiming for a swift appointment. He assured that an interim solution is in place if required and that there would be no further comments until a new manager is named.

England’s next fixture is against the Republic of Ireland in the Nations League on 7 September. FA sources have indicated that the selection process is unlikely to be restricted to English managers alone. Potential candidates include Under-21 boss Lee Carsley for an interim role, Newcastle’s Eddie Howe, former Brighton and Chelsea manager Graham Potter, ex-Chelsea and Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, as well as speculations around ex-Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, who left Bayern Munich last season.

Southgate’s tenure was notable, as he became the only England manager besides 1966 World Cup winner Sir Alf Ramsey to lead the team to a major tournament final. He guided England through four major tournaments, including the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and the quarter-finals in 2022. Under his leadership, England won nine knockout matches, a significant improvement from the six won in the 50 years prior.

Despite his successes, Southgate faced mounting pressure this summer, with many fans critical of his utilisation of England’s talented attacking players. The tension peaked when supporters expressed their discontent following a goalless draw against Slovenia in the Euro 2024 group stage. However, he regained some support during England’s run to the final.

Reflecting on his time, Southgate praised the current squad: “The squad we took to Germany is full of exciting young talent and they can win the trophy we all dream of. We have the best fans in the world, and their support has meant the world to me. I’m an England fan and I always will be.”

Prince William, the FA president, commended Southgate for his leadership, saying: “Thank you for showing humility, compassion, and true leadership under the most intense pressure and scrutiny. And thank you for being an all-round class act. You should be incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved.”

Tributes also poured in from players, with Declan Rice and Jordan Pickford expressing their gratitude for Southgate’s guidance and support.

Southgate, who replaced Sam Allardyce in 2016, concluded with a message of thanks to his players and staff, singling out assistant Steve Holland as “one of the most talented coaches of his generation.” Reflecting on his journey, he stated, “I joined the FA in 2011, determined to improve English football. I hope we get behind the players and the team at St George’s Park and the FA who strive every day to improve English football, and understand the power football has to drive positive change.”

Bullingham lauded Southgate for making “the impossible job possible” and laying strong foundations for future success. He added, “Over the last eight years they have transformed the England men’s team, delivering unforgettable memories for everyone who loves the Three Lions. We look back at Gareth’s tenure with huge pride – his contribution to the English game, including a significant role in player development, and in culture transformation has been unique.”

As the search for a new manager begins, Southgate’s departure marks the end of a remarkable chapter in English football, one that brought hope, pride, and a renewed belief in the Three Lions.

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