Treble treble now in sight for Saints

Reporter:

Gavin Grosvenor

TNS coach Craig Harrison insisted the club’s potential ‘treble treble’ warranted greater credit ahead of the JD Welsh Cup final against Bala Town on Sunday (2pm).

Victory at Bangor’s Nantporth Stadium would see the Oswestry club maintain its total and utter dominance of Welsh football and complete their third treble in succession.

However Harrison, who has been linked with the newly vacant managerial position at English League Two side Hartlepool United this week, reckoned his side’s achievements warranted greater plaudits.

“A triple treble is a quite scary thing to think about it,” he said. “We have a lot of people happy to jump on our back and say we’re a full-time club, but we have been that for 15 years. Other teams have been full time in that period and not achieved what we have.

“Sometimes I laugh about teams talking about being part-time but six years ago Bangor City were part-time and they won the league.

“It’s not impossible but it’s only because we’ve been so good in the past six years that we’ve stopped part-time teams winning it.”

TNS rested a crop of players in the Welsh Cup final dress rehearsal at Bala Town last week which ended in a bizarre 6-4 win for the visiting Saints.

Harrison insisted he had plenty to ponder as a host of fringe players had taken their chance to shine.

“It’s something I’ve said from day one,” said Harrison. “No one has a God given right to play and I do my best to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“I want people on Saturday, when we’re doing team shape and set-plays, to be knocking on my door. Selection is always close because I’ve got a very strong squad and there are three or four positions you’re not sure of. The players have to knuckle down and train hard enough to get in the team.”

This is Saints’ fifth final in six years but Harrison insisted Welsh Cup fever remained as fervent as ever as excitement grew throughout the week.

“We’re all human and we might change our demeanour subconsciously in cup final week,” said Harrison. “I love the Welsh Cup, even when I was at Airbus and the furthest we got was the quarter-finals.

“It’s got something special about it and I look forward to what is a prestigious cup that we’ve won for the past three years. I wouldn’t want anyone to not be excited about it.”

See full story in the County Times

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