By Matthew Burgess
Cardiff Met are chasing glory, history and a big bundle of cash when they visit Bala Town today in a make-or-break Europa League play-off final.
The tie is worth £194,000 in prize money to the winning side but for the students it is also about securing European qualification for the first time in their history after heartbreaking defeats in the previous two play-off finals.
Met midfielder Will Evans believes his team are feeling confident of ending their unwanted play-off record following an impressive semi-final display against Caernarfon Town.ala
“If we’ve learnt anything from previous experiences, I think it’s that we need to learn to play the game itself and not the occasion,” he said.
“We want to play our game and if we can do that then we’ve got a good chance against anyone.
“We’ve beaten every team in the league after that result against Caernarfon, so that just shows that when we do things right we can trouble any team.
“We’ll be going into Sunday looking to do the same.”
Morning! Here we are, it’s Playoff Final Day! Town welcome Cardiff Met to Maes Tegid at 5.15p.m. for the final game of the season. We’d love to see as many of you there as possible so get yourselves down to support the lads! #lakesiders pic.twitter.com/6T6IuOFh7r
— Bala Town F.C. (@BalaTownFC) May 19, 2019
Hosts Bala have established themselves as perennial qualifiers in recent years and although they have struggled for consistency this season, right-back Andrew Burn insists the Lakesiders are coming into form.
“We’ve had conversations about not being at the level that we should be in some games,” said Burn.
“I remember around Christmas time when we played Connah’s Quay at home. We put in the perfect performance and if we came even close to that level every week then not many teams would take points off us.
“But, for one reason or another, we haven’t been able to maintain that. When you know what a group is capable of and it isn’t always achieving that, then it is frustrating.
“But what’s gone has gone and we can only look forward now. The fact that we’re still in this position of being one game away from Europe whilst knowing that we still haven’t been as good as we can be, week-in, week-out, shows how good a group we have here.
“We’ve hit form at the right time, so we won’t be thinking about previous games or anything like that, and at the end of the week, hopefully, we’ll be in Europe.”