The FA Cup kicks-off this weekend with Newport County carrying the flag for Wales in the first round and hoping not to suffer any alarms away at Met Police. Owen Morgan salutes the slayers of giants in the competition by recounting a Welsh killing that’s among history’s best. David, or perhaps more appropriately Dai, has been responsible for many FA Cup giant-killing feats against football’s Goliaths here in Wales over the years. Who could forget that little scamp Micky Thomas’ terrific free-kick to set Fourth Division Wrexham on their way to humbling English Champions Arsenal at the Racecourse in 1992?
Welsh Netball has put its money where its mouth is by re-recruiting the highly rated Aussie coach Julie Hoornweg to guide the national side through to the 2020 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Wales will not be represented at next year’s World Cup in Liverpool, and have slipped down to 11th in the world rankings following their 11th place finish at the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast in April. Hoornweg, a former England head coach, was brought in to steer both the Celtic Dragons through their Super League campaign and then Wales into the Gold Coast following the resignation of Trish Wilcox in the wake of the failure to qualify for the World Cup.
Swansea City manager Graham Potter believes there is plenty more to come from Matt Grimes after the midfielder agreed a new four-year deal. Grimes’ current contract was up at the end of the season and although the 23-year-old has taken a while to make an impact after leaving Exeter three-and-a-half years ago, this has been something of a breakthrough campaign. With the club back in the Championship and a number of rival midfielders having left the Liberty Stadium, Grimes has made 15 appearances so far this season – more than twice as many as he made in his first 18 months at the club before going out on various loans.
Bridgend legend Gareth Williams will be remembered in a special match at the Brewery Field on Friday night. The former Wales and British & Irish Lions forward died in May this year after a long, brave battle against the debilitating disease, Multiple System Atrophy. He was only 63. But while ‘Sam’, as he was known throughout the rugby playing world, may no longer be with us, his legacy lives on through his children, who have set an ambitious £100,000 target to raise money to help others who find themselves in the same position as their beloved father.
Wales have been made favourites to beat Australia on Saturday, even though it’s now a decade since they last did so. Robin Davey believes the facts back that up, but for history to change tack he wants some help from the elements. Wales don't get to beat Australia - or do they? For on Saturday, they will surely never have a better chance of ending their dismal against their southern hemisphere rivals.
Sarah Jones will become the second Welsh Women’s Hockey international to make her Great Britain debut this year when she plays at the FIH Women’s Champions Trophy in China. Jones, who has won 91 Welsh caps, was named as part of an 18-strong squad to head to China to face the host national, Australia, the Netherlands, Japan and Argentina.