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‘They’ve ignored local talent too long’

Created on 26/12/2010 @ 12:49
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Snow could well be the winner, but Guilsfield boss Russell Cadwallader (left) has turned up the heat ahead of tomorrow’s scheduled clash with Technogroup Welshpool.
Cadwallader left the side he made his name with as a top goalkeeper and also cut his managerial teeth at eight years ago but the wounds are still raw.
Now at the helm of neighbours Guilsfield, Cadwallader is relishing a match against familiar foe and so are his players, with no less than seven being former Town favourites along with first team coach Bernie Jones and assistant manager Chris Roberts.
Cadwallader shared his thoughts with mywelshpool ahead of the big game on:-
-          What went wrong at Welshpool
-          Why the locals have shunned the club
-          Why he joined Guilsfield from Berriew
“Wanting to play for Welshpool was in my blood. I was brought up on tales of Welshpool’s only Montgomeryshire Cup victory of the 20th century in 1951 when my father and uncle played in front of a crowd four deep at a wet and windy Maesydre. I remember going to watch Welshpool Town play Welshpool Amateurs in the early 1970’s when the Town had imported most of their successful squad from away and having it drummed into me that we wanted the local Amatuers to win.
At the time I didn’t realise why they were called the Amateurs, but that became apparent in 1983 when after running out of money the club turned to Glyn Harding to form a local side who played for the princely sum of £20 beer money between the whole team, which didn’t last long with some of the characters in that squad. I was lucky to make my debut away at Tywyn whose team was the same that had appeared for Welshpool the previous season (they were soon to go bankrupt as well) we won 2 - 0 and this remains one of my most pleasing football experiences!

I was then fortunate to play for Clive McNamee’s all conquering local side of the early 90’s. It was a side full of some of the most talented players to ever wear a Welshpool shirt. Unfortunately my playing career was ended with a knee injury sustained at Ebbw Vale in 1997. Clive then gave me the opportunity to manage the side in 1999. The next three years were full of trophies (including the Montgomeryshire Cup 50 years after their only other success) and eventual promotion to The Welsh Premier League. All of which were immaterial in comparison to the spirit, enjoyment and friendships that were fostered during that period, a characteristic very much in common with the team of the early 90s.

We were unable to establish ourselves in the Premier League and the committee at the time forgot what our success had been founded upon and just as 30 years previously decided that spending a horrendous amount of  money on a team of imports was the way forward. Unfortunately the egos of a few committee members who thought they could compete with the big boys got in the way of why the club was formed originally, to provide football for the people of Welshpool and the surrounding area.

The aforementioned committee men seemed to have slipped away unnoticed leaving the current incumbents to pick up the pieces. It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that local players are disillusioned with the club, they’ve been ignored whenever it suited the club and they had the money to bring in players from away, sadly it will take more than a few platitudes to restore that confidence. The first thing I would do would insist on the removal of the prefix Technogroup and then maybe that would be the first step to reconciliation, until then teams like Waterloo, Berriew, and Guilsfield will continue to prosper at their expense.

Hopefully Monday will be on and will be an interesting spectacle, I don’t think it’s a particularly good time to be playing them as they’ve signed some good players recently and their manager seems extremely upbeat and confident in their ability. As far as we’re concerned it’s been a time of difficult decisions and disappointing results. Hopefully things will improve but I ask to be judged in two years not two months. We have a group of players with a super attitude and an excellent committee. I wouldn’t have moved from Berriew if there wasn’t such massive potential to become a real force in the Alliance. Whatever happens there will be commitment to local players that can be trusted.”
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