The wait is finally over as Neil Warnock’s men kick off Pre-Season 2018, facing Taff’s Well at Rhiw’r Ddar Stadium at 7pm on Friday night.
Friday’s clash with the Wellmen is City’s opening match of the summer, with a further six first-team friendlies – and just as many U23/DVP pre-season fixtures – in the calendar before the Bluebirds kickstart their Premier League campaign away to AFC Bournemouth on 11th August.
Limited tickets are still available for what looks set to be another great pre-season charity event – with proceeds from the game supporting Rookwood Hospital & Velindre.
The summer so far
With excitement building ahead of the upcoming Premier League campaign, the Bluebirds have enjoyed a positive couple of months away from the pitch.
Summer signings, Josh Murphy, Greg Cunningham, Bobby Reid and Alex Smithies have all made the move to the Welsh capital in recent weeks.
Neil Warnock’s men returned to work on Thursday last week – view a pre-season gallery here – with the exception of Icelandic World Cup hero, Aron Gunnarsson, who is taking a well-deserved break before joining back up with the squad.
Last time out
A sell-out crowd watched our last meeting with the Wellmen one year ago on a scorching hot evening at Rhiw’r Ddar.
The Bluebirds dominated proceedings and ran out 1-0 winners thanks to an excellent first-half volley by Anthony Pilkington.
At the time, Neil Warnock handed debuts to new signings, Neil Etheridge, Loïc Damour, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Danny Ward – all four of whom went on to play important roles in the Bluebirds’ promotion.
City made nine changes at half-time in the game, giving a first run-out of the summer to a number of players. And the two sides put on an enjoyable display in front of over 2,000 supporters, raising a considerable amount of money for charity in the process.
Know your opponent
The Wellmen were founded back in 1946, as they entered the Cardiff and District League. The Club’s first home was the Gwaelod y Garth cricket ground.
Having joined the newly-formed South Wales Amateur League, the Wellmen enjoyed almost instant success, winning the league twice between 1949 and 1956, whilst also coming in as runners up on four occasions. Indeed, they had continued successes in the league, Corinthian Cup and South Wales Intermediate Cup throughout the fifties and seventies in particular.
In more recent years, Taff’s Well were the Welsh League Cup winners in 2016/17, after triumphing over Penybont 4-3 on penalties. Meanwhile, last season, the Wellmen finished the Welsh League Division One campaign in 10th place. New summer acquisitions Shane Davies, Jason Bertorelli, Richard French and Steve Williams have bolstered their ranks as they seek to improve on their standing from last time out.
The Wellmen will no doubt be looking forward to testing themselves against the Bluebirds on Friday evening, before getting their campaign underway on the very same day as City – facing Penybont away on Saturday 11th August.