Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Penybont FC
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
Cymru Premier outfit Penybont are managed by Rhys Griffiths, who signed a contract extension in January which will keep him at the club until 2025.
In his playing career, Griffiths represented the likes of Cwmbrân Town, Haverfordwest County and Carmarthen Town, prior to hugely prolific spells at Port Talbot Town and Llanelli.
Having netted 35 league goals in 51 appearances for the Steelmen, the striker moved to Llanelli, where he showed great quality.
As well as claiming the top scorer spot in his second season with Port Talbot, Griffiths went on to achieve the feat seven seasons in-a-row, as well as winning the Welsh Premier League, Welsh League Cup and Welsh Cup during his time with Llanelli.
Leaving the club with a remarkable tally of 180 goals in 181 games, Griffiths re-joined Port Talbot Town in 2012, but signed for EFL club Plymouth Argyle a month later.
After making 11 appearances for Argyle, the striker joined Newport County and was part of the side that defeated Wrexham in a Play-Off Final to book a place back in the Football League.
Returning to Welsh domestic football in 2013, Griffiths had a further spell with Port Talbot Town, as well as with Aberystwyth Town, prior to joining Penybont in 2016.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | A LOOK AT LAST SEASON
The 2022/23 campaign was a breakthrough year for Penybont, who qualified for European football for the first time in their history.
Bont finished third in the Cymru Premier table to achieve the feat, having lost just six of their 32 league matches.
Griffiths’ side were competing for third place with Cardiff Metropolitan University, but defeating the Archers home and away in Phase Two proved crucial.
The form of winger Nathan Wood was a huge part of the side’s success last season, finishing as the club’s top scorer with 11 goals, as well as scoring the Cymru Premier Goal of the Season.
Having impressed in Wales’ top-flight, Wood has since signed for League Two outfit Newport County.
Penybont’s reward for securing a top-three finish is a Europa Conference League first qualifying round tie against Santa Coloma from Andorra.
With details of the second qualifying round tie also announced, Bont will face either FK Sutjeska of Montenegro or SS Cosmos of San Marino if successful in the opening round.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | SUMMER BUSINESS
Penybont have seen some key players depart this summer, with talisman Wood moving to Newport County.
In addition, midfielder Kai Whitmore has joined Haverfordwest County and striker Sam Snaith has joined Barry Town United.
However, Griffiths has recruited playmaker Henry Jones from Haverfordwest County, as well as making a triple-signing earlier this month.
Striker Dan Griffiths, formerly of City’s academy, joined Bont, as well as 19-year-old Gabe Kircough from Pontardawe Town.
Bont also signed striker Chris Venables from Bala Town, who has scored over 200 goals in the Cymru Premier.
Griffiths recently added to his goalkeeping department with the signing of Alex Harris, who joined from Cirencester Town.
CLUB CONNECTION | KANE OWEN
One of Penybont’s most important players is left-back Kane Owen, who is a Wales C international.
Owen came through the ranks with the Bluebirds, representing the age-grade sides, before moving into the Cymru Leagues.
Since signing for Bont, Owen has established himself as an accomplished full-back in Wales’ top-flight and is regarded as one of the best in his position in the division.
Owen also has experience of playing at Cardiff City Stadium, having started for Penybont in their 3-2 Welsh Cup Final defeat to The New Saints in May 2022.