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Women's Football News
After having led the table virtually all season, Cardiff Met Ladies clinched the Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League title for the fourth time in five years when they beat Llandudno Ladies 1-0 on Sunday.
We talked to defender Rebecca Mathias who was understandably delighted with being crowned Champions again, and the prospect of Champions League football next season, but also admitted that it is getting tougher for any team to win the league now:
WSS: Congratulations from all of us on winning the title, how does it feel to be Champions of Wales once again?
RM: Thank you! It's such a great feeling to win the league again and is testament to all the hard work we have put in over the season as a squad. I think it's our fourth title in five years which is fantastic for the club and is credit to the coaching staff and all the players involved. Obviously, the prospect of Champions League is also exciting, but at the moment we're just enjoying being champions and looking forward to a well earned rest.
WSS: You got the goal you needed early on but did Llandudno make it tough for you after that point?
RM: We knew going into it that it was going to be a tough game and that Llandudno weren't going to gift us the result. We started well and managed to get a goal very early on, but they did a great job of stopping us getting that second goal we wanted to give us some breathing space. They battled right to the final whistle and gave us a few nervy moments towards the end!
WSS: You've been chased by a number of teams during the season but were the two victories over Swansea the most crucial ones?
RM: Looking back on those two results now and how we came from behind in both games, I think we can say that getting those six points has been incredibly important considering the few points we have dropped in recent fixtures. It's always great to beat Swansea and I think that both wins gave us added confidence going into the following fixtures.
WSS: The goalscorers will take most of the headlines but are there any members of the squad whose contributions and efforts have been unsung?
RM: I always think that defenders can often be overlooked, and when you look at the number of goals we've conceded over the season our defence has been solid. Not going to name any names but they've all been great for us, and whoever has been asked to play across the back four has come in and done a solid job.
WSS: You finish up your season against Cyncoed on Thursday night, presumably you will be out to sign off with a victory and avenge your League Cup Final defeat to them?
RM: Obviously it would be great to finish the season on a high with a win but we're not looking for revenge after the cup final defeat - we've put that behind us and responded positively to win the league. Any game against Cyncoed is always going to be tough, but we're focusing on what we can control and are just looking to put on a positive performance as a team in our last league game. Given that there is no real pressure on us, it also provides us with the chance to give players who haven't had as many minutes some game time and an opportunity to prove themselves.
WSS: As you mentioned. winning the title also means you are back in Europe again next season, how much are you looking forward to that?
RM: At the start of each season the goal is always to qualify for Champions League. As a squad we're all really excited for it and to find out where we'll be heading for this summer, but we are also aware of how big a test it is for us as the standard of football is another step up. We'll be looking to build on our win from the previous competition where we hosted, and hopefully look to get out of our group.
WSS: With so many teams in the WPWL improving and getting stronger, are you finding it is getting tougher to win the league each season?
RM: Each year the standard of the league has definitely improved, with this highlighted through three different teams winning the three trophies on offer. There have been no easy games this season and each team has made it hard for us to get the win.
Our thanks to Rebecca!
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