Tales from Wales – Part 3 – Total Eclipse of the Hartson | @Matt_C_Wills

Happy Monday! Matt is here to continue his build of an all Welsh club but what does the end of season one have in store for Cardiff?

Croeso and welcome back to my all-Welsh save. We’ve rattled towards the end of Season 1 and the mighty Cardiff are sitting nicely at the top of Division 3, meanwhile my Welsh national team learn their fate in the Euro 2000 qualifiers. Could have been worse I suppose.

We start February with 3 draws in a row. I have my eye on Swansea’s Kristian O’Leary

We bust the run of draws as Dale and Rowlands Funfair grab the 3 pts. It’s a shame Bjorn isn’t Welsh really.

Back to draws the following Saturday and it’s a humdinger of a match really.

Another game, another high scoring draw.

And then a loss. This will be a bit of a dent to our title and promotion hopes.

It’s a somewhat rare win these days – not sure why our form has gone off the boil a bit

International Friendly time and I’m glad its against lowly San Marino. Only Premiership players are exempt from club duty so I only have about 14 players to choose from. 3-0 will have to do as the Welsh FA are ‘satisfied’ with me.

Transfer deadline day comes and thankfully no big-club release clauses are activated but I do finally get my man.

Straight into the team and I might have uncovered a rock at the heart of defence!

In the first major cup final of the season, Leeds prevail over Birmingham on penalties. Looks like a crap spectacle though.

If you want entertainment, get yourself down to Ninian Park, its where all the action is and title rivals Exeter are knocked for six.

Away from home its not so exciting though. But young O’Leary is settling in just fine.

Yep, Ninian Park is the place to be. People say we are lucky at home but you don’t need luck when you’ve got 71.4% of the goals behind you.

Double D Delight away at Macclesfield. I’m sure I purchased a few copies of Double D Delight back in my student days in Cardiff. Colin’s Books. If you know, you know.

And that, my friends, secures us promotion. 3 games to go though, lets see if we can grab the title too.

Friendly time already again and it’s a 5-1 win to at least keep me on nodding terms with the Welsh FA. I can see why Bobby never lasts long.

If we keep winning, the title is ours. Ravey Davey goes home with the match ball.

Double G at Hull. They’re normally shoo-ins for promotion in most saves, not so here though.

We lose at home on the final day, but it matters not, Exeter can’t overhaul us and we go up as Champions. The only all Welsh team to win a division in England, probably!

The final table for confirmation. Brighton nabbing the final automatic promotion spot.

Elsewhere Man Utd win the Premier League and Rangers reign in Scotland.

Uefa Cup glory goes to Marseille

While Stuttgart prevail on penalties

Man Utd do the double

Oh, make that a treble, a year ahead of schedule.

Friendly time again and Egypt are dispatched with ease

While it’s a close loss to Norway who head to the World Cup

Arsenal come in for young Rowlands – it’s a shame but the money will be handy and young Owen did ok on loan, so a welcome addition.

In the World Cup, England exited the 2nd round to finalists Argentina and France prevail. That narrow 1-0 friendly loss to them now looks even more impressive. Welsh FA take note.

Looking at the end of season goal stats and Carl Dale, wherever you are now, I love you.

Awards time and Barry Fry gets in ahead of me for Manager of the Year.

15th July comes around and normally I would be waiting to see if Japhet N’Doram or Rai retires, but now it’s a case of hoping Southall, Rush, Hughes and Saunders hang up their boots.

Hmm, just Jeremy Goss then, oh well.

That’s an entertaining first season out of the way. Hopefully I’ll be able to do a bit of business in the summer transfer market and strengthen the team a bit for our assault on Division 2 and we have the qualifiers for Euro 2000 to look forward to.

Thanks for sticking with me on Monday mornings and see you soon.

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