Wales boss Gary Speed opens new Chirk stand

Reporter:

Robert Doman

WELSH football manager, Gary Speed, was at Chirk AAA on Friday to officially open the club's new 100-seat stand.

The Wales boss admitted he had only ever played cricket on the ground during his time as a budding sportsman, but was more than happy to cut the tape on the new facility as he underlined the Welsh FA's commitment to the grass roots game.

Around 500 people gathered to see the opening of the new stand ahead of a friendly encounter between Chirk AAA and Cefn Druids, two of Wales' oldest clubs, whilst Speed will now turn his attention to Wales' friendly game against Australia at the Cardiff City stadium tomorrow night (Wednesday).

"It's important that the Welsh FA try to mix with local and grass roots football at this level," Speed said. "We want to achieve something at national level by qualifying for a major tournament and if we want to do that then we need the support of everyone.

"I've never played football on this ground but I have played cricket here a few times so I imagine I have probably taken a few wickets here in my time.
"It is also nice to see Chirk AAA and Cefn Druids maintaining a long tradition by meeting here tonight as two of Wales' oldest clubs," he added.

Paul Hopkins put Druids ahead with a volley from the edge of the area to score the first goal in front of the new stand on five minutes, and they saw another goal disallowed before the Colliers hit back through Jason Williams who got enough on the ball to force it over the line from a 26th minute corner.

It stayed 1-1 until after the break when John Rush, son of former Wales and Liverpool striker Ian, stroked one into the top corner from 18 yards to restore Cefn's advantage on 65 minutes.

And he had a hand in the third Druids' goal too, playing in Kieran Duckett to poke the ball home just a minute later and give Cefn a 3-1 win.

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