Scott Ruscoe is urging his fringe stars to stake a claim for both a cup final spot and their futures after TNS won their eighth straight Welsh Premier League title.

Saints’ 4-0 win at Barry Town sealed the title, and Ruscoe insisted the players have earned a few days rest this week, confirming they will train before Saturday against Caernarfon at home.

But he also admitted he was delighted with being able to pick players hungry to keep the shirt ahead of the Welsh Cup final on May 5.

“Saturday is about picking the right side – I might play a few who have been out of the side recently, then it’s about looking at players who deserve to play,” he said.

“We have a decision to make on who’s going to play in the cup final, and players like Simon Spender will be putting their case – Saturday is an ideal opportunity to give him a go.

“It’s the same with our centre forwards, or Billy Whitehouse, will be looking for a start.

“But we have to do what’s best for the team, who are the best in the league.

“It’s great for me, to see the players so hungry they want to keep the shirt. The only part of the squad missing depth is central defence which is a priority.”

Ruscoe admitted he and his staff have an eye on next season, with a few combinations possible over the next two weeks.

He added: “We’ve got 13 or 14 players out of contract and we have to make our mind up on our squad next season and where we need to strengthen. There will be one or two changes – it certainly won’t be like last year.

“That could have backfired on us; we got rid or lost eight players and around the same amount are coming in; then it’s very difficult to know if they’re going to gel.

“You can only go from what people say about their characters and certain players take a little longer to settle in.

“We’re fortunate with the players that have come in and in the end, taking us to another level.”