Cardiff Metropolitan University might not be a professional team but they dream of qualifying to the UEFA Europa League Group Stage.
More than a month after Chelsea lifted the UEFA Europea League trophy, the qualification for the new season has started.
And a team with five farmers on the squad is looking to take its first step towards qualification.
This is the story of Cardiff Metropolitan University.
“I’ve received 14 phone calls just since we’ve been chatting,” said former Swansea City, Nottingham Forest, and Bristol Rovers defender Christian Edwards who’s in charge of the team.
“The squad used to be top heavy with undergraduates.”
“These days we’re top heavy with PhDs and postgraduate students and then a small number of undergraduate students, so for a footballing university team we’re very experienced,” he told to The Guardian.
“Some players are approaching 300 games for the team.”
He explained: “And we’ve got varying backgrounds.”
“Two of our players came from the professional game, one has captained Hereford at Wembley, and then you’ve got some boys who have never been at an academy in their lives – we’ve got five farmers from the west.”
“I’ve got senior Welsh caps, played in the Premier League, etc, but that [a Ph.D.] is the best thing I’ve ever done because I wasn’t expected to succeed in education,” Edwards continued.
“The chief executive of the student union, Mike Davies, said they were going to pull the football program because it was pointless, and asked if I fancied taking over.”
“I wasn’t really interested in the football team and didn’t even know what level they played at. So I looked and we were at the bottom, the armpit of Welsh football. But they said they’d pay my masters fees, so it was a case of ‘Where do I sign?’”
The team will play tomorrow in the first leg of the Preliminary Round against Progres Niederkom from Luxemburg.
And hot off the press!
Some *more* brilliant coverage here … https://t.co/YQ7RG7iJP3
— Cardiff Metropolitan University (@cardiffmet) June 25, 2019