TOTAL NETWORK SOLUTIONS
OTHER EUROPEAN QUALIFIERS
[Welsh League champions 2004/5]
Review of 2003/4
BACK ON TOP - 2004/5
TNS claimed their second Welsh Premier League
title and the league/Welsh Cup double, to end several seasons of disappointment
and three years as runners-up. With virtually the same squad as last
season there was one crucial change - the arrival of the league's
leading marksman, Marc Lloyd-Williams.
Lloyd-Williams forged a deadly strike force with Michael Wilde
Jiws showed why he is peerless when it comes to putting the ball in
the back of the net, scoring 34 times including four hat-tricks and
a vital winner at Rhyl.
Along with supporters' player of the season Michael Wilde, who notched
19 for himself, they formed a deadly duo that was just too much for
the majority of sides.
But there were other crucial differences. The return of 2000 title-winning
manager Andy Cale as head coach brought a new dimension to Saints'
play. Passing football became the order of the day with several players
showing new levels of ability and confidence.
Going a goal behind wasn't a problem either. Learning from their mistakes
of previous seasons, the team showed patience in breaking down their
opponents and scored a high percentage of goals in the final minutes.
Steve Evans (Welsh Premier player of the season) and Jimmy Aggrey
(until his departure) marshalled the backline in which Tommy Holmes
and Chris Taylor were ever-dependable. It is invidious to single out
players, but Scott Ruscoe had his best season and Ged Doherty showed
new confidence with the gloves.
The discipline was good - Saints topped the Fair Play League as well
- and although the manner of victories in the second half of the season
never reached the heights of the first, which included 7-0 victories
at Connah's Quay and Caernarfon, few could deny that the best team
Rhyl overcame a hesitant start to threaten briefly mid-way through
the season and Bangor played some good football but were too inconsistent
to mount a challenge.