Here at WPL.Cymru, we’re understandably hugely excited as our clubs do battle with some of the best in Europe over the coming weeks, and we’ve spoken to one of Huw Griffiths’ many talents at The Rock ahead of Druids’ European adventure. You can find out what midfield maestro Alec Mudimu has to say here!
“I don’t know what the future holds for us, we’re all working very hard to reach our goals and I believe next season can be even better for us. We haven’t even reached our peak yet, there’s a lot more to come from us and I’m looking forward to getting back out there with this team so we can show everyone what we can do.”
A staggering season for the outfit from The Rock has seen them make history on numerous occasions throughout the term, qualifying for the top six for the first time in their history at the split being the catalyst for the astounding achievements that have followed since.
There have been major personal achievements too for those involved with the club, but it has been very much a collective effort that has secured this forthcoming European challenge, and Mudimu says the squad is doing everything it can to be ready for what lays ahead.
“Earlier in the season when we spoke about the prospect of making it into Europe, where we’re at now seemed very distant – although realistic for us to achieve, without a doubt – but the togetherness of the club has been amazing and that has carried that through.
“If we can continue that positive momentum and the good feeling around the club then it can only serve us well for next season and I think with the signing we’ve made and the way the atmosphere is around the club, the coming season could be another successful one for Cefn Druids, but we’ve got to stick to what has got us to this point in the first place.
“All of the lads are very focussed, we’re working as hard as we possibly can in each and every training session to iron out mistakes, to limit the errors, to push ourselves to reach the next level and the experiences that lay ahead of us, they’re what dreams are made of, aren’t they?”
Last season wasn’t just a special one for Cefn Druids, but also for Mudimu himself, who burst onto the scene after settling in well under Griffiths’ leadership at The Rock and developing into one of The JD Welsh Premier League’s top midfielders, earning many plaudits for his performances and playing style.
Looking back on the decision to join the club, the Zimbabwe international noted how it was an easy decision to join the Ancients, but how he could never have predicted it going this well.
‘From the very beginning, getting that first phone call from the manager, I knew that this was somewhere I really wanted to be instantly to be totally honest.
“Meeting the Chairman and the Manager for the first time, I made my mind up straight away really. We talked about the club, being the oldest in Wales – that attracted me massively, a real bonus – and I met this fantastic bunch of lads at training and it has just snowballed from there.
“If you asked me this time last year if we were going to achieve what we’ve achieved I couldn’t have imagined this, I wouldn’t have believed you, it has been incredible, both with Cefn Druids and for Zimbabwe – from start to finish it has been amazing, and Huw has helped me massively with his coaching and keeping me grounded. A 12 months that you couldn’t possible script!”
Whilst some players may have been able to enjoy a brief break following the end of The JDWPL season, Mudimu was in South Africa competing in the COSAFA Cup as part of the Zimbabwean National Team, who won the competition for the sixth time since its inception in 1997.
“I sort of blinked and the tournament was gone, to be honest with you, it all happened so quickly from start to finish. From the very first moment of the tournament I was unbelievably excited, to play for my country at such a high level, I just cannot describe how that feels really, it was absolutely amazing.
“For me to be called up, I’m hugely honoured and my family are very proud. The tournament, from the first game against Botswana to the final against Zambia, it wasn’t easy – very few errors made at that level, as you can imagine – but I loved it and that’s the level I want to be testing myself at regularly.
“Winning the final was incredible, I don’t think the experience could have gone any better, especially after seeing the trophy because that thing was absolutely huge!”