Date: Wed 20 Mar 2019

Andy Morrison reflects on Connah’s Quay’s IRN-BRU Cup journey

Good luck to all at Connah’s Quay Nomads as they represent the JD Welsh Premier League in the IRN-BRU Cup final on Saturday against Ross County.

We caught up with Nomads boss Andy Morrison ahead of the big game this weekend to reflect on his side’s journey to the final of the competition.

“I think the first game against Falkirk was a real highlight for me. They’re an established Scottish Championship side who we played away from home and have won the competition on numerous occasions.

“Going there and winning 1-0 really made the lads believe we could go on achieve something. From there on we knew that every team we played against wouldn’t be far greater than Falkirk, so why not take it one game at a time and see how far we can go?

“I was mindful that we wanted to try and avoid Ross County, because they are the standout team in the competition, but that Falkirk game was a highlight for me.

“This final is another achievement for us as a club and another chance for everyone at the club to put themselves on the map. It’s been a great journey so far, we’re going to go up there fully prepared for it and we’ll be ready to give a great account of ourselves then what will be will be.”

’They’re clear favourites with the bookies, but that’s no odds to us.’

In the Scottish Premiership as recent as the 2017/18 season, Ross County are a force to be reckoned with in Scottish football and prevent the most significant threat to Andy Morrison’s side’s run in the competition to date.

Fresh from watching County against Dundee, Morrison gave his assessment of this weekend’s opposition and what threats they pose to his side.

“It’s confirmed really what we already know, to a degree, that they’re a direct team, they’re physical and strong, they don’t play through the thirds, they go to the striker early and play from there.

“They’ve been very, very successful this year, and last night they ended up with two 6ft 4 strikers in an old-fashioned 4-4-2, so I wouldn’t have thought there will be too many surprises in how they play and what they do on the weekend.

“We’ve watched numerous videos now and I’ve been to watch them twice. We’re in for a tough game, this is a Premiership-calibre outfit who are eight points clear in the Scottish Championship so we’re under no illusions as to how much of a challenge this will be.

“They’re clear favourites with the bookies, but that’s no odds to us, we’ll just go about it our way, we’ll be competitive and ask questions of them and see what happens.”

’It has really hit home this week how much of an amazing achievement it is.’

With vast amounts of publicity coming the way of the Nomads following their exploits this season – particularly in reaching the final of this competition – the manager confesses that the enormity of his side’s achievement has really hit home this week, and notes how a recent trip to the venue for this weekend’s final caused that.

“We’re very proud as a club to be here and in this position, to have created another bit of history for Connah’s Quay Nomads and the JD Welsh Premier League.

“I went to Inverness earlier this week to do some press work ahead of the final, and obviously Inverness are the holders of the competition – seeing the pictures on the wall of their celebrations last year and what it meant to them to win the cup really brought it home to me.

“Just the magnitude of what we’ve achieved to get to the final, that has really hit me this week. Over 50 teams are in at the start of the competition, and for us to be in the last two it has just really began to hit home this week how much of an amazing achievement it is.”

’We’re really looking forward to representing everyone back home on Saturday.’

As was the case with the recent C International fixture between Wales and England where inter-club rivalries were put aside for the benefit of the league, the same has happened in the build-up for this weekend’s Irn Bru Cup final as the Nomads have been inundated with messages of support from players and clubs across the league.

Morrison expressed his gratitude for the well wishes and to the club for the effort they’ve put in make preparations for the final run so smoothly.

“The preparation has been fantastic, the club has got to take a lot of credit for how they’ve put it all together for the team and the fans because it is a massive effort by so many people to tick all the boxes and get everything to click.

“Logistically it is a nightmare for our fans and the football club, but I understand the reasoning behind it. Hopefully Ross County will take a few thousand down but whatever happens we’ll be there and ready to ask questions of the opposition.

“It’s nice that people within the league are being so supportive of us, because at the end of the day we’re going to represent the JD Welsh Premier League. The standard is getting better and better every year, and we’re really looking forward to representing everyone back home on Saturday.”

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