CIRENCESTER TOWN goalkeeper Glyn Garner is happy to put this weekend’s Calor League top-of-the-table clash between his side and leaders Merthyr Town into perspective.
“There is only one crunch game coming up and that is England v Wales at rugby on Sunday week,” said Garner, emphasising his sporting priorities.
“I watched Wales beat France last week and that has put our Six Nations campaign back on track after the defeat to Ireland.”
The 37-year-old keeper, whose one Welsh international football cap came back in 2006, was happy to further play down the significance of Saturday’s St David’s Day clash on the artificial pitch at Penydarren Park which the hosts are billing as ‘the only game in Wales’.
“We go there with no pressure and we have three games in hand on them,” said Garner, who only meets up with his Cirencester team-mates on match days.
It would have been four games in hand but Merthyr’s Tuesday night game at Shortwood United was the latest to be postponed due to waterlogging.
“Saturday is just another game, worth three points like any other,” he added. “It will be like a home game as it is only a 20-minute journey for me. I train with Risca United (of the Welsh Third Division) in the week and I teach PE at Crosskeys College.
“Playing for Cirencester I am enjoying my football more than any time since I was about 18 or 19.
“The boss, Brian Hughes, is a nice bloke and honest, which is very important.
“As for the team, we are not setting the world alight, but we keep finding ways to win.
“Strangely, the two 0-0 draws against Merthyr last season were the first time in my career that I ever remember playing against them.
“Then this season we beat them 4-1 at home, though they had looked the better side and gone ahead before having the first of their two men sent off.”
Ciren’s other wise old Welsh head in the squad, 35-year-old Jody Bevan, whose paternal family are from Fishguard, also advises caution about taking this one game too seriously.
“I think the way results have gone recently, Merthyr need to win it much more than us,” said Bevan, who recently scored his 250th league goal.
“A victory at Merthyr would not mean we are going to win the league. Three games from the finish and it might be different. We still have 48 points to play for after Saturday.
“Having said that, getting any result there would be a massive shot in the arm and put the momentum very much with us.
“It’s a big game in front of a big crowd and we will go there and relish it.
“In any case, we seem to play better against the top teams and going to play on their artificial pitch will not be the shock it is for so many other visiting teams as we do a lot of our training on the 3G pitch in the Cirencester Arena.
“It will be a faster game than we have been used to lately on muddy pitches. The ball pings around more and your first touch has to be sharper. But we have plenty of ball players in our side.”