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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham AFC vs Cardiff City

Yet another clash with the champions!

16 March 2024

Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wrexham AFC vs Cardiff City

Yet another clash with the champions!

16 March 2024

Wrexham must put aside the excitement of this week's announcement that the team is going to tour the west coast of the USA, and focus on the small matter of welcoming the champions and league leaders to The Rock.


We started the Championship Phase of the season with an unfortunate 3-2 defeat at Swansea which reminded everyone that we're capable of competing with the top two. That result left us six points behind the Swans, which is frustrating as we went into the final round of matches in Phase One just two points behind them.

However, our first dropped points against the five sides beneath us in a 2-2 home draw against Cardiff Met coincided with Cardiff City's surprise defeat to Swansea, which meant we missed out on finishing the first part of the season in second place.

At least that defeat allowed Liv Fuller to get another 45 minutes under her belt as she battles back from injury, while Brooke Cairns was able to make her first start for the Red Dragons.

This will be the fourth time we've met Cardiff City this season, and there will be more opportunities to test ourselves against the strongest team in Wales: The return fixture is the last game of the league season, and we will then head to Newport to face them at Rodney Parade, for a final time in the Bute Energy Welsh Cup final.



Cardiff's apparently serene progress to another Genero Adran Premier title was disturbed unexpectedly when Swansea City pulled off a shock 2-0 win on the last day of the opening phase of the season.

Cardiff were unbeaten in league action for nearly two years before that defeat and bounced back emphatically by beating the Swans in the semi-final of the Bute Energy Welsh Cup, and then resuming their defence of their title with a comfortable 3-0 win over Aberystwyth Town.

City's squad is swimming with talent, but a real bonus for the Bluebirds is the return to fitness of Rhianne Oakley. She pulled her hamstring at The Rock in City's 3-1 win in the Adran Trophy, but made a scoring return with a goal in the Aberystwyth win.

“I remember just sprinting and it went, so it was frustrating for me," she told the club website.

“It was mentally challenging, every injury is going to be, but I just had to make sure that I accepted the injury, that I was patient with it and that I trusted the process. I rehabilitated as best as I could. There was no point in rushing the injury.

“It was a hard time for me, but I wanted to be back fit for Phase Two. We were looking at about six to eight weeks, which would land the week before Phase Two started. I didn’t want to miss out on that, so I was making sure that even outside of training, I was doing my rehabilitation, I was going swimming and doing everything I could do to help my body to come back as soon as possible.

“The Club were really good with me. Aimi [Healey-Bracher] and Maisie [Gudmunsen] worked together to make me a plan and that was agreed with Iain [Darbyshire]. The support was really good. It wasn’t a case of just sending me a plan to do at home, they brought me in, so I still felt like I was included in training, rather than just being on my own. Every step I went through, they were really supportive and were really happy for me when I came back.

“I think the main thing when you are injured is to have that support around you, whether that’s friends or family and people around the Club. Even though I was injured, coming into training and being around the girls and the staff really helped me to get through my injury."

Oakley arrived at the start of last season after making an impression at Swansea, and enjoyed a prolific first campaign with the Bluebirds. Although she's still only 22, she is eager to take responsibility of a leadership role at the club.

“Being a leader and someone who has played in the league a bit more than some of our younger players have, it was still important for me to be around and give advice to players. It’s great to see Bash (Olivia Basham) and Maddie (Madison Lloyd) coming up and getting minutes in the senior team, because they do deserve it. It’s important for me to help them out, whether that’s in training or in games.”

“It felt amazing to be back on the pitch and I was really glad that I came on and got some minutes against Swansea. Obviously, the game didn’t go how we wanted it to, but that’s football and that’s the way the game goes sometimes. I just have to focus on the next few games now and hopefully, I can play as many minutes as I can to help the team to get to where we should be in terms of our level of performance.

“I want to make sure that my comeback is stronger than my setback. It’s about ensuring that I’m training at my best, so I’m playing at my best. I want to do as much as I can to make sure that I’m performing and helping the team, whether that’s scoring, assisting, or just giving 100% in my all-round performance.”

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