Cymru C boss Mark Jones looks forward to Stebonheath return 17 years after JD Welsh Cup triumph

Stebonheath Park holds a special place in the heart of Cymru C manager Mark Jones. 

It was at the Llanelli ground in 2007 that Jones guided Carmarthen Town to a 3-2 victory over Afan Lido in the JD Welsh Cup final – the first and only time that the club have got their hands on the historic trophy. 

“We were probably favourites on the day, which weren’t used to,” Jones recalls. “Lido were an excellent side, they were in the second tier but had beaten a couple of top-flight clubs on the way to the final.   

“It was a tight game and ultimately it was two good goals from Kaid Mohamed and one from Sacha Walters that saw us home. It was a brilliant day, you have all your friends and family there so it was very special. 

“As players and staff, that achievement never leaves you. We all have that shared memory and I treasure it so much. It is the only time that Carmarthen have won the cup so it is like folklore in the town.”

17 years on from one of his most famous triumphs, Jones will return to Stebonheath as his Cymru C side take on England C in an international challenge match on Tuesday 19 March (KO 19:45). 

“I am really looking forward to going back there,” Jones says. “It is a fantastic place and I always enjoyed taking my teams there in the Cymru Premier. The pitch is like a bowling green. There is a great feel around the ground and every game there feels like a big occasion.”

With Llanelli Town currently fighting for promotion from the JD Cymru South, there could be plenty of big occasions at Stebonheath to come in the next few weeks. 

But first, it will welcome the best talent from the JD Cymru Leagues and England’s National Leagues for a game that has proven to be a platform for professional careers. 

Jones selected his 20-man squad last week, as Cymru seek revenge following a 1-0 defeat to England in Altrincham last year. 

“We have shown in all of the games against England that there is real quality in our league,” Jones says. “It is important for the reputation of our league that we compete and we have always done that. We always keep our standards high and we will look to get something from the game.”

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