Europa League: Meet the Welsh semi-professional side that could join Manchester United in 2019-20
In a truly momentous occasion for Welsh football, Cardiff Metropolitan University FC, a university football team, have officially qualified for the UEFA Europa League preliminary rounds. Yes, the same league that Manchester United, Arsenal, and Wolves scrapped their way into through the English Premier League.
A squad that is largely made up of students at the University, who play football part-time, Cardiff Metropolitan University FC's qualification is certainly its biggest achievement in its 19 years of existence.
It was an incredible story that began with them finishing seventh in the Welsh Premier League, but did just enough to qualify for the playoff conference. Victories over Llanelli Town and Caernarfon Town booked their tickets to a final showdown against Bala, who were outright favourites having qualified for the Europa League 5 years in a row.
The incredibly "scrappy" match (As the 1000 odd spectators put it), went down to a penalty shootout, as normal time ended at 1-1. Goalkeeper Will Fuller was the unlikeliest of heroes as he saved three penalties, sending Cardiff Met through into the preliminary stages of the Europa League. They will be joined by clubs from Luxembourg, San Marino, the Faroe Islands, Andorra, Kosovo, Gibraltar and Northern Ireland, and would be hoping to punch some more above their weight to land a place in the group stages.
This university team is potentially just four rounds away from playing against the likes of Sevilla, Manchester United, and Arsenal. One can't put it past this plucky university team to put together a few more results together in the preliminary rounds and knockout a few more established teams.
Fancy a Cardiff Met University FC vs Manchester United Europa League finals anyone?
If this news wasn't enough, the Cardiff Met University Women's FC had also qualified for the UEFA Women's Champions league a few days back. Students really can get absolutely anything done, can't they?