By Callum McFadden – @football_cfb on Twitter
February 29th 2020. The day I travelled down to Chester after being invited down to experience hospitality at Chester Football Club by the amazing Paul Bodman who was a great help to me last year during a tough spell for myself.
Sadly the Chester game against Gateshead was cancelled due to the poor weather causing a waterlogged pitch but the club and Paul have been ever so kind to rearrange my experience of the club for later in the season which I am absolutely buzzing about. For that I am very grateful.
So, a 216 mile trip down to England to watch what I thought was Chester was left with no game.
I didn’t know what to do but having researched nearby clubs there was only one that I was desperate to attend if Chester was cancelled and that club was Connah’s Quay Nomads’. The reason was their involvement in Scottish football – the game that I love.
I watched them eliminate Falkirk from the Scottish Challenge cup last season and this season watched them eliminate Kilmarnock from the Europa league to send shockwaves through our game up here. Therefore, I was very intrigued to visit the club and experience what they were all about first hand.
Well, I cannot speak highly enough of Connah’s Quay as a club. WOW. The welcome they gave my girlfriend and I from the moment we arrived at the Deeside stadium was incredible. We were greeted by Roma Gray who leads the clubs hospitality and who was excited to meet us. Her welcome made me instantly realised we were in for a great day.
Roma then introduced us to Trevor Green – Matchday Co-ordinator – who showed us around the Deeside stadium and showed us key memorabilia that showcases highlights from the clubs history. Trevor explained everything detail of the background of the clubs historical highlights with his unique charm and then introduced us to manager Andy Morrison.
Andy greeted us like he had known us for years – being fellow Scots helped I’m sure – and spoke candidly to us about his aims for the club and told us that he’d make sure we had a great day and welcome.
From Roma, Trevor and Andy we thought our welcome couldn’t get any better. But amazingly it did. Supporter liaison officer Will Catterall and Carl Jones introduced themselves to us and just like all three others they immediately made us welcome and invited us over to the clubs social club – opposite the stadium – and introduced us to the fans who congregate there before games. Being outsiders, you never know how passionate fans of a club will take to you but yet again the fans we spoke to were very welcoming and asked us to join their table and have a beer and chat about the game. Again, an incredible welcome.
We then went over to the Deeside in time for kick off and took our seats.
I loved the game and the standard both teams put on. It was my first experience of Welsh football and trust me after the game I watched, it won’t be my last! You can read my match report here https://cfbfootball.com/2020/03/01/the-football-cfb-verdict-connahs-quay-nomads-1-2-cardiff-metropolitan-university/
Following the game, the club even arrange for me to interview both managers – Christian Edwards of Cardiff Met and Andy Morrison.
Then what they arranged after the game will stay with me forever. Not only did they treat me like one of their own from the moment we arrived at the ground but they even presented me with a signed jersey from all the players presented to me from manager Andy Morrison.
An incredibly classy gesture from the classiest of clubs. I was speechless at such incredible hospitality.
Following the game, we then ventured back to the supporters bar were we sat for hours having a few drinks and laughs with clubs officials and fans before former chairman of the club and current club president John Gray kindly drove us back to the train station to top off one of the most incredible days I’ve had as a football fan.
To conclude, I would just like to express yet again my sincere thanks to everyone at Connah’s Quay Nomads – the most incredible time at a wonderful well run community club!
Now go & win the title! You deserve it!!
I now hope that the club go on to win the league this season – which would be a historic first for the club & trust me I’ll be back! WHAT A CLUB!
The club will forever hold a very special place in my heart from here on out and it’s safe to say I now have a Welsh time that I will support going forward. #MonTheNomads