How disappointed I was with the BBC Sport Wales’ latest piece on the Welsh Premier League.
Although I didn’t expect an article reporting on the fall-out of The New Saints’ draw with Airbus UK from the weekend, my heart sunk when I read that Carmarthen Town manager Mark Aizlewood had voluntarily served up some quick and easy ammunition for the league’s critics – which of course, the BBC wasted little time in picking up on.
Aizlewood claims that amidst an apparent injury crisis and mounting suspensions, the former Cardiff City and Welsh international may be forced to return to playing at the age of 55 for the Old Gold’s visit to Rhyl this Saturday.
Those who follow Aizlewood’s comments in the press will know that much of what he is says is tongue-in-cheek with the aim of provoking a reaction and a large pinch of salt is often required. But his latest views are of poor judgement and disrespectful.
It has been 14-years since Aizlewood last appeared in a competitive game so he will clearly be unable to compete at the required standard of the Weksh Premier League which begs the question, why doesn’t he promote players from his Under-19 squad? Are the youth players of Carmarthen Town really so inept, that even 55-year-old Mark Aizlewood would be preferred option. Of course they’re not.
With his playing days well behind him, the signal Aizlewood’s high profile comments about the standard of the Welsh Premier League and youth football in region gives out is a damning one. Is no youth player at Carmarthen able to come off the bench and “stand in the way and block a shot,” as he says he may be forced into doing?
All managers and coaches in the WPL are forced through selection worries, which at semi-pro level is often a bigger obstacle than in the professional game. In playing the underdog card ahead of Carmarthen’s game at Rhyl, Aizlewood’s quotes not only deride his own club but also the WPL.
Poor form, especially from someone with such experience.