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Cardiff Met FC Is Just One Match Away From Qualifying For The Europa League

They would be the first student club ever to qualify.

12/05/2017 13:30 BST | Updated 12/05/2017 16:01 BST

A student football team is on the brink of making sporting history. 

Cardiff Met FC could become the first university side ever to qualify for European football if they win their match against Bangor City FC this Saturday. 

A victory would see the team bag a place in the first qualifying round of next season’s Europa League, putting themselves alongside the likes of Scottish giants Rangers and Aberdeen.  

Graham Haines
Cardiff Met FC are one match away from qualifying for the Europa League 

Club goalie William Fuller told HuffPost UK that qualifying would be a “dream come true”. 

“It’s a big game for the club, but we are fully focused on the task in hand,” he said. 

“We’ve got the experience of promotion and title run ins from our ascent through the Welsh Pyramid, but Bangor are a great team and we know the quality they possess. 

“A place in the Europa League would be a dream come true for the whole team, but we can’t think any further ahead than the next 90 minutes,” he added. 

The match against Bangor City comes after the student team - who juggle training with studying for their degrees - came sixth in the Welsh Premier League during their inaugural season.  

Graham Haines
They would be the first university side in history to qualify for European football 

Former Wales defender Christian Edwards, director of football at the club, said the players were “on the brink of achieving something extraordinary”. 

“It’s such an achievement for a team comprising solely of students, who actually have to pay for their kit - rather than get paid — unlike most of their Welsh Premier League counterparts,” he said. 

Each of the student players pay £150-a-year to cover the costs of kits and match day expenses. 

Edwards, who also played for Swansea City, added: “These are genuine students who apply to come here but we have tried to create a professional atmosphere and I couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve already achieved.”  

In a post on the club’s website, the team compared themselves to underdogs Leicester City, who shocked pundits by winning the Premier League in 2016

Cardiff Met FC
The side will face Bangor City this Saturday

“It would seem, money isn’t everything in the modern game,” the preview reads. 

“Yet, philosophy, grit, determination, character and potential provide the foundations of a successful team.” 

“Clearly the rise of the underdog has been much the theme of late, where on numerous occasions the unassuming, unknown identity have caused upset and outperformed the odds-on favourite... Will Cardiff Met be the next?” 

Cardiff Metropolitan University’s vice chancellor Professor Cara Carmichael Aitchison said there was “real excitement” on campus about the team’s progress. 

“They must be the best educated team in the world as most of the players are studying for postgraduate degrees and PhDs,” she added.