Aberystwyth Town will head into something of the unknown on Saturday when they visit Welsh League Division One outfit Cwmamman United in the JD Welsh Cup, but in Nev Powell they have a manager in their corner who knows more than most about what it takes to lift the famous trophy.
As the manager of Bangor City, Powell reached four consecutive finals between 2008 and 2011, lifting the trophy on the first three occasions.
In fact, his incredible form in the competition meant that his side did not lose a single JD Welsh Cup match between his appointment in May 2007 and the 2011 final against Llanelli. However, to compensate his side did lift the Welsh Premier League title that season, an achievement experienced only by The New Saints every year since.
Over the course of those defining four seasons, Bangor City won 22 consecutive games in the JD Welsh Cup, defeating Llanelli, Aberystwyth Town and Port Talbot Town in the respective finals of 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Powell had worn the colours of Bangor City with distinction both domestically and in Europe during his own playing career, and was emulating that success in the dugout.
Powell eventually left Bangor City as manager in July 2016, taking over at Aberystwyth Town a year later. Currently undefeated in their last seven games in the JD Welsh Premier League, the Seasiders have established themselves in the top half of the table, but they will not be taking their lower-ranked opponents for granted.
And part of the reason is due to the fact that Aberystwyth Town have already lost to lower league opposition this season. Cambrian & Clydach are currently one point above Cwmamman United in the Welsh League table, and Aberystwyth Town are one of four Welsh Premier League clubs that the Rhondda side have beaten on their way to the Nathaniel MG League Cup final.
But while Powell, 55, is synonymous with Welsh Cup success at Bangor City, he also guided Aberystwyth Town to the final of the competition during his first season in charge at Park Avenue.
A 4-1 defeat to his former club Connah's Quay Nomads in Newtown back in May took the shine off the achievement, but confirmed that Powell's Midas touch in the competition has not left him yet.
Although success in the competition for Powell started a decade ago, he was involved in the domestic top-flight during the inaugural 1992/93 season as he represented Bangor City as a player, and then became player-manager at Connah's Quay Nomads. However, the closest he came to lifting the Welsh Cup as a player was in 1985, but Shrewsbury Town claimed a 5-1 aggregate win over Bangor City in the two-legged final.
There are few figures associated with the league that are as respected and admired for their achievements as he is, and a deserved place in the Welsh Premier League Hall of Fame arrived in March 2013.
The immediate focus for Powell and his Aberystwyth Town side now turns to the JD Welsh Cup, and the competition will bring back some welcome memories for the manager as he plans to move a step close to yet another final.
JD Welsh Cup Round 3 – All kick-offs 2.30pm unless stated
Friday, 7 December 2018
Bangor City v Holyhead Hotspur (7.45pm)
Barry Town United v Penybont (7.45pm)
Prestatyn Town v Caernarfon Town (7.45pm)
Saturday, 8 December 2018
Airbus UK Broughton v Porthmadog
Briton Ferry Llansawel v Llandudno
Cwmamman United v Aberystwyth Town (1.30pm)
Cwmbran Celtic v The New Saints (1.30pm)
Denbigh Town v Cambrian & Clydach Vale BGC
Flint Town United v Bala Town (7.30pm – Live on S4C Sgorio)
Goytre United v Carmarthen Town
Guilsfield v Connah’s Quay Nomads
Haverfordwest County v Pontypridd Town
Llangefni Town v Llanelli Town
Newtown v Rhyl
Ton Pentre v Cardiff Met
Ynysddu Welfare v Cefn Druids
The draw for Round 4 of the JD Welsh Cup will be live on S4C as part of the Heno programme on Monday, 10 December.