A FOOTBALL team targeting Welsh FA Cup success has been drawing on the healing powers of a religious shrine.
Holywell Town from the Welsh Alliance League are enjoying a fairytale run in the Welsh Cup, having defied the odds to beat a number of higher-ranked sides to reach the semi-finals.
The Wellmen are bidding to win the competition for the first time in the club’s history and qualify for Europe by upsetting the odds once again after visiting St Winefride’s Well in the town in a bid to give them the edge.
St Winefride's Well has been a site of pilgrimage in Holywell since about 660AD when St Winefride was beheaded there by the Welsh soldier Caradog.
The well is one of the Seven Wonders of Wales and attracts visitors from around the globe to a town often billed The Lourdes of Wales.
The players were captured taking to the waters at the shrine by the cameras of S4C’s Sgorio programme ahead of Saturday’s 3.15pm kick-off against Welsh Premier League side Aberystwyth.
Winning the cup would guarantee entry to the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Europa League and team manager John Haseldin said: “We went down there with the Sgorio production team to help highlight the history of the town.
"Every little helps and we are hoping the water can help us get through the game. It was a good bit of fun and it was taken in good spirits. The match is something special for us and it was a good team bonding opportunity.”
According to tradition, anyone visiting the well should walk around it three times before saying a prayer and taking a dip in the water.
S4C pundit Dylan Ebenezer said: “To ensure Holywell can thrash their next opponents, they need to take advantage of all the spiritual help they can get.
“It’s already a fairytale story. They’re two leagues below the Corbett Sports Welsh Premier but that’s the magic of the cup.”
Holywell’s semi-final is being screened live on Sgorio.
Welsh Premier League leaders The New Saints take on Bala Town in Saturday’s other semi-final.