NIC PARRY should have been at Penybont on Saturday evening.

Instead of watching the Cymru Premier League leaders TNS in action down in South Wales, the S4C commentator was flying into Doha, excited at the prospect of covering his first ever World Cup with Wales.

"I was seven months old when Wales were last at a World Cup," said Parry, a veteran of the airwaves and television covering Welsh football over six decades. "It's funny because my grandson, Iago, is seven months now."

How time flies. Although it's not always been fun watching Wales over the years when hard-luck stories seemed to follow The Dragons around.

"1977 was my first game, working for BBC Radio. That's a long time ago," said Parry, who will form part of an S4C team that include former assistant manager Osian Roberts and ex-Wales internationals, Malcolm Allen, Owain Tudur-Jones and Gwenan Harries.

"I'm excited. It's been a long time coming. Obviously disappointed that it's a World Cup taking place in the winter. That isn't right.

"The worst thing is that it's the supporters who have suffered. The Euros in 2016 were amazing. 30,000 Welsh fans there with the Red Wall in full voice. Now in Qatar there'll only be about 5,000 Welsh fans.

"Everyone has come together to support Wales over the years. The atmospheres at The Cardiff City Stadium are something else. We used to get double the crowd in the Millennium Stadium but the atmosphere was nowhere near the same."

There'll be many more watching back home in north, south and mid-Wales and with the Welsh language enjoying a bit of rebirth thanks to the likes of Wrexham's Hollywood owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, Parry will more than play his part in spreading the word.

"I'm in a privileged position to be out there working," added Parry, who hails from Mold where he was a pupil at Glanrafon and Maes Garmon Schools. "BBC and ITV have to sort out their fixtures. We've got every single Wales game covered on S4C."

And having taken a month's leave, Parry obviously hasn't given up hope of Wales emulating what they did in France six years ago.

"It would be good, wouldn't it," he added. "But you can see why everyone has been calling Group B the group of death. All sides seriously believe they can finish in the top two.

"To repeat what Wales did in the Euros will be hard.

"I remember saying on air at the end of the Russia game that it's the best Wales performance I've ever seen. Seconds later Chris Coleman gave his reaction and said the same.

"But the Belgium game wasn't bad either. And there have been so many other great memories too.

"Mark Hughes' volley in the win against Spain at The Racecourse. Wales beating England 4-1 in 1980 in Wrexham too.

"John Hartson's goal in the win against Italy and Ian Rush grabbing the winner against the old West Germany.

"Then there was the Ukraine game. That was special is so many ways.

"I'm been lucky enough to watch great Wales players and become their friends, travel to games with them and being an Everton fan, I have to mention Neville Southall and Kevin Ratcliffe.

"But there are so many others and I was talking to Dennis Lawrence - the former Wrexham and Trinidad defender - at The Maesgwyn Hall and he said: "Whatever you do, you've got to go to a World Cup Finals to experience how good it is."

Parry gets that chance, 30 years after his last trip to Doha where he commentated on John Robinson scoring the only goal of the game against this year's host nation, Qatar.

As for his favourite snippet of commentary over the years, Parry said: "Ethan Ampadu scored although it was later ruled out and I said. Ampadu. Yabba Dabba Do!"