S4C’s flagship football series Sgorio is back for a new season of action from the Welsh Premier League, with a live game being broadcast on the channel every Saturday afternoon.
English language commentary will be available during the live games on the red button on S4C if you are watching the channel on either Sky or Freeview.
S4C has unveiled a new sponsor for the Sgorio series too - ‘Cychwyn Iach Cymru / Fresh Start Wales’ the Welsh Assembly Government’s campaign to persuade people to ‘Stop Smoking in their Cars’.
The first live S4C match will be Port Talbot v Llanelli on Saturday, 18 August, with the highlights show also returning on Monday, 20 August and the Stwnsh: Sgorio version for children broadcasting from Tuesday, 21 August.
The presentation team will include former Wales, Arsenal and Celtic centre forward John Hartson, along with Morgan Jones, Dylan Ebenezer, and former internationals Malcolm Allen and Dai Davies.
John Hartson is looking forward to covering the Welsh Premier, Spanish league La Liga, Newport and Wrexham’s home matches in the Blue Square Premier, and live matches and highlights of the Welsh teams’ campaigns in the FA Cup.
John says, "I am delighted to be part of the Sgorio team and covering the best of the Welsh Premier League. It’s great that I can broadcast in the Welsh language, with English language coverage of live matches also available for viewers on the red button.
"The quality of football in the Welsh Premier League has improved greatly over recent years. I think the teams are more competitive, the players' passion more evident and the gap between the teams closing every year.
"The league title was decided on the last day of the season for the second consecutive year. It all helps to create excitement among the fans and players up to the final whistle.
"The gap between the Welsh Premier League and other leagues in Europe is closing too.
You could see that when the Welsh teams competed in European competitions recently. The New Saints were especially unlucky not to beat Helsingborgs in their home leg in their Champions League qualifier and they won the treble in Sweden last season.”
John believes that champions The New Saints are favourites this season, having won the double last season.
"I think The New Saints are the team to beat again. Their best player last season was striker Greg Draper of New Zealand. He scored 28 goals and his contribution was key to their success. They will be hoping that he can hit the net as many times this season.
“But you can never rule out Bangor. They are a very close unit, with a long-running manager in Neville Powell and a striker in Les Davies who suits their effective style of play. If they can turn their new ground Nantporth into a fortress, they will be title contenders.”
To celebrate the league’s 20th anniversary and Sgorio’s 25th anniversary, Sgorio, in conjunction with the league and FAW, has established a Hall of Fame.
They are asking fans to nominate who they think have been the best players in the Welsh Premier League over the past twenty years. The first twenty names to be included in the hall of fame will be revealed on Sgorio at various points during the season.
Sgorio: Port Talbot v Llanelli
Saturday 18 August, 3.00pm, S4C
Monday 20 August 10.00pm, S4C
Tuesday 21 August 5.50pm, S4C
On demand: s4c.co.uk/clic
A Rondo production for S4C