Aberystwyth Town F.C.

Aberystwyth Town Football Club (Welsh: Clwb Pêl-Droed Tref Aberystwyth) is a Welsh semi-professional football team, currently playing in the Cymru Premier, the top tier of football in Wales. They are the only top flight football club in Ceredigion.

Aberystwyth Town
Full nameAberystwyth Town Football Club
Nickname(s)Seasiders
Black and Greens
Founded1884; 137 years ago (1884)
GroundPark Avenue, Aberystwyth
Capacity5,000 (1,000 seated)
ChairmanDonald Kane
ManagerGavin Allen
LeagueCymru Premier
2019–20Cymru Premier, 9th
WebsiteClub website

The club was founded in 1884,[1] and plays at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, where their ground accommodates 5,000 spectators with 1,000 of that capacity seated. The club is one of the founding members of the Cymru Premier.

The club's youth team, Aberystwyth Town Under 19's, currently play in the Welsh Premier Development League – South, whilst the Ladies team play in the Welsh Premier Women's League. The club has an academy, which has produced many players that have played for the first team and some that have gone on to play at higher levels.

HistoryEdit

Foundation and early yearsEdit

Although Aberystwyth Town FC was formed in 1884, the club probably existed in the 1870s in an earlier incarnation – the re-establishment of a "town" club is recorded in 1876.[2] The club was founded by Arthur Hughes, son of a local solicitor, and his brothers Jack and Hugh. Although football had been played in the town since at least the early 1870s, it was in October 1884 that Arthur Hughes placed an advertisement in the local press:[3][4]

Aberystwyth Football Club
Gentlemen wishing to join the above club are requested to attend a meeting to be held at the Belle Vue Hotel on Saturday, the 4th inst., at 4pm. Members' subscriptions to be paid in advance, 2s. 6d.[5]

The club's early days were limited to friendly matches, as the club did not join a league until 1896. It joined the Welsh League for a year, before reverting to playing friendlies again.[6] In 1900 Town beat Druids 3–0 in the Welsh Cup final and became the first team from mid-Wales to take the trophy.

1945–2000Edit

The club joined the Welsh League (South) in 1951, although they also continued to field a team in the Mid-Wales League, and for a while in the Cambrian Coast League. Aberystwyth returned to the Mid-Wales competition in 1963 but did not win the league championship until 1984, after having been runners-up six times. They retained the title the following season, both under team boss Meirion Appleton.

In 1987 they returned to the Welsh League (South). They were three times runners-up before they became founder members of the League of Wales in 1992. Aberystwyth achieved 3rd in the first season. Aberystwyth Town are one of only three teams that have taken part in each season of the Cymru Premier; the others are Bangor City and Newtown. Manager Meirion Appleton was replaced by Barry Powell after a 5–0 home defeat to Caersws. In 1998/9 they qualified to represent Wales in the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Aberystwyth lost 3–4 over two legs against Floriana of Malta. The success of European qualification brought many changes to Park Avenue. There were a new BBC studio and TV gantry, followed by the new Dias stand which brought the number of seats in the two stands up to nearly 600. The Dias stand was named after David "Dias" Williams, who holds the club scoring record of 476 goals in only 433 games between 1966 and 1983.

The club did not qualify for European football again, but they gained entry to the FAW Premier Cup competition for the third year running. They reached the quarter-finals twice. Barry Powell left the club by mutual consent.

21st centuryEdit

Powell was replaced at the beginning of the 2001–02 season by Frank Gregan. Gregan was unanimously voted in as new manager before the start of the season. He was responsible for bringing in several players with extensive experience in the English pyramid. Town lost in the Welsh Cup to Aberaman Athletic in October 2001. This was combined with a poor away record and an exit from the later stages of the FAW Premier Cup at the hands of Caersws.

Gary Finley took over as player/manager immediately after Gregan departed for Weston-super-Mare. There was an instant improvement in form and minimal additions to the squad despite most of Gregan's signings departing. The club missed out on the FAW Premier Cup, ending up in ninth place in the league.

Finley took the club to fourth in 2003/4 and the club again qualified for the UEFA InterToto Cup, but following a policy decision to base the team on more local players, Finley departed and David Burrows took over as player/manager. The change of strategy produced a worsening of results in 2004/05, but the club's management decided to stick with the Ceredigion player policy despite seeing Park Avenue attendances slump by nearly 40%.

The club received a further setback in December 2004 when a serious fire destroyed much of the social club's facilities, ruling out the ground for the staging of cup finals until the new John Charles lounge was opened in 2005 by his widow, Glenda.

After several undistinguished seasons, the Seasiders reached the final of the Welsh Cup in 2009 under manager Brian Coyne, only to be beaten 2–0 by Bangor City F.C.. Coyne stepped down early the following season with Alan Morgan appointed as the new boss, and the club finished fourth in the 2009/10 season, missing out on qualification for Europe.

Then in the first season of the Cymru Premier Super 12, Aberystwyth, although in the top six for most of the first half of the season, were in the bottom half of the table at the mid season split, being beaten to the top half again by Port Talbot. The club finished in 7th place, before beating Airbus in the UEFA Europa League playoff quarter final, and eventually losing out to Neath F.C. in the semi-final.

In the 2011/2012 season Aberystwyth Town found itself in the bottom six again, and in a relegation battle. After a defeat to Cymru Alliance side Cefn Druids A.F.C. in the Welsh Cup, Alan Morgan stepped aside and Tomi Morgan returned as manager. Under Morgan the team finished in 8th place, and so qualified once again for the end of season Europa League playoffs. After beating Airbus U.K in the quarter finals, Aber faced Llanelli but lost in extra time.

The club created history for all the wrong reasons by losing 10–1 to The New Saints in their second home game of the 2019/2020 season.

RecordsEdit

Biggest victories and lossesEdit

European recordEdit

Season Competition Round Opponents 1st Leg 2nd Leg Aggregate
1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1st Round   Floriana FC 2–2 1–2 3–4
2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1st Round   Dinaburg 0–0 0–4 0–4
2014–15 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Derry City 0–4 0–5 0–9

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 28 March 2021

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   WAL Connor Roberts (on loan from The New Saints)
2 DF   ENG Louis Bradford (on loan from The New Saints)
3 MF   WAL Harri Horwood
4 DF   WAL Lee Jenkins
5 DF   ENG Ian Kearney
6 MF   NIR Harry Franklin
7 MF   WAL Mathew Jones
8 MF   WAL Jamie Veale
9 FW   WAL Jon Owen
10 FW   WAL Marc Williams (captain)
11 DF   WAL Rhys Davies
13 GK   WAL Alex Pennock
14 FW   WAL Steffan Davies
No. Pos. Nation Player
15 FW   WAL Jonathan Evans
17 MF   WAL Gwion Owen
18 DF   WAL Richy Ricketts
19 MF   ENG Steven Hewitt
20 FW   WAL Owain Jones
21 MF   WAL Joe Saunders
23 FW   ENG Dan Cockerline
26 DF   ENG Sam Barnes
27 MF   ENG Jack Thorn
28 FW   WAL Jamie Reed
31 MF   ENG Geoff Kellaway
32 DF   WAL Jack Rimmer
33 DF   NED Keurten Martha

StaffEdit

Position Name
Chairman   Donald Kane
Secretary   Thomas Crockett
Manager   Gavin Allen
Assistant manager   Antonio Corbisiero
Coaches   Bari Morgan
  Gari Lewis
Goalkeeper coach   David Owen
First Team Analyst   Tomos Robson
Physiotherapist   Megan Meredith
Kitman   Nathan Perkins

Manager HistoryEdit

  •   Angus McLean (Player/Manager) (1951–??)
  •   Ron Cullum 1974-1977
  •   Ron Jones 1977-1979
  •   Brian Morris 1979-1980
  •   Chris Brown 1980-1981
  •   Meirion Appleton (1981-1992)
  •   Tomi Morgan (1992 – September 1994)
  •   Meirion Appleton (September 1994 – February 1999)
  •   Barry Powell (March 1999 – May 2001)
  •   Frank Gregan (June 2001 – November 2001)
  •   Gary Finley (November 2001 – August 2004)
  •   David Burrows (August 2004– November 2005)
  •   Brian Coyne[7] (November 2005 – September 2009)
  •   Christian Edwards (interim)[8] (September 2009 – November 2009)
  •   Alan Morgan[9] (November 2009 – February 2012)
  •  Tomi Morgan[10] (29 February 2012 – 9 May 2013)
  •   Ian Hughes[11] (21 May 2013 – 19 April 2016)
  •   Wyn Thomas (interim)[12] (14 January 2016 – 19 April 2016)
  •   Matthew Bishop[13] (24 May 2016 – 21 May 2017)
  •   Tony Pennock[14] (21 May 2017 – 15 June 2017)
  •   Neville Powell (12 July 2017 – 28 March 2018)
  •   Seamus Heath (28 March 2018 – 9 August 2018)
  •   Neville Powell (3 October 2018 – 27 January 2019)
  •   Gavin Allen (interim) (27 January 2019 – 24 March 2019)
  •   Matthew Bishop (24 March 2019 – 15 June 2020)
  •   Gavin Allen (15 June 2020 – Present)

Notable former playersEdit

1. Players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level (i.e. fully professional league).
2. Players with full international caps.
3. Players that hold a club record or have captained the club.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Aberystwyth Town Club Information from Football Association of Wales – Football Association of Wales". Faw.org.uk. Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  2. ^ "floral Jtrms, »■-H..|1876-12-09|The Aberystwith Observer – Welsh Newspapers Online – The National Library of Wales". newspapers.library.wales. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Advertising|1884-10-03|The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard – Welsh Newspapers Online – The National Library of Wales". newspapers.library.wales. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  4. ^ "LOCA.L AND DISTRICT NEWS.|1884-10-11|The Aberystwith Observer – Welsh Newspapers Online – The National Library of Wales". newspapers.library.wales. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Arthur Hughes". The History of Aberystwyth Town FC. "The Old Black & Green". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Early History". Aberystwyth Town FC. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Coyne made new Aberystwyth boss". BBC. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Christian Edwards appointed as Aberystwyth Town's new manager". South Wales Echo. WalesOnline. 3 October 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  9. ^ "Morgan appointed Aberystwyth boss". BBC. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Tomi Morgan appointed Aberystwyth Town manager". BBC. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Ian Hughes appointed new Aberystwyth Town manager". BBC. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Club Statement". Aberystwyth Town. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Aber delighted to announce Matthew Bishop as new manager". Aberystwyth Town. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Pens Takes over as First Team Manager, Wolvesey Back in as Assistant". 21 May 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Tom Bradshaw: Walsall striker's call ends Wales international exile". BBC Sport. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  16. ^ "Tom makes his senior Wales debut". cambrian-news.co.uk. 31 March 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Focus on: Wyn Thomas — Sgorio". S4c.cymru. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  18. ^ "Swansea City striker Alex Samuel joins Morton on loan". BBC Sport. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.

External linksEdit