Neath Football Club (Welsh: Clwb Pêl-droed Castell-nedd) was a Welsh professional association football club based in Neath last playing in the Welsh Premier League.[1]

Neath AFC Crest.jpg
Full nameNeath Football Club
Nickname(s)The Eagles
Founded2005; as Neath Athletic
GroundThe Gnoll
ManagerKristian O'Leary[2]
2011–12Welsh Premier League, 3rd (of 12)

The club was formed in 2005 following the merger between Neath and Skewen Athletic. Originally known as Neath Athletic A.F.C. the club played its first two seasons in Welsh Football League Division One before being promoted to the Welsh Premier League.

The president of the club was Peter Hain M.P., the life vice-president was David Maddock who had been associated with the club and its predecessors (as player, committeeman and secretary) for over 56 years[when?].


The club was formed in 2005 as Neath Athletic after Neath and Skewen Athletic agreed to merge in an attempt to mount a better challenge to the Welsh Football League Division One title. Playing at the old ground of Neath F.C., Llandarcy Park, the new club proved a formidable force in the league, finishing second to Goytre United at their first attempt. Goytre United declined to step-up into the Welsh Premier League, meaning Neath Athletic could take their place. However, due to Llandarcy Park not meeting the required Welsh Premier League ground criteria, Neath was refused entry.[3]

During the 2006–07 season, Neath Athletic won the Welsh Football League Division One. With this success and the improvements to Llandarcy Park, Neath Athletic was eligible to play in the Welsh Premier League. Success in the Welsh Football League was followed by a placing of seventh in their first season in the Welsh Premier League.

During summer 2008, Neath RFC agreed to allow Neath Athletic to share its home ground The Gnoll.[4] With the move to a new home, the club also decided to rename itself Neath F.C. Following Neath's first match at The Gnoll against Swansea City, the two clubs announced a partnership that would enable Swansea to send players on loan to Neath to gain first team experience. The first such players to join Neath were Kyle Graves, Dion Chambers and Kerry Morgan.

On 23 April 2009, just a couple of days before the end of the 2008–09 Welsh Premier League season, Neath announced plans to go full-time for the 2009–10 season to challenge the likes of Llanelli AFC and Rhyl for the Welsh Premier League title.

On 13 July 2010, Neath announced the double signing of two marquee players in readiness for the 2010–11 season, former Swansea City favourites Kristian O'Leary and Lee Trundle. A year later came the signing of Matthew Rees a former Swansea defender and ex Port Talbot Town captain.[5][6]

Several other key signings followed transforming Neath into title contenders with a minimum expectation for the club's first European qualification. Attendances at The Gnoll doubled for the 2010/2011 season as a combination of high-profile signings and good results appear to be paying dividends.

On 21 May 2011, Neath defeated Prestatyn Town 3–2 at The Gnoll in front of a club record 1,000 fans in the first ever Europa League Play-off. Chad Bond put Neath ahead after 12 seconds before two late goals from long-serving Andy Hill secured Neath's debut in Europe.

At the end of the 2011–12 season the club were refused both FAW domestic and UEFA licences for the 2012–13 season and were declared ineligible to participate in the end-of-season Europa League play-offs.[7]

On 28 May 2012, the club was wound up, at the High Court.[1]

League historyEdit

League Contested Tier
League Position
Avg. Home
2005–06 Welsh Football League
Division One
2 34 22 7 5 076 32 0+44 73 2nd of 18 n/a
2006–07 Welsh Football League
Division One
2 36 29 5 02 100 32 +68 92 1st of 19
2007–08 Welsh Premier League 1 34 15 9 10 057 52 0+5 54 7th of 18 211
2008–09 Welsh Premier League 1 34 10 4 20 043 65 0-18 34 14th of 18 260
2009–10 Welsh Premier League 1 34 12 11 11 041 38 0+3 47 9th of 18 221
2010–11 Welsh Premier League 1 32 16 10 6 062 41 0+21 58 3rd of 12 569
2011–12 Welsh Premier League 1 32 18 8 6 060 36 0+24 62 3rd of 12

Source: [1]
P = Position; Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points;


The Gnoll
LocationDyfed Road,
OwnerNeath RFC
OperatorNeath RFC
Broke ground1848
Neath RFC (Welsh Premier Division) (1871–present)
Neath F.C. (2008–2012)
South Wales Scorpions Rugby league Club (2010–present)

When first formed, the club had a choice of both grounds of the merged clubs, Llandarcy Park of Neath F.C. and Tennant Park of Skewen Athletic F.C.. As Llandarcy Park was the better of the two Neath Athletic decided to call it home.



European recordEdit

UEFA Europa League:

Season Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
2011–12 Q1   Aalesunds FK 0–2 1–4 1–6


  1. ^ a b c "Neath FC wound up at High Court". BBC News. 28 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Boyle & Nicholas leave Neath role". BBC News. 15 November 2011.
  3. ^ Neath FC club history Archived 3 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Rugby stadium makes soccer space". BBC News. 16 May 2008.
  5. ^ "Neath add ex-swan Kristian O'Leary to squad". BBC Sport. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  6. ^ "Lee Trundle completes a shock move to Neath". BBC Sport. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  7. ^ "Neath fail in both licence appeals". Welsh Premier League. 27 April 2012. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013.

External linksEdit