The New Saints F.C.
|Full name||The New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid Football Club|
|League||Welsh Premier League|
|2012–13||Welsh Premier League, 1st|
The New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid Football Club (Welsh: Clwb Pêl-droed y Seintiau Newydd), also known as The New Saints or TNS is a full-time-professional British football club representing Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain in Powys, Wales and Oswestry in Shropshire, England (the two places are 8 miles (13 km) apart). They play in the Welsh Premier League. From 1997 to 2006, the club was known as Total Network Solutions F.C.
TNS play at Park Hall in Oswestry, having moved there from the Recreation Ground in Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain. Park Hall accommodates 1000 seated spectators and there are plans to upgrade the ground to 3,000 capacity in the future. The club's main sponsor is now Healthpoint Ltd – Derma V10 Range
The club's first choice strip is green and white hooped shirts, white shorts and socks. The second choice strip is blue shirts, shorts, and socks.
- 1 History
- 2 "Dancing in the Streets"
- 3 Futsal
- 4 History in European competition
- 5 Honours
- 6 Biggest victories and losses
- 7 Current squad
- 8 Notable former players
- 9 Managers
- 10 References
- 11 External links
- 12 See also
The club was formed as Llansantffraid F.C. to represent the tiny border village of Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain (population: 1,000) in 1959, and played at the Recreation Ground.
They first tasted competitive football in the Montgomeryshire Amateur Football League (then the fourth level of the Welsh football league system), winning the championship seven times. At the end of the 1989/90 season they were elected to the Central Wales League (now the Mid-Wales League) but their stay was brief, winning promotion to the Cymru Alliance as runners-up on their first attempt. Llansantffraid's meteoric rise continued and in 1992/93 they gained promotion to the League of Wales, now the Welsh Premier League, as champions and won the Welsh Intermediate Cup (formerly the Welsh Amateur Cup).
Total Network Solutions
In 1996, Llansantffraid won the Welsh Cup and qualified for the first time for the European Cup Winners' Cup. At this time a local computer company, Total Network Solutions of Oswestry, arranged a £250,000 sponsorship deal which involved incorporating the company name into the club name. As Total Network Solutions Llansantffraid F.C. they met the Polish cup winners Ruch Chorzów and earned a 1–1 draw at home before losing 0–5 in Poland. Since then they have qualified for European competition several times. The club's European home games are generally played at either Newtown's or Wrexham's stadium as their old Recreation Ground was far below UEFA's standards (though for their 2003 meeting with Manchester City, they played their home game at the 72,000-seat Millennium Stadium in Cardiff).
In 1997 the club's name was changed to Total Network Solutions F.C., being the first instance in the United Kingdom of a football club renaming itself after its sponsor's name only. Following the financial meltdown of Barry Town in the summer of 2003, TNS became the only Welsh Premier League club which had a full-time playing staff. In the summer of 2005 however Llanelli AFC also announced plans to go full-time.
Merger with Oswestry Town
In the summer of 2003 a merger with their financially weak neighbours, Oswestry Town (who, despite being from England, also played in Wales), was approved by Oswestry's shareholders despite not all shareholders being aware of a meeting. It was also approved by the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and was eventually ratified on 14 August 2003 by UEFA (who initially objected to two clubs from different governing bodies merging).
The 2003/04 season was trophyless for TNS, as they were runners-up in the League of Wales to Rhyl and were losing finalists in the Welsh Cup, also to Rhyl. The next season, 2004–05, proved much more successful, as TNS won a League and Cup double.
During the 2005/06 close season, after newly crowned Champions League winners Liverpool were initially denied a place in the next season's competition, TNS offered to play a one-legged tie against the Reds for TNS's place in the first qualifying round. After UEFA reached a compromise by which Liverpool were placed in the first qualifying round of the competition, TNS and Liverpool ended up drawn against one another anyway. The first leg was at Anfield, when Liverpool won 3–0 by a Steven Gerrard hat-trick, while in the second leg played at Wrexham, Gerrard scored two more after coming on as a substitute, to add to one by Djibril Cissé for another 3–0 TNS defeat. Although defeated the team drew praise from many quarters most notably the young Northern Irish goalkeeper Gerard Doherty, of whom Rafael Benítez said, "The goalkeeper saved a lot of goals and for me he was the best player in the two games".
The New Saints F.C.
In early 2006 the club's sponsor, Total Network Solutions, was taken over by British Telecom, as a result of which the sponsorship arrangement lapsed at the end of the 2005/06 season and it became necessary to find a new name for the club. After a trawl for naming ideas, including an attempt to sell the naming rights on eBay, the name "The New Saints" was agreed upon as appropriate to the clubs' history — Llansantffraid was always known as "The Saints", while Oswestry had strong connections with Saint Oswald, while handily retaining the initials "TNS". A new club badge was also developed at the same time, featuring a dragon to represent Llansantffraid and a lion representing Oswestry.
On 10 February 2010, the BBC reported that The New Saints had applied to play home games at Chester City's Deva Stadium from 2010 to 2011, after having been turned down for a grant to help fund the construction of a new 1,000-seat stand at Park Hall. At the time, the mooted move was complicated by Chester City's financial struggles and by governance issues. Deva Stadium's pitch and stands lie in Wales, but outbuildings on the site that housed the club offices are in England, and Chester City were under the jurisdiction of the English Football Association. Chester City were liquidated a month later due to overwhelming debts; in any event, The New Saints were granted a domestic licence by the FAW in April 2010 and remained at Park Hall for 2010–11 season. The New Saints were crowned 2009–10 Welsh Premier League Champions.
The New Saints entered the Champions League in 2010–2011. They were drawn against League of Ireland Premier Division Champions Bohemians in the Second Qualifying Round, they lost the first leg 1–0 at Dalymount Park in Dublin on 13 July 2010. However they won the second leg at Park Hall 4–0 and won the tie 4–1 on aggregate, the first ever tie won by the club since their European debut in 1996. Bohemians manager Pat Fenlon later labelled his teams' performance as 'disgraceful' and said 'the players let the club, league and country down'. The result was labelled by others as the worst result in Bohemians 40-year European history. The Saints advanced to play Belgian Pro League Champions and European Giants R.S.C. Anderlecht. The Saints were beaten 3–1 in the home leg held in Wrexham and 3–0 in the away game at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Brussels. The Saints then played CSKA Sofia in the Europa League playoff round but were beaten 5–2 on aggregate. As league runners up during the 2010–11 season The Saints entered the Europa League qualifying rounds in 2011. They managed to beat Belfast club Cliftonville F.C. 2–1 on aggregate in the First Round but were eliminated by Danish club FC Midtjylland 8–3 on aggregate in the following round.
"Dancing in the Streets"
On the Sky Sports football show Soccer Saturday, TNS's name is gently mocked by the programme's main presenter, Jeff Stelling. At the end of the day's classified check (in which the Welsh Premier League is always the last set of results given, and in which TNS are often alphabetically last), if TNS have played and won at home, Stelling invariably uses his now famous catchphrase "They'll be dancing in the streets of Total Network Solutions tonight!", since updated to "dancing in the streets of The New Saints". Stelling's joke was also occasionally aimed at fellow Welsh side, Airbus UK in 2005/06. Stelling's joke may ultimately derive from the accidental 'they'll be dancing in the streets of Raith', claimed to have been said by football commentator Sam Leitch in the 1960s during a match by the Kirkcaldy-based Raith Rovers, though the phrase is better known as a stock phrase of rugby commentator Bill McLaren, often stating "they'll be dancing in the streets of..." and inserting in the name of the winning team.
History in European competition
- Promoted to League of Wales: 1993
- Champions (7): 1999/00, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13
- Runners-up (5): 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2007/08, 2010/11
- Welsh Cup winners (3): 1995/96, 2004/05, 2011/12
- Runners-up (2): 2000/01, 2003/04
- FAW Premier Cup winners (1): 2006/7
- League of Wales Cup Winners (5): 1994/95, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11
- Runners-up (1): 2012/13
- Welsh Intermediate Cup Winners (1): 1992/93
- Cymru Alliance League Winners (1): 1992/93
- Highest attendance: 14,563 against Liverpool, 2005
- First progression in European football (4–1) agg -v- Bohemian, 2010
- Shropshire Senior Cup: 2011–12
Biggest victories and losses
- Biggest League of Wales win: 8–0 v. Carmarthen in 2009
- Biggest League of Wales defeat: 0–10 v. Barry Town in 1997
- As of 17 July 2013.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former players
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.
- Steve Anthrobus
- Gary Brabin
- Tony Henry
- Ken McKenna
- Andy Mulliner
- Simon Davies
- Marc Lloyd-Williams
- Jamie Wood
- Matthew Berkeley
- Danny Holmes
- Callum Lewis
- Graham Breeze (1992–94)
- Ian Clarke (1994–96)
- Graham Breeze (1996–97)
- Tony Henry (1997–98)
- Andy Cale (1998–00)
- Ken McKenna (Jan 1, 2001–March 13, 2008)
- Andy Cale (March 13, 2008–June 30, 2010)
- Mike Davies [Director of Football] (2010–12)
- Carl Darlington (April 6, 2011–)
- Craig Harrison [Director of Football] (2012–)
- "Park Hall, Oswestry". The New Saints F.C. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- Welsh club offer Liverpool lifeline, RTÉ, 26 May 2005
- Benitez praise for TNS goalkeeper, BBC Sport Online, 19 July 2005. Retrieved 12 May 2006
- "BT to 'expand' TNS after buy-out". BBC. 2005-10-31. Retrieved 05/102009.
- "The New Saints look at moving to Chester's Deva Stadium". BBC Sport. 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-02-19.
- "Bohemians 1–0 TNS". RTE Sport. 2010-07-13. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "The New Saints 4–0 Bohemians (4–1 agg)". RTÉ. 2010-07-20. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- "Embarrassed Fenlon slams 'disgraceful' Bohs". rte.ie. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- "Fenlon fumes as sorry Gypsies sent crashing". Irish Independent. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- Gerrard, Jasper (24 January 2009). "Jeff Stelling's head turned as Hartlepool play on ITV". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- Barnes, Simon (20 January 2010). "Bill McLaren a national treasure whose love of rugby showed in his voice dies aged 86". The Times (London).
- "Saints again win through to Futsal finals". The New Saints. 26 April 2012.
- "Welsh Cup final: Cefn Druids 0–2 The New Saints". BBC. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
- Shropshire Star TNS make Shropshire Senior Cup history (8 August 2011)