Aberystwyth Town F.C.
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|Full name||Aberystwyth Town Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Seasiders, Black and Greens, Aber Town|
|Capacity||5,000 (1,002 seated)|
|League||Welsh Premier League|
|2016-17||Welsh Premier League, 10th|
|League||WPL Development League - South|
|Coach||Ray Hughes, Steven Brookes|
|League||Women's Welsh Premier League|
|League||West Wales PAN Disability Football League|
The club was founded in 1884, and plays at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, where their ground accommodates 5,000 spectators with 1,002 of that capacity seated. The club is a founding member of the Welsh Premier League, one of only three clubs to boast this feat.
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 prides itself on its academy, which has produced many players that have played for the first team and some that have gone on to play at higher levels, the most prominent being Tom Bradshaw, who currently plays for Barnsley FC in Football League Championship.
The team's first choice strip is green shirts with a white stripes, black shorts and socks. The second choice strip is orange shirts with black trim, black shorts and socks.
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. 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 :
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.
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. After only one season they reverted to playing friendly matches but were firmly on the map in 1900, convincingly beating fancied Druids 3-0 in the Welsh Cup final and becoming the first team from mid-Wales to take the trophy. But this Welsh Cup victory almost proved to be their downfall as they hit a massive financial crisis and a mass exodus of players.
The club began a long stay in the Welsh League (South) in 1951, although they continued to also field a team in the Mid-Wales League, and for a time in the Cambrian Coast League. They eventually returned to mid-Wales competition in 1963 but did not win the league championship until 1984, after finishing as runners-up on six occasions. The club joined the Welsh League (South) in 1951, although they continued to also 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 finished as runners-up six times. They retained the title the following season, both under team boss Meirion Appleton.
Aberystwyth were firmly established as one of premier clubs in Mid-Wales and 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 their best Welsh Premier League position – 3rd – in their first season. Aberystwyth Town are one of only three teams that have taken part in each season of the Welsh Premier League, the other teams being Bangor City and Newtown. After struggling for a few seasons in the League, and flirting with relegation in 1996/7, it took until February for the Black & Greens to gain a home win. Aberystwyth at last found some success in 1998/9 when they qualified to represent Wales in the UEFA Intertoto Cup competition. They did this by virtue of finishing fourth in the league on 57 points behind Barry Town on 76, Inter Cable-Tel on 63 and Cwmbran who took third place on goal difference. Manager, Meirion Appleton made way for former Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C., Derby County F.C. and Coventry City F.C. midfielder Barry Powell.
This took place part-way through the season as a result of Aber crashing 5-0 at home to Caersws in a league game. Powell took over the reins of the club and led the Black & Greens into European competition for the first time. It was a memorable event with Aberystwyth narrowly losing 3-4 over two legs against Floriana of Malta. The success of European qualification brought many changes to Park Avenue. 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 being named after club legend David "Dias" Williams who holds the club scoring record of 476 goals in only 433 games between 1966 and 1983.
The pressures of maintaining the standards achieved in 1999, and the ongoing upgrading of the stadium left the club financially stretched in the 2000/2001 season. Consequently they were unable to repeat the feat of attaining a European berth, just missing out by three points, although the club gained entry to the FAW Premier Cup competition for the third year running. They managed to progress to the quarter-finals twice. Barry Powell paid the price for his failure to qualify for Europe, and left the club by mutual consent.
Powell was replaced at the beginning of the 2001/2 season by Frank Gregan. Gregan had a very impressive background in English non-league football and was unanimously voted into the job as new manager prior to the start of the season. He was responsible for bringing in several players with extensive experience in the English pyramid, but it took too long for him to produce any kind of consistency on the field of play. When Gregan was linked with the Dr Martens League Western division club, Weston-super-Mare - and the team suffered an ignominious home exit from the Welsh Cup at the hands of CC Sports league Aberaman Athletic in October 2001 - the writing was on the wall for Mr Gregan. This was combined with a poor away record and an exit from the lucrative latter stages of the FAW Premier Cup at the hands of Caersws.
Gary Finley took over as player/manager immediately after Gregan departed for Weston. There was an instant improvement in form and with minimal additions to the squad despite most of Gregan's signings departing, a top eight finish looked possible. The club just missed out on the FAW Premier Cup ending up in ninth place in the league on 51 points which was seven points adrift of the UEFA Intertoto Cup spot claimed by Caersws. They elected to play their home tie in the competition at Park Avenue, and like Carmarthen Town did the year before, Park Avenue witnessed the third undefeated Euro performance in four seasons, as Caersws drew 1-1.
Finley took the club to equal its second-best finish of fourth in 2003/4 and again qualify for Europe, via the UEFA InterToto Cup, but following a policy decision to base the team on more local players, Finley departed with the Merseyside contingent and David Burrows took over as player/manager. The change of strategy produced a worsening of results in 2004/5, but the club's management decided to stick with the Ceredigion player policy despite seeing Park Avenue attendances slump by nearly 40%.
The club also received a further set-back 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 the late legend's wife, 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 had one of its best finishes for years, finished in 4th in the 2009/10 season, narrowly missing out on qualification for Europe to Port Talbot Town F.C.
Then under the first season of the Welsh Premier League Super 12, Aberystwyth, although in top 6 for most of the first half of the season, saw themselves 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.
The 2011/2012 season was something of a struggle, with ill-discipline taking its toll on the performances of the team overall. Aberystwyth Town found itself in the bottom 6 again, and in a real relegation battle. After a defeat to Cymru Alliance side Cefn Druids A.F.C. in the Welsh Cup, Alan Morgan stepped aside and the board made no hesitation in bringing back Tomi Morgan. Under Morgan the team rallied and managed to finish in 8th place, and so managed to qualify once again for the end of season Europa League playoffs. After beating Airbus U.K in the quarter finals, Aber faced Llanelli, and although the team all performed admirably, it was to be another season of disappointment as Llanelli won in extra time.
The Aberystwyth Disability Team, also known as Aber Stars, were set up in 2013 and play in the West Wales PAN Disability League. They play about once a month and train every week at Park Avenue. Their social media accounts are twitter.com/aber_stars and facebook.com/atfcdisability
Biggest victories and losses
- Biggest win: 21–1 v. Machynlleth in 1934.
- Biggest defeat: 1–20 v. Caersws in 1962.
- Biggest League of Wales win: 6–0 v. Briton Ferry Athletic and Llanidloes Town, both in 1993. Also by a margin of six, Afan Lido 0 Aberystwyth Town 6 on Tuesday 18 February 2014 and Aberystwyth Town 7 Afan Lido 1 on Friday 28 March 2014.
- Biggest League of Wales defeat: 1–8 v. Barry Town in 1997.
|Season||Competition||Round||Club||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|
- As of 6 October 2017 
Note: Flags indicate national team as 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.
- Andy Parkinson, played for numerous Football League clubs, including for Tranmere Rovers in the Football League Cup.
- Conall Murtagh, played for Wrexham when they were in League 2.
- Tom Bradshaw, who currently plays for Barnsley FC in Football League One. Called up to the Wales national team in 2015, before making his international debut against Ukraine on 28 March 2016.
- Christian Edwards, played for 6 Football League clubs, including Nottingham Forest, Swansea City and Bristol Rovers.
- Gwion Edwards, who currently plays for Peterborough in Football League One.
- Jack Edwards, capped by Wales.
- John Hughes, capped twice by Wales, played for Aberystwyth 1873–79.
- Marc Lloyd-Williams, the Welsh Premier League's all-time top scorer, with 319 career goals.
- Dr. Robert Mills-Roberts, Welsh international goalkeeper in the 1880 and 1890s.
- Grenville Morris, capped by Wales whilst at the club, moved to play for Swindon Town and Nottingham Forest.
- Charlie Parry, capped 13 times by Wales prior to joining the club in 1899, won Welsh Cup with Aberystwyth in 1900.
- Ernest Peake, Welsh international who subsequently played for Liverpool.
- Leigh Richmond Roose, the noted goalkeeper, was selected to represent Wales while playing for Aberystwyth in 1900.
- Wyn Thomas, all time Welsh Premier League appearance record holder with over 500 appearances.
- Alex Samuel, Welsh under 19 international who plays for EFL League Two club Newport County and was on loan to Greenock Morton in the 2015–16 season.
- Angus McLean (Player/Manager) (1951–??)
- Meirion Appleton (1980's)
- 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 (Noemberv 2001 – August 2004)
- David Burrows (August 2004– November 2005)
- Brian Coyne (November 2005 – September 2009)
- Christian Edwards (interim) (September 2009 - November 2009)
- Alan Morgan (November 2009 – February 2012)
- Tomi Morgan (29 February 2012 – 9 May 2013)
- Ian Hughes (21 May 2013 – 19 April 2016)
- Wyn Thomas (interim) (14 January 2016 – 19 April 2016)
- Matthew Bishop (24 May 2016 – 21 May 2017)
- Tony Pennock (21 May 2017 – 15 June 2017)
- Neville Powell (12 July 2017 – Present)
- "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.
- "Arthur Hughes". The History of Aberystwyth Town FC. "The Old Black & Green". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
- "Early History". Aberystwyth Town FC. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
- "First Team Squad". www.atfc.org.uk. Aberystwyth Town F.C. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
- "Tom Bradshaw: Walsall striker's call ends Wales international exile". BBC Sport. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
- "Tom makes his senior Wales debut". cambrian-news.co.uk. 31 March 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "Focus on: Wyn Thomas — Sgorio". S4c.cymru. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
- "Swansea City striker Alex Samuel joins Morton on loan". BBC Sport. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "Coyne made new Aberystwyth boss". BBC. 9 November 2005. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Christian Edwards appointed as Aberystwyth Town's new manager". South Wales Echo. WalesOnline. 3 October 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Morgan appointed Aberystwyth boss". BBC. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Tomi Morgan appointed Aberystwyth Town manager". BBC. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Ian Hughes appointed new Aberystwyth Town manager". BBC. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Club Statement". Aberystwyth Town. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "Aber delighted to announce Matthew Bishop as new manager". Aberystwyth Town. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "Pens Takes over as First Team Manager, Wolvesey Back in as Assistant". 21 May 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2017.