Welsh Football

Switch to desktop

Monday, 14 August 2017 07:47


SATURDAY 12th AUGUST. Underhill Park, sunny.
Seven matches into my season, and finally one within 100 miles of home in Cardiff. Just the 80-odd mile round-trip to Swansea Bay for this one. True, today there were plenty of competitive games much closer to home, but the first round of the FAW Trophy is one of those special days of the season - a long list of interesting matches, many at grounds I haven't visited, so the difficulty is always in the choosing. But the decision is made - Mumbles Rangers is a famous Swansea club I've read plenty about over the years, and a visit to Underhill Park is overdue.

From Swansea station to Mumbles is five miles - a nice walk if time allows, but it doesn't today, so I take the crowded number 2 bus, crawling its way round the bay in heavy traffic - on a sunny August afternoon, there are plenty of other people heading out to Mumbles, Langland Bay and Gower.

Underhill Park lies at the far end of Oystermouth's attractive, up-market High Street. The football pitch - or at least the one in use today - is in the corner of the park nearest the town, although Mumbles Rangers usual pitch is at the furthest end, in front of their clubhouse. Today, cricket has use of that area. Despite this enforced change, the home club have done an exemplary job of staging the game, complying with Trophy rules by issuing a programme and roping off the pitch. Not just any old token bit of rope either, the neat yellow posts and cord running all round the four sides are the swishest temporary barrier I've come across. Added to this, over in the clubhouse there's a refreshment window open for business. And there's even another bonus: This pitch can be added to my list "Football Grounds with a view of a Welsh Castle".

Published in Football
Monday, 17 July 2017 20:02

Issue 199: 2017-18 Preview Edition

WF 199 cover

Issue 199 (August 2017) is a special preview edition containing everything you need to know about the 2017-18 football season in Wales.

Contents include:

The Welsh Pyramid explained

Guide on where to find club directory details

Full club-by-club previews of Welsh Premier League and the two Level 2 leagues. 

A close look at the prospects in all the Level 3 and 4 leagues 

Pre-season highlights from Level 5 of the pyramid and below

Gareth Davies looks ahead to a decisive period for the Wales senior team

A review of Welsh club performances in UEFA competitions this summer and a look to the future

Reflections on Cardiff's staging of the UEFA Champions League festival

Our popular stats feature "Best & Worst" records in Welsh soccer 2016-17

Looking Back 25 years to August 1992, ttheopening month in the first season of the League of Wales

In addition, our supplement contains the 2017-18 first phase Welsh Premier fixtures, WPL squad data, major cup draws and league membership lists 

All for the usual cover price of £3.00  


Mail order now for £3.60 or £27.00 for the season - contact us via this website for details or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.







Published in Publication Dates
Thursday, 23 June 2016 18:53

Issue 191

Cover JPEG

Issue 191 of Welsh Football is now available (publication date 26th July 2016) 

This issue is a special, CELEBRATORY EURO 2016 edition, with extra pages and a big, eleven page Euro2016 section paying tribute to the Welsh squad and fans, and looking at the significance and legacy of the tournament for Wales. 

This issue also features the achievements of the Welsh clubs in UEFA club competitions, and six pages of previews of the new domestic season. 

Welsh Football no. 191 is kindly sponsored by GB CONSULTANCY & ANALYSIS LTD. 

All enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  please. 


Welsh Football should be available in most independent Welsh interest bookshops.
Also stocked by Albany News, Roath, Cardiff and by Terry's Badges.

Subscription offer valid to 13 August: take out a 2016-17 subscription and receive June edition free.  Only £27.00

Or this issue only for £3.60 inc. postage.

Order by cheque from 57 Thornhill Road, Cardiff, CF14 6PE

Or order & pay online - send payment to account 14035486 at sort code 09-01-53 and follow up with a confirmation email advising delivery address etc to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  



Published in Publication Dates
Thursday, 09 June 2016 07:11

Lost in France?

My travels are over for the season. After a hectic but enjoyable May, when a massive backlog of fixtures had to be cleared, players, officials and followers of local football can at last relax.

But the irony is that for many Welsh football followers, the travels of a lifetime are just starting. A veritable invasion of France is underway, with Welsh fans heading by train, boat, car and plane towards Bordeaux, the venue for Wales's first group game in Euro2016, against Slovakia on Saturday. Several Welsh football correspondents will be there, but I'm going to watch the games on television, and prepare to resume my travels in three weeks' time, when the Welsh clubs enter the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

For those heading to Bordeaux, Lens and Toulouse for the Wales group games, having secured tickets and sorted travel and accommodation plans, there will still be a need to work out some finer details: how best to travel to the stadium ? What else is there to do while we're there? Where are the fan zones and best sports bars?

Fortunately, help is at hand. The fans won't have to find the tourist information centres, try to remember enough French or hope that English is spoken, because everything they need has been conveniently assembled on one website. GoEuro has a handy guide to each of the nine host cities, covering local information on transport, fan-zones and bars, and with links to useful tourist resources. There's even a handy city ranking, rating the cities on their attractiveness, affordability, accessibility and football cultures.

Anyone going - or already there - should have these links on their smartphone - it could make the trip smoother and even more enjoyable.

Published in Football
Thursday, 10 March 2016 16:15

Wales Under 19s Complete 3-day Double

THURSDAY 10th MARCH - Cyncoed Campus, sunny.
WALES UNDER 19 1 CZECH REPUBLIC UNDER 19 0 (Friendly international)
After only five days, I'm back at Cyncoed. This week the university are hosting two friendly fixtures at under 19 level between Wales and the Czech Republic, the first having been on Tuesday afternoon. I had thought of seeing that one, and when Wales won 3-2 I sort of wished I had. But the weather had been dreadful, and Saturday's uncomfortable two hours up here in the bitter wind was still too vivid in the memory. But this Thursday morning is a different proposition: dry, sunny, slightly less cold and with a lighter wind. The 11.00 kick off lends an unusual air to the game, but the crowd is exactly what you get at these midweek representative games: mostly officials, parents and scouts, with a few curious others.

Published in Football
Friday, 13 November 2015 09:04

What every Welsh fan will wear in 2016...

We can now confidently predict what thousands of Welsh men and women will be wearing next summer. No, we haven't acquired a new fashion correspondent - but the kits that Wales will wear at Euro 2016 have been unveiled.

Most of the fans who follow Wales home and away have never had the opportunity to see their heroes at a 'finals' tournament. The World Cup finals in Sweden in 1958 was a very long time ago - before the era of cheap travel and widespread 'football tourism', and in any case the majority.of current Welsh travelling fans weren't born then. Yes, it's true Wales reached the quarter-finals of the Euros in 1976, but there was no hosted tournament to travel to under the competition's format back then.

So Euro 2016, conveniently close in France, is an opportunity that tens of thousands of Welsh fans are going to seize without regard for the cost or logistics. And it's a fair bet that most of them are going to want to be sporting the latest Welsh kit designs, which will be available in the next few weeks.

Published in Football
Friday, 06 November 2015 09:02

Young Dragons keep their shield

THURSDAY 5th NOVEMBER, Dragon Park. Persistent rain.
What to do on a wet Thursday in November? Well, a day out in Newport wouldn't normally be my first thought, but that's where I find myself today, thanks to a belated discovery that Wales is hosting the Under 16 Victory Shield tournament - advance publicity was virtually nil. Today is the deciding, third round of games at the Newport Sports Village complex.

Until this year, the Victory Shield tournament between home nations under 16 sides, had been played throughout the season. However, following the loss of sponsors Sky Sports and participants England (who have decided the other home nations aren't the sort of opposition they want for their schoolboys), it's been re-formatted as a week-long tournament in a host country, with the Irish Republic taking England's place.

Results earlier in the week mean any one of the four sides could still lift the Shield. The first game, kicking off a noon on the main Stadium pitch, has Scotland on three points playing the Republic on just one, then Wales (with three points) meet Northern Ireland (top of the table with four) at the relatively new Dragon Park. The crowd for midweek daytime games like this is, of course, made up of a mix of parents, club representatives and others involved in the football 'business' in some way - only that can explain a number of middle-aged men making detailed notes.

Out on the heavy athletics stadium pitch, the Irish and Scottish boys seem a long way from the crowd and I find it hard to get engaged. The pace of the game is rather slow, both sides quite patient in their build-up, with little to light up a grey afternoon. Scotland look technically competent but dour, and hope individuality hasn't been coached out of these schoolboys already. The Republic, on the other hand, seem more adventurous on the break, but are more wasteful of possession. They have all the chances in the first half, and finally get a deserved lead to the delight of an Irish group over to my left. Near me, a Scotsman personifies frustration throughout the half, berating the officials and barking his unheard advice "Early, early" at the youngsters over and over again.

Scotland equalise from the penalty spot early in the second half and the game opens out a bit after this. Both sides have their moments, but in the worsening conditions the draw becomes ever more likely. Despite a late attacking flurry by the Scots, that's how it ends. This means that the final game over at Dragon Park will decide the 2015 champions - all Wales and Northern Ireland need to do is win.

Dragon Park is only couple of hundred yards away, but it's a different world from the stadium: compact, with a nice new playing surface. Spectator facilities are all on one side, in a low-level, four-row stand that's OK for a training facility but not really built for a crowd. The money has clearly been spent on the main building on the other side of the pitch, not this most basic of stands, which runs only about half the length of the pitch. Nevertheless, on such a wet day it's welcome cover.

From the outset, the Wales v Northern Ireland game seems different from the earlier one. It could partly be the effect of being close to the action, but there's no mistaking the different tempo. It's good to see the Welsh youngsters start with confidence, and in the opening five minutes there's more flair and individuality than we saw in ninety earlier. Wales take the game to the Irish and are rewarded with a goal when Cardiff City youngster Sion Spence drills in a low shot. At this point they're well on top, captain Ethan Ampadu an authoritative and distinctive figure in midfield, while Benjamin Cabango looks solid at centre-back and Rabbi Matonda's runs at defenders cause plenty of trouble. Smallest player on the pitch Elliot Thorpe also shows a remarkable ability to retain possession against boys twice his size.

Towards the end of the half the game becomes more even, with Northern Ireland starting to exploit gaps in the left side of the Wales defence, and it's from this flank that Jordan McEneff launches a spectacular dipping shot that drops over Wales keeper Pryzbeck to level the scores.

The second half begins with both sides having spells of pressure, but gradually Wales begin to look the more likely to score. Time's running out, though, and a draw would be enough to give the Irish only their second-ever title. It needs a moment of inspiration to break the deadlock, and it's one of Matonda's powerful runs that does the trick: he surges down the left and fires past Webber in the Irish goal.

The boys in green must now press for an equaliser, and much of the play is now in the Welsh half. Corners, free-kicks, chances - all survived with varying degrees of ease, but still the announcement of "a minimum of four added minutes" adds to the tension. But we needn't have worried: as the Irish push up, and Wales seek respite by hitting long clearances, one loose ball heads for the half-way line. Irish keeper Webber and Wales sub Steffan Buckeley converge on it, the latter reaching it first and hitting it deep into the Irish half... and watches it drop into the Irish net ! A goal the Wrexham youngster will remember for the rest of his life.

At 3-1 in stoppage time, Wales are assured of the points and all that remains to delay the Welsh celebrations is a slightly protracted 'closing ceremony', which unfortunately takes place with all four squads facing away from the spectators. Eventually though, the Welsh youngsters are set free and can race over with the Shield to their parents and supporters in the stand. From what I've seen today, they deserve it.

Published in Football
Saturday, 24 October 2015 10:18

Issue 185 (Nov. 2015)

WF 185

Publication date: 26th October 2015

This edition features the achievement of the Wales national team in reaching the Euro 2016 tournament finals.

Full picture spread and analysis of the qualification campaign and what it means for Welsh football. 

Other features in this issue include:

  • Spotlight on Holyhead Hotspur
  • Club feature on Pontardawe Town
  • Looking back - 25 years ago - Nov 1990 games including Wales (v Belgium), Llay RBL and Haverfordwest County.  

Plus all the regular content -

  • columns on Welsh Premier, Huws Gray Alliance, Welsh League, Arouind the Regions, Anglo Files.
  • Programme Reviews and Book Review
  • Action photos - including Welsh Cup and Trophy games at Rhostyllen, Knighton, Aberaeron, Cwmbach & Acrefair
  • Double size (8 page) stats supplement with many league tables, cup results and draws.

Available by post from the publishers (use enquiry form for online ordering & payment option and overseas rates, or send £3.60 to Welsh Football, 57 Thornhill Road Cardiff CF14 6PE)

Also available from club shops at Aberystwyth Town, Bangor City, Carmarthen Town, Airbus UK, Cefn Druids and at ALBANY NEWS (Cardiff) and various Welsh interest bookshops.

Published in Publication Dates
Thursday, 15 October 2015 14:08

The Golden Generation is Crowned

TUESDAY 13th OCTOBER: Cardiff City Stadium- a chilly autumn evening
WALES 2 ANDORRA 0 (UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Group B)
Five weeks on from that warm September afternoon when Chris Coleman's team drew 0-0 with Israel and didn't quite clinch their place at Euro 2016, we're back at Cardiff City Stadium. In that five weeks a lot has happened, apart from summer turning to autumn: Wales have played in Bosnia (and lost) but they have now qualified, thanks to Israel dropping points that mean they can't reach second place in the group. So tonight's game is without pressure - and it's widely anticipated as a time to party and celebrate. Of course, Wales want to avoid the embarrassment of failing to despatch the part-timers of Andorra, but everyone assumes that's a formality. Andorra have never won a competitive international - but we all remember that they came close in the very first game in this group, leading 1-0 until two late Gareth Bale goals set Wales on the path to glory.

Published in Football
Saturday, 13 June 2015 11:38

An unforgettable night in Cardiff

FRIDAY 12th JUNE: Cardiff City Stadium - humid, wet
WALES 1 BELGIUM 0 (UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying)
Mid June and, marooned between the two football seasons, there's a sudden flurry of football activity in Cardiff this weekend. For most people, the big event is this crucial Euro 2016 qualifying match (although the minds of two local clubs are bound to be on another match, less than 24 hours later - but more of that tomorrow).

Expectations ahead of the visit of Belgium have probably been higher than at any time in recent years. Wales, unbeaten at the halfway stage of their group, joint top with Belgium, and radiating belief and togetherness, two qualities not always present in our national set-up. The nation senses something has changed and that something big is about to happen and the build-up to this game has been big, on all broadcast and social media.

So big, perhaps, that people are starting to talk as if Wales are favourites - to beat a team officially ranked second in the world. The Welsh football public is in uncharted territory here - we're used to despair, dejection and embarrassment - we know how to handle those. Hope is trickier: seasoned fans bear the mental scars of having hoped before, and are wary.... and yet, when you think you've put it in its place, hope creeps back in - could this really be different ?

Realistically, what do the 33,000 fans making their way to Cardiff City Stadium expect ? They've heard about the spirit in the Welsh camp, they've heard how important the fans' vocal support is, and they expect the team to give as much as they will themselves. But probably most would settle for a draw, not to lose, to stay level with Belgium at the top of the group.

Published in Football

© Copyright 2013 Welsh Football

Top Desktop version