Clwb Pêl-Droed Tref Aberystwyth / Aberystwyth Town Football Club
- Town: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
- Founded: 1884
- Ground: Park Avenue (5,000)
- Nicknames: The Seasiders; Black and Greens
- Colours: Black and green vertically striped shirt, black shorts, and green socks.
- 2022-23 League: Cymru Premier
- Club Website: https://www.atfc.org.uk/
- Club Twitter: @AberystwythTown
- Club Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aberystwythtown
- Club Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aberystwythtown/
Aberystwyth Town – Club Honours
- Best League Finish: 3rd in the League of Wales / Cymru Premier (1992-93)
- Best Welsh Cup Finish: Winners (1899-1900)
- Welsh Cup
- Winners (1): 1899-1900
- Welsh Amateur Cup / Welsh Intermediate Cup / FAW Trophy
- Winners (5): 1930-31, 1932-33, 1969-70, 1985-86, 1987-88
- Mid Wales League
- Champions (9): 1925-26, 1926-27, 1927-28, 1929-30, 1932-33, 1948-49, 1949-50, 1983-84, 1984-85
- Mid Wales League Cup
- Winners (4): 1926-27, 1927-28, 1938-39, 1947-48
- Welsh Football League Division Two
- Champions (1): 1951-52
- Montgomeryshire & District League
- Champions (3): 1904-05, 1906-07, 1907-08
Aberystwyth Town – Club History
Aberystwyth Town Football Club / Clwb Pêl-Droed Tref Aberystwyth is a West Wales club that currently plays in the Cymru Premier, the national top-tier league in the Welsh football pyramid.
They are based in the university seaside town of Aberystwyth, the most populous town in the southwestern county of Ceredigion (formally Cardiganshire) with approximately thirteen thousand inhabitants.
The town is located on Cardigan Bay / Bae Ceredigion on Wales’ mid-western coast, near the confluence of the Afon Ystwyth and the Afon Rheidol before they flow out into the Irish Sea from Aberystwyth’s harbour. Despite the town’s name (Aberystwyth means “the mouth of the Ystwyth” in Welsh) it is the latter river that flows through the town whilst the former skirts around the south of Aberystwyth.
The town is famous for its excellent university, which was established in 1872, is the home of the National Library of Wales that overlooks the town, and it is a major Welsh cultural centre. Aberystwyth also has a ruined concentric castle at the end of its promenade, which was constructed in the late 13th century, captured by Owain Glyndŵr in 1404, became a Royal mint in 1637, and finally slighted in 1649.
Aberystwyth Town currently plays its home games at the 5,000-capacity, 1,500-seater Park Avenue / Coedlen y Parc which is situated in the south of the town and beside the Afon Rheidol, which flows behind the main stand.
It has been the home of Aberystwyth Town since the ground opened in 1907 and is considered one of the best grounds in the country, so much so, it is often used as a venue for hosting major cup or playoff finals and is currently designated as a UEFA Category 2 status stadium. As with other Cymru Leagues stadiums, it also has a 3G artificial turf surface which was installed in 2016.
Football has been played in Aberystwyth since the early 1870s with evidence of an Aberystwyth-based side being re-established in 1876. However, the official date of foundation for Aberystwyth Town is 1884 following an advertisement for players to join the club posted in the local press.
The club’s early days were limited to playing friendlies but they soon became one of the stronger teams in West Wales. So much so that in the 1899-1900 Welsh Cup, Aberystwyth claimed their first Welsh Cup by beating defending champions Druids 3-0 in the final to become the first central Welsh club to lift the national cup.
Part of that cup-winning squad was the pioneering and legendary goalkeeper Leigh Richmond Roose, who was then studying medicine at the university. Sadly, despite being the first Welsh Cup winners of the 20th century, Aberystwyth are yet to add a second Welsh Cup to their history – a wait of 123 years and counting!
Aberystwyth Town initially played in the Montgomeryshire & District League from 1904 to 1921, winning the regional league three times in the late 1900s, before moving to the Mid Wales League.
Aberystwyth became the dominant power in central Wales by winning seven titles between 1923 and 1933 and adding Welsh Amateur Cup victories in 1931 and 1933, beating Llanfairfechan and Llanidloes United in the finals, respectively.
Another two MWL championships were claimed in the late 1940s before Aberystwyth moved to the (South) Welsh Football League system in 1951. They played in the WFL system for twelve years, winning just the Division Two title during that period, before returning back to the MWL fold in 1963.
It wouldn’t be until the mid-1980s that the club added a couple more MWL titles then switched back to the WFL in 1987 and achieved a runners-up placement on three occasions in the late 1980s.
As a result of their excellent form and superb facilities, the club was selected as one of the founding members of the League of Wales.
In their debut season, the Seasiders achieved their best league finish of third place and nine points behind the inaugural Welsh champions Cwmbran Town.
Aberystwyth Town are one of two founding members (alongside fellow central Welsh side Newtown) to have played in every season of the Welsh top flight and never been relegated, although they are yet to have equalled or improved upon their debut season in the Welsh top flight.
The Black and Greens have finished in fourth position on five different occasions, most recently in the 2014-15 season, and have qualified for European competitions three times. They played in the 1999 and 2004 editions of the now-defunct UEFA Intertoto Cup, losing to Maltese side Floriana and Latvian side Dinaburg respectively. Most recently, they played in the 2014-15 UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds but lost 0-9 on aggregate to Derry City.
As mentioned previously, Aberystwyth Town have yet to add to their Welsh Cup tally since 1900 but have played in three finals in the 21st century. Their first Welsh Cup final in 109 years was the 2009 edition but they lost 0-2 to Bangor City in the middle of the Citizens’ three-in-a-row cup victories.
The Seagulls‘ next cup final was five years later when they faced The New Saints and took a 2-0 lead within the first 15 minutes of the game, but then conceded three times in the last 15 minutes of the match to agonisingly lose 2-3 to the league champions.
Aber‘s last Welsh Cup final appearance was in 2018, but again fell at the final hurdle after a 1-4 defeat to Connah’s Quay Nomads. In recent seasons, Aberystwyth’s ever-presence in the Cymru Premier League has been severely threatened with the Black and Greens often scrapping for their top-flight survival.
To talk about the Ceredigion-based side who have played in every season of the League of Wales / Welsh Premier League / Cymru Premier since its foundation in 1992, we spoke to the excellent Matthew Wallace.
He is a teacher who supports both Aberystwyth Town and Swansea City and is a member of Aberystwyth’s media team in his spare time. To find out more about Matthew, you can find his social media account in the links below:
- Twitter: @M_J_Wallace
Q. Firstly, how did you decide to start following and supporting Aberystwyth Town?
I moved to Aberystwyth in 2008 to do my undergraduate course. I’d followed Swansea City home and away for a decade so I was keen to continue this hobby.
Little did I know I’d get so involved.
I met a lot of like-minded students and we all went to games together. In time, we got to know the local supporters and then it became one big family so to speak. I volunteered with the club doing stewarding, flyering around the town, and even dressing up as ‘Sami the Seagull’.
After leaving Aber in 2011, I just never really stopped going. I moved across to the club’s Media team in 2013 before becoming the programme editor in 2020.
Q. From your time following the club, who has been your favourite player, and the reasoning behind your choice?
I’ve loved a number of players who’ve played with commitment and pride in the shirt regardless of the game or opposition. People like Bari Morgan, Sion James, Freddie Thomas, Geoff Kellaway, and Cledan Davies, make up the lifeblood of a local side, but for me, my all-time favourite is Luke Sherbon. A midfielder with bags of talent, loved the club and a lovely bloke to boot!
Q. Of the current squad, who would you say is the best player at the club and why?
It’s a tricky one as in our last few seasons, we’ve struggled to nail down a squad. This summer is looking more promising with five players already signed on. Currently, I’ll say Louis Bradford [21-year-old centre-back]. Our defence always looks more assured with him at the heart of it.
Q. Who would you say is the most exciting up & coming talent at the club?
We’ve had some fantastic talent coming through the ranks over the past few years such as Lee Jenkins [21-year-old centre-back] at Haverfordwest County and Matty Jones [23-year-old left-back] at Newtown. The son of former Aber legend Gavin Allen, Cameron Allen [18-year-old centre-forward], is the most exciting prospect on our books at the moment.
Q. Who would you regard as Aberystwyth’s biggest or historical rivals?
This is a dubious one as given our geographical location, we have no close rivals. I’d say Newtown are the geographical rival in a battle of Mid-Wales sides but for me, and the university element, it’s always been Bangor.
Q. What would you say has been the best game, result, or performance from your time following the club?
Best result – beating Holywell Town in the 2013-14 Welsh Cup semi-final. We’ve been fortunate enough to get to three cup finals in my time supporting the club but that win, with the old rules in where a runner-up could qualify for Europe, meant we qualified for the following season’s Europa League.
The best game has to be our last-minute heroics against Caernarfon Town to stay in the league at the tail end of this season. My heart rate has just returned to normal. We were down, then safe, then down again, and with the last kick of the game, solidified our 32nd season in the top flight.
Q. What do you think of the situation in Welsh league football currently? Are there any improvements you would like to see happen?
Personally, I don’t think the system is working. It struggles to engage or motivate the casual fan to come to games. The twelve-team system has improved standards on the field but made for a poorer spectator spectacle. Playing the same team up to six times a season is not entertaining!
Q. How would you describe the current performance or state of the club? How do you think this past season has gone?
We’ve flirted with relegation for the past few seasons, which isn’t ideal, but you can see the money in the league now and it makes it even more tricky to compete. Off the field, we’ve got a good board that cares for the club and won’t go gung-ho towards Europe and try and do it organically.
Last season wasn’t great but two defeats in ten games to finish the season gives us hope for a good term in 2023/24.
Q. What are the best and worst things about being a fan of the club?
Worst thing – Disappointing results and the lack of a top-six finish since 2015.
Best thing – the people in and around the club, past and present. It’s what’s kept me going all these years when the chips have been down.
We have the best fans in the league, and regardless of where we travel, there’s always a sizeable presence for the Green Army; remarkable given how poor our form has been over the past few seasons.
Q. Finally, what are your hopes for the future of Aberystwyth Town?
To continue to be a solid Welsh Premier League club that makes it into the top six.
I would like to see us in Europe again for both financial and prestige reasons but I want us to do it properly without risking the future of the club. It’s an amazing club and I urge any football fan in the area to get themselves to Park Avenue. You won’t regret it!
A massive thank you to Matthew for answering our questions on the Cymru Premier side Aberystwyth Town. Remember you can find his social media accounts in the links towards the top of the page.
If you have any comments, suggestions, reactions, or even your own answers to the above questions, please write them in the comments box below.
Take me back to the Cymru Premier League page