With the new football season in full swing, Llandudno Football Club are reflecting on what was their most successful season to date – both on and off the pitch.
Sam Williams, Llandudno FC’s Business Development Manager, explains: 'Last year saw us become the Cymru Alliance Champions and gain promotion to the Welsh Premier League – something which we are immensely proud of.'
'This has coincided with us playing our first season on our new, state of the art 3G pitch meaning we can play all year round and not be affected by the weather and host training here which has seen the overall standard of our game improve.'
The benefits of the new 3G pitch have spanned further than Llandudno’s first team with the community also enjoying the pitch for recreational use, school bookings and by Llandudno’s own Football in the Community programme.
Gareth Rawling of Llandudno Football in the Community, says: 'Our offer for the community has never been stronger with new ‘Football for Tots’ – an introduction to football for boys and girls aged 2-5 years, turn up and play sessions for 5-12 year olds and a thriving academy for young people aged 8-16.'
'We have also launched a popular, fully inclusive session for girls of all ages. The team have entered the North Wales Girls League, which sees them playing competitively against young people from across the region. With support from the Welsh Football Trust, we’ve set up a pathway, which would enable a local girl to be able to join Llandudno FC as a tot and stay with us through to adulthood, playing senior football for their community in the Women’s Premier League.'
The Welsh Football Trust have been working in partnership with Llandudno FC to widen the opportunities for everyone in the community to participate in football, including young people with a disability via a strong relationship with Ysgol Gogarth - a school for young people with special educational needs. Over the last year coaches from Llandudno FC have been visiting the school to deliver a rounded educational project including numeracy and literacy skills, using football as the catalyst to engage the children.
Michael Parry, Welsh Football Trust Partnership Manager, says: 'It’s clear that the new facility has brought about positive change and a significant increase in people being able to access football all year round. Llandudno FC is a family orientated club with a close-knit team of professional staff who work hard to provide football opportunities for all in the community and I’m delighted to see them reap the rewards.'