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Colwyn Bay
Club logo
Full name Colwyn Bay Football Club
Nickname(s) Seagulls
Founded 1881
Ground Llanelian Road, Old Colwyn
(Capacity: 2,500 (400 covered seating))
Chairman Wales Geoff Cartwright
Manager England Neil Young
League Northern Premier League
Division One North
2008-09 Northern Premier League
Division One North, 4th (of 21)
Home colours
Away colours

Colwyn Bay F.C. are a Welsh football club who currently play in the Northern Premier League Division One North. Nicknamed the Seagulls, the club play at Llanelian Road in Old Colwyn.

Contents

History

The club traces its history back to 1881 when a Colwyn Bay club was first formed. They entered the North Wales Coast Football League in 1901 and remained in this league until it folded in 1921, whereupon they joined the Welsh National League. The club became founder members of the North Wales Football Combination in 1930, marking their first entrance into English football, as the new league also covered Cheshire.

They won this new league in its first season of existence and so moved on to the Birmingham & District League, until returning to Welsh football as members of the Welsh League (North) in 1937 after experiencing travelling difficulties in the West Midlands-based competition. The club remained in their new home for many years before successive championships in 1983 and 1984 saw them return to a higher level, this time the North West Counties Football League.

The club made rapid progress in their new surroundings, winning promotions and also reaching the FA Cup First Round for the first time in their history in the 1987-88 season, losing 1-0 to Northwich Victoria. In the 1990-91 season the club was finally promoted to the Northern Premier League as runners-up following the demise of South Liverpool, representing their highest level reached at that time.

Despite winning the Northern Premier League First Division in 1992, the club soon faced problems as the Football Association of Wales decided to ban Wales-based teams from continuing in English non-league football in order to boost its new League of Wales competition. After a series of failed court battles, Colwyn Bay were forced to leave Wales and seek temporary homes in Northwich and Ellesmere Port in order to continue in the NPL. The club eventually won an overturning of the ruling at the High Court in London in April 1995, allowing them to return to their home ground.

The club had managed to maintain their status as members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division throughout the ordeal, although things began to look more uncertain when Bryn Jones stepped down as manager after 18 years at the end of the 2000-01 season, long-serving player Colin Caton took over as player-manager and managed to keep the team up, but they were relegated in 2002-03 and Caton stepped down. His replacement Jimmy Mullen lasted only one season as he failed to gain promotion. His successor Adie Jones, who was appointed in May 2004, could not secure promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division and left the club at the end of the 2005-06 season after two years in charge. In his place the club appointed former Manchester United striker Peter Davenport as their new manager on 24 May 2006. He resigned as manager on 15 January 2007 to take charge of Conference side Southport Gary Finley was appointed manager on 23 January 2007. Finley was sacked at the end of the 2007/2008 season following the Bay's failure to reach the Northern Premier League Division One South play-offs. Steve Pope was appointed manager on 13 May 2008 but resigned on 7 September citing "personal reasons". Former Leek Town manager Mark Cartwright was appointed as caretaker manager of the team.[1]

On the 24th September 2008 Neil Young was confirmed as the new Colwyn Bay manager with former Tranmere Rovers, Nottingham Forest and Grimsby Town player Gary Jones as his assistant.[2]

The club's best FA Cup run came during the 1995-96 season when they reached the Second Round, before bowing out 2-0 away to Blackpool. The Seagulls reached the quarter finals of the FA Trophy during the 1996-97 season, losing to Stevenage Borough The club have also reached the semi finals of the Welsh Cup on three occasions, but no longer participate in the competition as they play in the English pyramid.

Recent history

A good run of 17 points from seven games near the end of the 2006-07 season had given Colwyn Bay a good chance of making the play-offs and going into the final weekend of the season, they needed to equal Stocksbridge's result at Rossendale. A 2-1 defeat to Eastwood looked to have cost the Bay, but a last minute goal conceded by Stocksbridge meant they too were defeated and Colwyn had qualified for the play-offs. They travelled to Cammell Laird on 1 May 2007. Cammell Laird twice took the lead but it looked like Colwyn Bay would force extra time in with a 90th minute equaliser. However, in the final minute of stoppage time Cammell Laird scored to send the Welsh side out 3-2.

The 2007/08 season was spent in the newly formed Northern Premier League First Division South and regrettably the team could not re-produce the form of the previous end of season run and finished outside the play-offs. As a result a new manager was appointed in former Crewe player Steve Pope alongside the vastly experienced Paul Ogden as his assistant.

Following a disappointing start to the 2008/09 season Steve Pope stood down as manager after only four league games. Two weeks later Neil Young was appointed as the new manager, assisted by former Tranmere Rovers and Nottingham Forest player Gary Jones. The transformation was remarkable; the team went on a winning streak that saw them rise from 17th to 3rd place, securing two successive Unibond club of the month awards for February and March along the way. The team eventually secured a play-off position finishing in 4th position, almost unthinkable before Young’s appointment. This was the clubs highest league placing for many years. Unfortunately, a run of injuries and a recall for influential on-loan midfielder Ashton Taylor back to Tranmere dented the clubs play-off hopes and after a brave effort were eventually beaten away at Newcastle Blue Star on penalties. A cruel twist being that the eventual play-off winners Newcastle BS soon later folded, denying the Bay and the other teams in Division One North who made the play-offs a place in the Premier Division.

For the start of the 2009/10 season manager Neil Young has made a number of signings in order to strengthen the side with the hope that the club can go one better this time around. Off the field, the club has managed to secure the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in the clubs history with The Co-operative Food Group. With a planned increase in community based initiatives, the launch of the Elite Performance Centre for the best young players in the area and with efforts continuing on improving ground facilities, the club can look forward to a bright future.

Current squad

As of 2 September 2009

No. Position Player
Wales GK Chris Sanna
England GK Farai Jackson
England DF Dave Challinor
England DF Tim Brandreth
England DF Danny Jarrett
England DF Anthony Sheehan
England DF Luke Denson
England DF Louis Corrigan
England DF Gary Scott
Wales MF Robbie Williams
No. Position Player
England MF James Kelly
England MF Eddie Jebb
England MF Carl Clampitt
England MF Ian Sheridan
England FW James Dunn
England FW Lee Davey
England FW Tom McGill
England FW Rob Hopley
England FW Kevin Holsgrove

Coaching staff

References

External links

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