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The New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid
Badge of The New Saints
Full name The New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid Football Club
Nickname(s) The Saints
Short name TNS
Founded 1959
Ground Park Hall
Oswestry
(Capacity: 2,000)
Chairman Wales Mike Harris
Manager Wales Mike Davies
League Welsh Premier League
2008/09 Welsh Premier League, 3rd
Home colours
Away colours

The New Saints of Oswestry Town & Llansantffraid Football Club (TNS) is a full-time British professional football club representing Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain in Montgomeryshire, Wales and Oswestry in Shropshire, England (the two places are 8 miles (13 km) apart). They play in the Welsh Premier League. From 1997 to 2006, the club was known as Total Network Solutions F.C.

TNS play at Park Hall in Oswestry, having moved there from the Recreation Ground in Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain. Park Hall accommodates 1000 seated spectators and there are plans to upgrade the ground to 3,000 capacity in 2008.[1] The club's main sponsor is now Textboards.

The club's first choice strip is green and white hooped shirts, white shorts and socks. The second choice strip is blue shirts, shorts, and socks.

Contents

History

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Llansantffraid F.C.

The club was formed as Llansantffraid F.C. to represent the tiny border village of Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain (population: 1,000) in 1959, and played at the Recreation Ground.

They first tasted competitive football in the Montgomeryshire Amateur Football League (then the fourth level of the Welsh football league system), winning the championship seven times. At the end of the 1989/90 season they were elected to the Central Wales League (now the Mid-Wales League) but their stay was brief, winning promotion to the Cymru Alliance as runners-up on their first attempt. Llansantffraid's meteoric rise continued and in 1992/93 they gained promotion to the League of Wales, now the Welsh Premier League, as champions and won the Welsh Intermediate Cup (formerly the Welsh Amateur Cup).

Total Network Solutions

In 1996, Llansantffraid won the Welsh Cup and qualified for the first time for the European Cup Winners' Cup. At this time a local computer company, Total Network Solutions of Oswestry, arranged a £250,000 sponsorship deal which involved incorporating the company name into the club name. As Total Network Solutions Llansantffraid F.C. they met the Polish cup winners Ruch Chorzów and earned a 1-1 draw at home before losing 0-5 in Poland. Since then they have qualified for European competition several times (though they have yet to win a tie). The club's European home games are generally played at either Newtown's or Wrexham's stadium as their old Recreation Ground was far below UEFA's standards (though for their 2003 meeting with Manchester City, they played their home game at the 72,000-seat Millennium Stadium in Cardiff).

In 1997 the club's name was changed to Total Network Solutions F.C., being the first instance in the United Kingdom of a football club renaming itself after its sponsor's name only. Following the financial meltdown of Barry Town in the summer of 2003, TNS became the only Welsh Premier League club which had a full-time playing staff. In the summer of 2005 however Llanelli AFC also announced plans to go full-time.

Merger with Oswestry Town

In the summer of 2003 a merger with their financially-weak neighbours, Oswestry Town (who, despite being from England, also played in Wales), was approved by Oswestry's shareholders, the Football Association of Wales and was eventually ratified on 14 August 2003 by UEFA (who initially objected to two clubs from different governing bodies merging).

The 2003/04 season was trophyless for TNS, as they were runners-up in the League of Wales to Rhyl and were losing finalists in the Welsh Cup, also to Rhyl. The next season, 2004–05, proved much more successful, as TNS won a League and Cup double.

During the 2005/06 close season, after newly crowned Champions League winners Liverpool were initially denied a place in the next season's competition, TNS offered to play a two-legged tie against the Reds for TNS's place in the first qualifying round.[2] After UEFA reached a compromise by which Liverpool were placed in the first qualifying round of the competition, TNS and Liverpool ended up drawn against one another anyway. The first leg was at Anfield, when Liverpool won 3–0 by a Steven Gerrard hat-trick, while in the second leg played at Wrexham, Gerrard scored two more after coming on as a substitute, to add to one by Djibril Cissé for another 3–0 TNS defeat. Although defeated the team drew praise from many quarters most notably the young Northern Irish goalkeeper Gerard Doherty, of whom Rafael Benítez said, "The goalkeeper saved a lot of goals and for me he was the best player in the two games".[3]

The New Saints F.C.

In early 2006 the club's sponsor, Total Network Solutions, was taken over by British Telecom[4], as a result of which the sponsorship arrangement lapsed at the end of the 2005/06 season and it became necessary to find a new name for the club. After a trawl for naming ideas, including an attempt to sell the naming rights on eBay, the name "The New Saints" was agreed upon as appropriate to the clubs' history — Llansantffraid was always known as "The Saints", while Oswestry had strong connections with Saint Oswald, while handily retaining the initials "TNS". A new club badge was also developed at the same time, featuring a dragon to represent Llansantffraid and a lion representing Oswestry [5].

On 10 February 2010, the BBC reported that The New Saints had applied to play home games at Chester City's Deva Stadium from 2010–11, after having been turned down for a grant to help fund the construction of a new 1,000-seat stand at Park Hall. The mooted move is complicated by governance issues—Deva Stadium's pitch and stands lie in Wales, but outbuildings on the site that house Chester City's offices are in England, and the club is under the jurisdiction of The FA—and Chester City's current financial struggles.[6]

"Dancing in the Streets"

On the Sky Sports football show Soccer Saturday, TNS's name is gently mocked by the programme's main presenter, Jeff Stelling. At the end of the day's classified check (in which the Welsh Premier League is always the last set of results given, and in which TNS are often alphabetically last), if TNS have played and won at home, Stelling invariably uses his now famous catchphrase "They'll be dancing in the streets of Total Network Solutions tonight!", since updated to "dancing in the streets of The New Saints". Stelling's joke was also occasionally aimed at fellow Welsh side, Airbus UK in 2005/06. Stelling's joke is derived from the accidental 'dancing in the streets of Raith', said by Sam Leitch in the 1960s of the Kirkcaldy-based Raith Rovers.

Honours

  • Promoted to League of Wales: 1993
  • Champions (4): 1999/2000, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07
    • Runners-up (4): 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2007/08
  • Welsh Cup winners (2): 1995/96, 2004/05
    • Runners-up (2): 2000/01, 2003/04
  • FAW Premier Cup winners (1): 2006/7
  • League of Wales Cup Winners (3): 1994/95, 2005/06, 2008/09
  • Welsh Intermediate Cup Winners (1): 1992/93
  • Cymru Alliance League Winners (1): 1992/93
  • Highest attendance: 14,563 against Liverpool, 2005

Biggest victories and losses

  • Biggest League of Wales win: 8-0 v. Carmarthen in 2009
  • Biggest League of Wales defeat: 0-10 v. Barry Town in 1997

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
- England GK Paul Harrison
- Wales GK Simon Williams
- England DF Phil Baker
- Wales DF Steve Evans
- England DF Tommy Holmes
- Wales DF Chris Marriott
- England MF Barry Hogan
- England MF Ryan Marriott
- England MF John McKenna
- Wales MF Scott Ruscoe
No. Position Player
- Wales MF Craig Williams
- Cayman Islands MF Jamie Wood
- Wales MF Craig Jones
- England MF Danny Holmes
- Wales MF Aaeron Edwards
- Wales MF Alex Darlington
- England MF Christian Seargeant
- England FW Steve Abbott (on loan from Wrexham)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis FW Matthew Berkeley
- Scotland FW Chris Sharp

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
- England DF Sean Jones (at Elements Cefn Druids)
- Northern Ireland MF Conall Murtagh (at Aberystwyth Town)
- England FW Craig Whitfield (at Elements Cefn Druids)

International footballers playing for The New Saints

Notable former players

References

External links


Simple English

The New Saints
Full nameThe New Saints of Oswestry Town
& Llansantffraid Football Club
Founded1959
GroundPark Hall
Oswestry
(Capacity 2,000)
ChairmanMike Harris
ManagerMike Davies
LeagueWelsh Premier League
2009/10Welsh Premier League, Champions
 
Home colours
 
Away colours

The New Saints F.C. is a football club which plays in Welsh Premier League.

Contents

Name

  • 1959-1997 Llansantffraid F.C.
  • 1997-2006 Total Network Solutions F.C.
  • 2006-present The New Saints F.C.

League title

League position

Other websites


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