Park Avenue remains the second most popular venue to watch WPL football, attracting an average crowd of 412 for League Games in 2016/7: the Stadium's second highest figure since 2003/4.
Allowing for two matches played at Newtown, Aberystwyth Town's overall average Welsh Premier League attendance for the season was 379, second only to Bangor City on 509. A total of 6058 people viewed Aber's 16 home matches, up 3% on last year's figure.
Despite a tough season Black and Green supporters excelled themselves by ensuring that Park Avenue saw the highest and 5th highest WPL attendances of the season, 1168 and 735, both against Rhyl in October and April respectively.
Aberystwyth Town's Marketing Director Thomas Crockett said: "These figures reflect extremely well on our fantastic supporters who have remained loyal to the Club despite a challenging season. The Club's transition to 3G has reinvigorated interest in football at Park Avenue, especially on Friday nights. The Club ran series of promotional events throughout the season including a 3G Opening Night, Student Night, two Family Fun Days and an Academy Photoshoot. Our Marketing Team worked very hard to promote and put on these events, and they also deserve huge credit for their efforts."
Friday nights were the cornerstone of Aber's popularity, with Town's four Friday matches averaging an enormous 683, compared to 221 on Saturday afternoons.
The 2017/8 WPL season kicks off on Saturday 12th August.
Aberystwyth Town Attendance Table
Season Total Average
2016/7 6058 379
2015/6 5876 367
2014/5 6676 417
2013/4 6450 403
2012/3 5308 332
Photos courtesy of Chris Howells
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Saturday 22nd April
Aberystwyth Town 6 Newtown 1
Aberystwyth Town ended the 2016/7 season with a heavy defeat at Latham Park as goals from Nick Rushton (19, 67 and 82 mins), Steff Edwards (23 min), Ryan Kershaw (26) and Luke Boundford (52) sent Newtown into the Europa League Play Offs in top form. On a difficult evening youngster Sion Ewart rescued a modicom of pride for the Black and Greens with an 88th minute consolation goal.
On a very pleasant Spring evening in Powys the visitors started just as well as their hosts with Jack Rimmer coming within inches of setting up Luke Borrelli only for Dave Jones to intercept well. Jon Owen then played a one-two with Rimmer before earning a corner with a deflected effort, and although Neil Mitchell and an acrobatic Rushton sent efforts over the bar Aber were showing some nice touches and were fully contributing to a watchable affair. Then within seven minutes the game was lost. First Boundford sent on a cross from the right wing which the unmarked Rushton headed home; next flying full back Edwards overlapped down the left and slotted home the second, then Kershaw capitalised on some generous defending to bury a third - and Aber were utterly shellshocked. Rushton curled another shot over from a corner but then Owen drew a save from Jones with his own curling attempt. Malcolm Melvin fired over as Town strove to get back into the game, but Newtown kept coming with Rushton drawing a save from Chris Mullock before heading over from a corner. The last chance of the half saw Borrelli almost score with a deflected long range effort, but Jones was again on hand to save and half time came a three nil.
The visitors made an excellent start to the second half, pressing high in search of redemption. Cledan Davies sent a great crossfield ball to Dan Alfei, whose centre from the right side found Borrelli at the back stick, but Aber's top scorer was denied by an incredible point blank stop from Jones. Sam Rodon then hit the crossbar with a header from a corner, Davies' cross fell onto the roof of the net and Geoff Kellaway burst through only to be denied again by the excellent Jones, and a revival of sorts seemed on the cards only for Aber's defence to betray them once again. Jamie Price's volley cannoned off the crossbar and fell invitingly for Boundford to head home Newtown's fourth. Mark Jones on came on up front for Aber and made his presence felt but the hosts were still threatening more with Rushton going wide. Ryan Wollacott headed wide for Aber but then livewire Rushton ran right through the visiting defence to claim rampant Newtown's fifth goal with still a quarter of the game to go. In the last ten minutes of a game which had ended as a contest a long time previously sub Jason Oswell headed back across goal for Rushton to nab a deserved hat trick, only for Owen to test Jones before sending in a cute left wing cross which 18 year old Aber sub Sion Ewart headed home emphatically at the back post to ensure the game and the season at least ended on a high for the loyal travelling Black and Greens supporters, and Daf Jones sent a volley over with the last kick of the game.
The defeat means that Aber finish a rather underwhelming 2016/7 in tenth place in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League with thirty four points. Safety was ensured with a week of the season to go but Aberystwyth Town supporters have the right to expect a more sustained effort on the Top Seven next time around. Thank you all very much for your fantastic support and we look forward to enjoying next season with you once again!
Photo of Sion Ewart's first ever senior goal for Aberystwyth Town FC Courtesy of his father Colin!
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Saturday 22nd April (ko 5.15pm)
Newtown v Aberystwyth Town
After the drama and euphoria of last Friday's season saving 4-0 win over Rhyl which safeguarded their WPL status for 2017/8, the resurgent Black and Greens look to complete a remarkable recovery on Saturday by gaining three points which could see them emulate last season's eighth placed finish.
Given the transition this season which saw the Club sign almost an entire new team in the summer, that would represent a remarkable achievement for the Squad and Management Team.
Seven points out of nine from the last three games has installed the Black and Greens as one of the form teams in the WPL and they have also failed to concede in over a month of football. At the other end goals from Mark Jones, Malcolm Melvin, Luke Borrelli (2) and Jon Owen (2) earned those two crucial wins at Llandudno and against Rhyl, with Melvin and Borrelli picked out as Star Performers by Sgorio's selection panel. Although experienced Central Defender Phil Baker has been recalled from his loan period and returns to host Club TNS with thanks and best wishes from all at Park Avenue, the remainder of the Squad which has done so well are available for selection on Saturday and are looking forward to a formidable challenge against a Newtown side whose own upsurge in form came in time to ensure their place in May's UEFA Europa League Play Offs with a 7-0 win at Airbus last weekend.
After late Aber goals from Kurtis March and Joe Clarke condemned Newtown to a 1-0 defeat at Park Avenue and a 2-2 draw at home over Christmas, they punished Aber severely in early March with a 4-0 win which represented a low point in Aber's season: fortunately things have improved remarkably since. Looking up the table Town are level on 34 points with Llandudno and two behind Cefn Druids who effectively need a draw at home to Airbus to guarantee their Top Eight State. Anything less than that will open the door to Aber jumping above them in the final placings with a win at Latham Park.
Aber Assistant Manager Tony Pennock told Aber Town's Youtube Channel this week: "We want to target eighth. We’re pleased with tonight and we’ve secured our league status but it’s about getting as high up the league as we can. A club of this size shouldn’t be in the situation it’s found itself in. Football changes weekly, but I’ve been fortunate enough that before coming in, the boys had a good result against Cefn Druids and we’ve built on that. Hopefully we can continue that next week in the last game of the season against Newtown.”
The Coach leaves Park Avenue at 2.45pm this Saturday afternoon and a good atmosphere is certain to prevail after last week's heroics. Consider yourself invited!
Photo courtesy of Chris Howells
FOOTBALL fans in Ceredigion will get the chance to set their eyes on two of the sport’s most coveted trophies this weekend.
Aberystwyth Town Football Club will host the UEFA Champions League and Womens Champions League trophies on Sunday, 23 April, as the Football Association of Wales takes the iconic silverware on a tour of Wales ahead of the competition’s final in Cardiff on Saturday, 3 June.
The trophy, which is 73.5cm tall and weighs 7.5kg, represents the pinnacle of competitive club football in Europe, and the Champions League is arguably the most competitive football competition in the world.
Russell Hughes-Pickering, Aberystwyth Town FC Academy administrator, said: “It is a great privilege that players across the county will have the opportunity to view and have photos taken with the Champions League trophies for the men’s and women’s finals, in Aberystwyth.”
As part of the trophy’s visit to Aberystwyth, the football club are planning a range of competitions and training sessions for the county’s youngsters.
“As part of the day, Aberystwyth Town FC will be assisting with fun training sessions aimed at U7 to U11 Junior League age groups,” added Mr Hughes-Pickering.“The Aberystwyth Town FC Academy will also be holding the first of its trials for the U12 side for 2017-18 that evening so it’s great to have the best club trophies on show at Park Avenue when the trials are held."
The Trophy is scheduled to be at Park Avenue between 4pm and 8pm on Sunday 23rd April and members of the general public are warmly invited to attend.
Article reproduced by kind permission of the Cambrian News.
Even with the rain lambasting the plastic turf of Park Avenue, little could quell the celebrations, jubilation and relief felt by the lion’s share of the 735 spectators at Aberystwyth Town Football Club on Friday night, writes Club Media Assistant Matthew Wallace.
Outside agencies had described the fixture against Rhyl as a relegation decider and with the eyes of the Welsh Premier League as well as many around the world primed thanks to Sgorio's Live Facebook feed on the Black and Greens, Tony Pennock’s men rose magnificently to the challenge with a sumptuous and professional performance against the Lilywhites by four goals to nil. A brace apiece from Luke Borrelli and Jon Owen sealed all three points for Aberystwyth and ensured that the club would keep its proud tradition of being a mainstay in the Welsh Premier League since its inception in 1992.
A delighted Pennock told Aber Town's Youtube Channel “When you ask your players to do a job and they do it as well as they did out there, then it’s extremely pleasing. They did up in Llandudno last Sunday. We took our chances last week and we’ve certainly done that here this evening with four great goals.”
Friday’s game also showcased the squad Town have at their disposal. With both Jack Rimmer and Jon Owen coming off the bench to impact on the game. Pennock was pleased with the attitude and commitment his squad showed on Friday evening.
“Everyone wants to play. I spoke to both Jack and Jon before the game and explained they wouldn’t be starting but I knew that they would be needed during the game. Jack came on very early and then Jon came on, I can’t ask for more than what they gave me tonight. Both of them made an impact.”
With league survival secured and no chance of reaching 7th spot, one could argue that next week’s game against mid Wales rivals Newtown is a dead rubber however, the management team are not adopting this belief and are challenging the players to finish the season on a high. “We want to target eighth. We’re pleased with tonight and we’ve secured our league status but it’s about getting as high up the league as we can. A club of this size shouldn’t be in the situation it’s found itself in."
An 8th place finish would equal last year’s standing, a remarkable feat considering the club has enjoyed a flirtatious relationship with the relegation zone over the past few months. Although the arrival of Pennock has yielded more positive results, he is quick to attribute the upturn to his squad and the previous management.
“Football changes weekly, but I’ve been fortunate enough that before coming in, the boys had a good result against Cefn Druids and we’ve built on that. Hopefully we can continue that next week in the last game of the season against Newtown.”
A win at Newtown on Saturday would give Aber the chance of matching last season's eighth placed finish. Kick off at Latham Park is at 5.15pm.
Dafabet Welsh Premier League
Friday 14th April
Aberystwyth Town 4 Rhyl 0
On the most vital night of the season Aberystwyth Town delivered in spades with a superb 4-0 win over Rhyl to ensure their place in the WPL next season, in front of a huge crowd of 735 at Park Avenue. A smashing strike from Luke Borelli on 24 minutes put Aber on their way, and two more goals from sub John Owen (64 mins) and Borrelli (66 mins) put Town on easy street before Owen tapped in his second seven minutes from time to put the icing on the cake.
Despite a wet evening a superb crowd turned up to cheer on the Black and Greens and they settled well, with a series of dangerous crosses being dispatched from the right wing by Borrelli and Dan Alfei, and Mark Jones heading wide from one of them. Phil Baker headed inches wide from Cledan Davies' corner and Jones went close twice more from Malcolm Melvin and Davies' deliveries with the Dias Stand baying for a goal. Mike Walsh fired over and then flashed a free kick past the Aber goal in a rare foray for Rhyl before their loyal singing supporters who were braving the rain, but back came Aber again as Jones released Geoff Kellaway down the middle and having bared down on goal his effort flashed just wide. Undeterred, the hard working Borreli won a corner down the left and received the ball from Melvin before smashing home a low volley from the left flank to relieve the nerves and put Town on the road to safety. With Sam Rodon and Pip Baker excellent in the air the visitors were reduced to long range efforts such as Steve Lewis' hopeful punt, and in fact the Hosts seemed to have doubled their lead when a nice move saw Melvin feed Kellaway down the left before the winger volleyed home decisively - but the linesman's flag said no. With the rain ceasing Aber enjoyed a let off when the livewire Toby Jones turned on a sixpence inside the area before crashing a volley off the post, but Town were certainly good value for their half time lead after an assured first 45 minutes.
The Black and Greens maintained their standards after the break with Borrelli again causing havoc and Ryan Wollacott seeing an attempt blocked. Aber's high press continued to disrupt Rhyl's attempts with Mark Jones leading the line well - and he nearly slipped Kellaway in again only for the pass to be blocked. Baker came off after a strong hour to be replaced by Jon Owen and the Gwynedd Goalgetter was soon into the action. He surged down the middle before combining with Jack Rimmer to create a good opening and then a mere five minutes after coming on he beat Sharples on the half way line before bearing down on Dan Lavercombe's goal and slotting a second under the keeper to bring joy and relief to the massed ranks of home supporters. Two minutes later Borrelli sneaked into the left flank to bury a third under Lavercombe and the party could start with a quarter of the game still remaining. Borrelli and Jones went close with further efforts before Rhyl sub Zyaac Edwards had a shot deflected for a corner. Some visiting supporters in the Dias Stand then disgraced themselves by throwing three flares onto the field, but Town would not be distracted from their task and Borrelli was so close to a huge hat trick when his dipping, curling volley whizzed past the far post. Then with seven minutes to go Kellaway broke down the right with pace and sent in a perfect cross which Owen converted from 5 yards to put the icing on the cake, and seal Aber's most significant win of the season. A mighty roar greeted the salvation confirmed by ref David Morgan's final whistle at 9.36pm and the team were cheered off the field.
All fourteen of the players were excellent last night and they will rightly be credited for an end of season boost in form which has guaranteed Aber's Dafabet WPL status for 2017/8. Assistant Manager Tony Pennock and Team Coach Wayne Jones have done a fantastic job to galvanise the squad over the past three games and they now have the opportunity to match last season's eighth placed finish with a win at Newtown in next Saturday's final game of the season. We are all looking forward to it!