This week sees another important step in the development of Welsh Premier League football as the first ever Welsh Premier Development League matches are played in South Wales.
Following the success of the Northern section over the past three seasons, a Southern equivalent has been set up by the Football Association of Wales.
League Secretary Gwyn Derfel said: ‘The fact that five players over the age of 19 are allowed in a match-day squad helps the development of the younger players and also gives the older players important game time. Only three of the five over age players are allowed on the field of play at the same time – so everyone’s a winner’.
After retaining the Central Wales FA Youth Cup in May, thanks to Daf Carruthers' late winner against Llanidloes (see photo, above) Aberystwyth Town FC's Under 19s Development Squad, managed by Emyr Jones, kick off their season on Thursday night at Park Avenue, as they host Haverfordwest County with a 7.30pm kick off. Having competed in a Development League comprised entirely of teams from North Wales for the past three seasons, this year the young Black and Greens will play in the newly created Southern Division, bringing an exciting new roster of opponents.
Town Supporters keen to see the stars of the future will be pleasantly surprised, with players such as Jack Rimmer, Liam Lewis and Tom Jones - who featured prominently in pre season and earned places in Ian Hughes' First Team Squad - expected to feature in the sixteen match season.
Town's full fixture list in the Development League (South) for the season reads as follows:
Thu 3rd (ko 7.30pm) HAVERFORDWEST COUNTY (Home)
Mon 21st (ko 7.30pm) Carmarthen Town (Away)
Sun 4th (ko 2pm) Penybont (Away)
Sun 11th (ko 2pm) MERTHYR TOWN (Home)
Sun 25th (ko 2pm) CARDIFF MET (Home)
Sun 1st (ko 2pm) CAMBRIAN & CLYDACH (Home)
Sun 15th (ko 2pm) PORT TALBOT TOWN (Home)
Sun 22nd (ko 2pm) RISCA UNITED (Home)
Sun 6th (ko 2pm) Risca United (Away)
Sun 10th (ko 2pm) Haverfordwest County (Away)
Tue 2nd (ko 7.30pm) CARMARTHEN TOWN (Home)
Sun 7th (ko 2pm) PENYBONT (Home)
Sun 21st (ko 2pm) Merthyr Town (Away)
Sun 28th (ko 2pm) Cardiff Met (Away)
Sun 13th (ko 2pm) Cambrian & Clydach (Away)
Sun 20th (ko 2pm) Port Talbot Town (Away)