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Afan Lido FC

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Afan Lido FC

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Ground: Princess Margaret Way
Port Talbot
Comp: Macron Welsh League Division One
Area: South Wales FA
Colours: All Red
 

Afan Lido FC is a football team, playing in the Macron Welsh League Division One.

The club was founded in 1967, and they play at the Marstons Stadium, Aberavon, which accommodates 4200 spectators (525 seated).

History
Shortly after the opening of the Afan Lido Sports Centre, Aberavon, a football team was set up in order to give the Centre's users a proper organisation. Phil Robinson was the prime mover behind the club then and remains so to the current day.

Afan Lido FC gained admission to the Port Talbot and District League for the 1967/68 season. In 1971/72 the club was accepted into the Welsh Football League, and two years later was promoted into the First Division (now the Second Division), and another two years later they were promoted again into the Premier Division (now the First Division). After a barren spell they were relegated but were re-promoted in 1984/85; by this time the League had been reorganised and a higher National Division had been formed, to which Afan Lido were promoted in 1989/90 after finishing 3rd (they had actually won the Premier Division the two previous seasons, but not been promoted because of the ground criteria set by the League). Afan Lido became founder members of the League of Wales in 1992, and won the League Cup in 1992/93 and 1993/94. The next year the porous defence was addressed, and the team finished in second place in the League, winning a UEFA Cup place -- but they were defeated by RAF Jelgava of Latvia on the away-goals rule. This was a taste of things to come, and Afan Lido were relegated from the League of Wales before winning their place back after an absence of two years.

Lido's young team that emerged during the spell out of the League of Wales grew together and the club enjoyed several encouraging seasons after settling again in the top flight. Lido's policy of choosing players from within the club's huge junior structure (which has 25 teams for all age groups, from under 5s upwards) made the 5th place of 2001/02 all the more remarkable as other teams in the league and in the town itself spent heavily to achieve far less. If the club had scored a single point more, in fact, Lido would have taken the town into European football for a second time.

Leaner years followed that near miss, and in 2005 the club left the Welsh Premier in controversial circumstances, after being deducted points for fielding an ineligible player in a league game. The points deducted would have meant all the difference in the league table and Lido would otherwise have been safe. The case was all the more controversial in that it highlighted serious flaws in Welsh football's administrative process, the only notification Lido received of the player's ineligibility being in the routine output of a local league, one that nobody had any reason to suspect there was need to check.

Afan Lido currently play in the Macron Welsh League Division One, the southern feeder to the Welsh Premier. The community aspect of the club continues to thrive and youth players are again emerging into real prospects for future success.

Biggest victories and losses

  • Biggest win: 7-1 v. Porthcawl Town in 1997.
  • Biggest defeat: 0-6 v. Bridgend Town in 1982.
  • Biggest League of Wales win: 6-0 v. Abergavenny Thursdays in 1993.
  • Biggest League of Wales defeat: 0-6 v. Barry Town in 1995.

Afan Lido 2 Carmarthen Town 3



 

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