NEWI Cefn Druids FC (Welsh: Derwyddon Cefn NEWI) is a football team based in the village of Cefn Mawr, playing in the League of Wales.
The club was founded in 1992 from the amalgamation of Cefn Albion FC and Druids United FC Depending on sponsorship, the club was renamed Flexsys Cefn Druids FC in 1998, and NEWI Cefn Druids FC in 2003 (after sponsorship by the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education), and plays at Plaskynaston Lane, Cefn Mawr, Wrexham.
The team's first choice strip is black and white striped shirts, black shorts and socks. The second choice strip is yellow shirts, black shorts and socks.
The team take their prolific history from the famous old Welsh team Druids F.C. who were founded in the early 1860s. They had won the Welsh Cup on no less than 8 occasions and have finished runners-up 5 times but fell on hard times with the advent of professional football. Druids were ancient mystic men throughout Celtic civilisation. However, on the British Isles they were predominantly in Wales and became symbolic of Welsh nationalism and independence.
Druids can claim to originate from the oldest existing team located in Wales, thus making it also the oldest football cub in the world outisde of England. This is reflected in club's nickname, 'The Ancients'. However, Oswestry Town F.C. does predate Druids but is geographically in England, though the team has always participated in the Welsh system and were founding members of the Welsh FA, and would thus consider themselves a Welsh side (see The New Saints).
In 1992 after many years of discussion the inevitable amalgamation of Druids United and Cefn Albion FC took place to end the internal village soccer rivalry in the village of Cefn Mawr. The new look club took the bold step of applying to join the new Cymru Alliance. The joint resources of the clubs could be focused on a revival of football fortunes in the village of Cefn Mawr. In 1999 Cefn Druids became Champions of theCymru Alliance and were promoted into the League of Wales, finishing a respectable 13th in its first season in the national league.
After the appointment of ex-Rochdale midfielder Steve O'Shaughnessy in the summer of 2001, the Ancients experienced their best results since the halcyon Welsh Cup days of the late 19th century and early 20th century.
The 2001-02 season was a season of consolidation in the Welsh Premier League finishing in 14th place. However in the Welsh Cup after victories over Llangefni-Glantraeth, Ruthin Town, Halkyn United and Welshpool Town, Cefn found themselves in the semi-finals of the Welsh Cup for the first time in 98 years. It was not to be, as a Marc Lloyd-Williams inspired Bangor City won 5-0 at Belle Vue, Rhyl on 6 April 2002.
The 2002-03 season was a financially difficult one with the playing and management staff going weeks without payment at one point in the season. This even forced O'Shaughnessy to resign out of principle during this time. Fortunately, he returned after reassurances were given. On the pitch, Cefn finished in a highly respectable 12th place.
The 2003-04 season, saw an array of young players join the club like Gareth Evans, who eventually left to join Football League Two club Wrexham. The average age of the team for one match against Caersws on Friday December 12, 2003 was just 21.
As the 2003-04 season came to a conclusion with players and management looking ahead to the future with excitement with a young squad at their disposal.
However, on the evening of Sunday April 18, 2004, Steve O'Shaughnessy was sacked by the club's board. Since then the club has been severely struggling on the pitch with the squad that O'Shaughnessy put together leaving en masse. Amongst the players who left were Aden Shannon, Brett Jefferies, Dave Cunnah and First Team Coach, Jimmy Hunter all to Welshpool Town, who have qualified for the FAW Premier Cup in the last two seasons.
The Ancients should have been relegated from the Welsh Premier League in April 2005 after finishing in the bottom two, but were given a last minute reprieve by Cymru Alliance winners Buckley Town, who declined promotion.
Under the stewardship of former Wrexham manager, Dixie McNeil, The Ancients recorded slightly more respectable league positions for the following 2 seasons, namely 14th in 2005-2006 and 13th in 2006-2007. However, partly due to his media work as a pundit for BBC Wales, McNeil stepped down during this pre season.
The club were quick to appoint a new management duo of former Wrexham team-mates, Waynne Phillips and Lee Jones. Both will continue to play, with Phillips benefiting from previous managerial experience at Caernarfon Town. The partnership got off to the best possible start with a shock 1-0 opening day home win against Champions TNS.
With players like Timmy Edwards, Aled Rowlands and Ricky Evans boasting a wealth of Welsh Premier experience, alongside emerging young talent like Wales under 19 internationals Khoz Hematinafar and Matthew Cook, expectations are high and this season could prove to be the Druids' most successful in the top flight to date.
Precursor teams' honours
- Welsh Cup Winners: 1879-80, 1880-81, 1881-82, 1884-85, 1885-86, 1897-98, 1898-99, 1903-04
- Welsh Cup Finalists: 1877-78, 1882-83, 1883-84, 1899-1900, 1900-01
- Welsh Amateur Cup Winners: 1902-03
- Welsh Amateur Cup Finalists: 1903-04, 1956-57
- Welsh Youth Cup Winners: 1957-58, 1958-59
- North East Wales FA: 1979-80
- Welsh National League Division 2 Cup Finalists: 1987-88
- North East Wales FA Challenge Cup Winners: 1977-78
- NEWFA Challenge Cup Finalists: 1975-76, 1988-89
- NEWFA Horace Wynn Cup Winners: 1976-77
- Welsh National League Premier Division Runners up: 1984-85
- WNL Division 1 Champions: 1979-80, 1980-81
- WNL Division 1 Runners up: 1978-79
- WNL Division Cup Finalists: 1983-84, 1990-91
- WNL Division 2 Cup Winners: 1973-74
- WNL Division 2 Cup Finalists: 1970-71
- WNL Division 3 Cup Finalists: 1968-69, 1983-84
- WNL Division 3B Champions: 1969-70