Early 20th Century
The first mention of football being played in the village dates back to 1921. They played on one of Tyfrys Fields know as Cae Rhydlidd, which was close to Rhandir Terrace, near the link-road roundabout. On one occasion, they played a game against the rugby club and lost by more than 10 goals, and disbanded after a few years.
Morlais Colliery Football Team
As far as is known, no further organised football club played in the village until 1955 when the Morlais Colliery workers formed a team which played on Morlais Field which is between Maes Road and the River Morlais.
Sheep continued to graze on the field between matches to keep the grass cut, the goalposts were made by the workers in the wagon shed of the colliery, and no nets were used.
The team played in blue and white strips, with their B team playing in green and white quarters. The B team were known as 'Bryn'. The Club Secretary, Mr K. G. A. Harte lived on Bridge Street.
The teams would change in the Castle Inn before walking over to the field for the match. They owned just one ball which was preciously looked after by the captain John "Jack" Samuel. The team played in the Carmarthenshire League for two seasons.
Back row: Bill Jarman (Selector), John Cartwright, Ronald Williams (Atôl), Peter Williams, Dilwyn Bowen, Tom Samuel.
Front row: Harry Sturgis, Ken Rees, J Walker, Jack Samuel (c), Alun Lloyd, David Cartwright
The beginnings of Llangennech AFC
The idea of forming a village club was thought up in the bar of the Bridgend Inn around 1982. Barrie Williams and then Swansea City defender Wyndam Evans were discussing football and when Wyndam asked how the village team had faired the previous day. He was shocked when Barrie informed him that there was no village side.
Huw Johns, an ex-Llanelli player happened to be in the pub at the same time and was quickly in on the debate. Wyndam was adamant that a village the size of Llangennech should have it's own football team.
A few hours later the idea of "Llangennech A.F.C." had been formed.
Wyndam was obviously unable to participate any further because of his commitments with Swansea City, but had a lasting message for Barrie that the first kit should be in the same colours of Llangennech R.F.C. - red and black. Byron Francis, then landlord of the Bridge Inn, sponsored the first club match ball.
In those early days, the club logo was a stone bridge to represent the club's headquarters of the Bridgend Inn. When the club later moved to the Castle Inn for its headquarters, it was agreed to change the logo to the design we currently use of a castle.
Above: The first known club letterhead.
Upon the news of a new team forming in the village, Llangennechites who were playing elsewhere returned home to help form their new club. Among the proud returnees were Mike "Shorts" Davies, Ricky Harper & Graham Banfield.
The Club's first game was a friendly away at Bwlch Rangers on 15 April 1982, where the side played in an all grey strip. Llangennech lost 2-1 but had taken the lead. Huw John's had the honour of scoring the first goal which came direct from a corner kick. Following the game the first club kit was purchased - red and black of course!
The club continued to play friendly matches until they entered the Carmarthenshire Association Football League in 1984. In their maiden season, Llan finished a respectable 6th place having been competitive throughout.
The club went on to pick up its first league championship in 1987/88 - winning the Division Three title. In the same season, Llangennech fielded a second team in the league for the first time. It was to be for just one season at that time. Then, despite the first team finishing mid-table in the Second Division in 88/89, Llan did not enter a side into the league in 89/90. When they re-entered in 1990/91, they achieved promotion back to the Second Division at the first attempt.
Famous Names and Champions
The club has been honoured to have some big names associated with it over the years. As has been mentioned, former Swansea City player Wyndham Evans had a part to play in the founding of the club, but two more former Swans players have had spells as manager.
Former Leeds goalkeeper Glan Letheran was first to arrive in the mid nineties and also played a number of games for the club.
Then in 2002 the club shocked the local football community when it appointed 51 cap Wales international and former Swans and Stoke midfielder John Mahoney as its new Manager. John - whose Bangor City side faced the might of Athletico Madrid in 1992 - spent two years with Llangennech passing on his knowledge and experince to the young players of the club.
The New Millennium
Despite big name managers, it was a relative unknown who guided the club to its second league championship. Anthony Weston's side delivered the Carmarthenshire League Division Three title in 1999/2000. Having missed out on promotion by one point the previous season, Llan needed to avoid defeat against second place Garden Village in the last game of the season to win the title. Llangennech won with goals from Justin Williams and Kevin "Rocket" Thomas and they lifted their second league championship!
The Second Team having re-entered the league in 1998, have survived consecutive seasons to the present day. Most seasons have been a struggle but the team has always provided a platform for youngsters to settle before making their way into the first team. The side won promotion from Reserve Division Four in 2000/01 - a season after the First Team had won the Third Division.
The First Team enjoyed six seasons in Division Two before sucumbing to relegation back to the bottom division in 2006/07. At this time the club was only barely managing to maintain two teams thanks to the enduring careers of several club stalwards such as Ian "Molly" Williams, Gary "Express" Thomas and Lee "Lugs" Evans as well as the young players who had just come through the junior setup in 2005. These included several players who went on to play a big part in the club over the next two decades on and off the pitch, namely Thomas "Chopper" Harris, Mike O'Mara, Steffan Cook and Martin Williams amoung others.
The Junior Section
That junior set up had consisted of two teams bourne out of an open day held on 20th August 2002. Over 40 players hurried to Llan park much to the club's delight and an under 14's team managed by Justin Williams and an under 9's team managed by Phil Parkman were formed.
After the relegation in 2007, the then First Team Manager, Simon Davies and youngster, Martin Williams arranged another Junior Open Day in July 2007. Around 60 players turned up this time and the club fielded teams at all mini age groups immediately.
Since then, the junior section has given playing opportunities to hundreds, if not thousands of local young players. The Senior section has, in turn been able to flourish once again and numerous players have followed the path into the senior teams.
The first junior silverwear followed in 2011 with former player Mark "Tosh" Thomas leading an under 13's side to a league and cup double. A feat they repeated the following season!
Most recently, the club won it's first ever senior cup competition silverware by beating Drefach 4-2 at Steboneath Park to lift the Darch Cup in 2017.
More detailed accounts of more recent seasons are found below.
|Thomas Division Three 1984/85|
|Trinity College ++||20||11||3||6||62||35||35|
|Carmarthen Bay Power Station||20||7||2||11||39||49||23|
|New Dock Wolves||20||4||3||13||33||69||15|
No information available.
|Thomas Division Three 1986/87|
|Evans & Williams||18||9||4||5||49||47||31|
The first team won their first ever league championship in this season while the club also fielded a second team for the first time.
|Reserve Division Three Section B 1987/88|
|Evans & Williams||21||6||4||11||34||52||22|
|Brighton Division Two 1988/89|
The club controversially withdrew from the Carmarthenshire League before the season began. Efforts to reinstate the team came too late and the club played the odd friendly until it could reapply for membership the following season.
|Division Three 1990/91|
|West End United||20||13||2||5||58||33||41|
|Evans & Williams||20||10||2||8||48||35||32|
No specific details from this era are available yet.
|Division Two 1995/96|
|Division Three 1996/97|
|Division Three 1997/98|
|Division Three 1998/99|
|Reserve Division Four 1998/99|
|West End ++||18||12||3||3||70||33||36|
|Division Three 1999/2000|
|South Llanelli ++||21||6||0||15||35||97||15|
|Waterloo Wanderers ++||21||3||0||18||33||122||6|
|Reserve Division Four 1999/2000|
|West End ++||21||18||1||2||108||33||52|
|Waterloo Wanderers ++||21||3||3||15||35||116||9|
|Division Two 2000/01|
|Reserve Division Four 2000/01|
|Division Two 2001/02|
|Reserve Division Three 2001/02|
|Burry Port ++||21||8||1||12||46||62||19|
|Division Two 2002/03|
|Reserve Division Three 2002/03|
|Division Two 2003/04|
|Reserve Division Three 2003/04|
|Division Two 2004/05|
|Towy Valley ++||22||8||5||9||60||49||11||26|
|Reserve Division Three 2004/05|
|Llanelli Radicals ++||18||10||1||7||42||36||6||30|
Llangennech started the season with high hopes of promotion from Division Two after a promising Star Cup performance. However the first game of the season (a 5-2 defeat to Llandeilo after leading 2-0) epitomised the season that followed with inconsistency being the main theme. John Mahoney resigned as Manager and left the club in October with Richard 'Jack' Thomas agreeing to take over until the end of the season. The First Team finally finished in 7th position.
|Division Two 2005/06|
|Carmarthen United ++||22||15||4||3||66||29||37||46|
|Reserve Division Three 2005/06|
|Porth Tywyn Suburbs ++||18||4||1||13||41||80||-39||8|
This season is best remembered for the amount of debuts handed to youngsters from the previous season's under 16's. Former player Ray Thomas was appointed to the vacant position of Manager but unfortunately the club struggled against relegation for most of the campaign, eventually securing their safety with an emphatic 5-1 victory away to Llanelli Radicals in the penultimate game of the season.
|Division Two 2006/07|
|Reserve Division Three 2006/07|
The season started brightly for Ray Thomas' side with back to back wins from their first two games, an achievement they could not replicate as they fell into Division Three after a miserable season. Simon Davies was appointed Manager in February but despite a remarkable effort could not halt the team's decline.
|Division Three 2007/08|
|Cross Hands ++||24||16||3||5||83||36||47||49|
|Johnstown Jays ++||24||15||3||6||89||53||36||46|
|Inter Carmarthen ++||24||12||2||10||74||64||10||34|
|Reserve Division Three 2007/08|
|Johnstown Jays ++||20||10||4||6||60||45||15||32|
With Simon Davies resigning as Manager due to family reasons, Richard Coslett was given the chance to move into the Managerial hot seat at the club at the beginning of the season. Five wins from the first six league games had everybody at the club believing promotion at the first attempt was a real possibility but the form was not maintained and key players departed. However these departures paved the way for the youngsters to stake their claim with Michael O'Mara and Paul Thomas particularly impressive as they helped steer the club to a 6th position finish. This season also saw the creation of a new Junior Committee which helped start 3 new mini-football teams in the village and earned FAW Accreditation.
|Division Three 2008/09|
|Johnstown United ++||28||14||2||12||80||74||6||39|
|Inter Carmarthen ++||28||11||3||14||86||95||-9||24|
|Cross Hands ++||28||12||3||13||68||77||-9||17|
|Porth Tywyn ++||28||3||2||23||45||145||-100||8|
|Reserve Division Three Section B 2008/09|
|Dafen Welfare A||21||14||2||5||78||40||38||44|
|Camford Sports A||21||12||2||7||92||63||29||38|
|Loughor Rovers A ++||21||8||3||10||67||65||2||25|
|Porth Tywyn ++||21||1||1||19||30||141||-111||-4|
Richard Thomas and Simon Davies were appointed joint Managers of the First Team at the start of the campaign and quickly recruited several players to strengthen the side. The early signs were good with a giant killing in the Star Cup, beating Premier Division side Dafen in the group stage. That form continued into the league season with Llangennech winning 25 of their 28 league games acheiving promotion back to the Second Division and missing out on the Championship only on goal difference.
|Division Two 2009/10|
|West End United||20||16||1||3||75||34||41||49|
|Llanelli Radicals ++||20||8||5||7||51||48||3||27|
|Ammanford Town ++||20||3||2||15||31||72||-41||6|
|Reserve Division Three Section A 2009/10|
Following the promotion from the Third Division, Davies and Thomas' side initially struggled in the higher division and at Christmas time found themselves bottom of the division. However a stark turn around in form saw them finish a respectable 5th place in Division Two. In contrast to the First Team, the Seconds started with blistering pace soaring to the top of the table by November. However their form fell away and ended up finishing 4th.
The season will best be remembered for the achievements of the two junior teams particularly the Under 12's team. In their first season playing on the full pitch the boys reached the JH Evans Under 12's Cup Final and on 24th April 2010 became the first Llangennech side ever to run out in a cup final. Unfortunately they lost the match to Kidwelly Town who also pipped them to the league title but it was a huge positive step for the club. The club also formed a new under 14's team for the season and gradually improved throughout the season culminating in them winning the Bancffosfelen Plate Tournament playing in a tournament against teams one year older than themselves.
|Division Two 2010/11|
|Towy Valley ++||22||9||0||13||48||52||-4||25|
|Llanelli Radicals ++||22||7||3||12||45||59||-14||23|
|AFC Hendy ++||22||2||0||20||38||133||-95||-3|
|Ammanford Town ++||22||0||0||22||9||147||-138||-26|
|Reserve Division Three 2010/11|
|Burry Port A||22||5||3||14||45||87||-42||18|
|Camford A ++||22||3||4||15||32||81||-49||5|
The most successful season so far in the club's history. The first team, now under the leadership of former player Daryl Panayiotiou, won promotion to Division One after finishing as runners up in Division Two after a long promotion battle with Killay, Penllergaer and Trostre. The team also reached the quarter finals of the Senior and Challenge Cups, beating higher division opponents along the way. The second team had an inconsistent season and ended up 6th.
The season also saw Llangennech's junior sides pick up silverware for the first time. The U13s completed a sensational league and cup double, whilst the U15s were beaten in their cup final and finished 3rd in the league. However it was a tough season for the U12s and U16s who struggled throughout.
The club's mini section also went from strength to strength with more and more players joining the club. The U9s in particular saw great improvement as the season went along, ending up as one of the better sides in their conference.
|Division One 2011/12|
|West End United||20||4||5||11||24||51||-27||17|
|Garden Village ++||20||5||1||14||34||87||-53||5|
|Reserve Division Three 2011/12|
|Dafen A ++||19||6||6||7||50||53||-3||22|
As the club marked it's 30th anniversary, the 1st team finished the season 4th in Division One - our highest ever league finish. The side also reached the semi-final of both the Star Cup and Challenge Cup to round off what was an excellent season. The 2nds struggled for consistency for much of the season and despite a strong start, finished bottom of Reserve Division Three. However, due to clubs leaving and entering the league, they were not relegated.
History was made in our junior section, as our U14s emulated their efforts of the previous season by winning the league and cup double. The U12s, who initially struggled for numbers, ended the season strongly putting in strong performances against the division's top sides. Despite not picking up many positive results, the U13s also showed huge improvements this season, whilst our U16s ended their junior competitions with an inconsistent season.
The club's mini section continued to expand and improve with increased numbers of coaches and players joining. The U11s and in particular the U10s picked up some impressive results, giving real hope for future success.
|Division One 2012/13|
|West End United||20||14||2||4||60||35||25||44|
|Reserve Division Three 2012/13|
|Dafen A ++||22||14||4||4||74||48||26||44|
|Wellfield Athletic ++||22||13||2||7||91||53||38||36|
|C K Swiss Valley ++||22||7||0||15||45||85||-40||19|
|Porth Tywyn Suburbs ++||22||4||1||17||30||97||-67||8|
After the promise shown in 2012, the club was disappointed to start the season by receiving the resignation of Manager, Daryl Panayiotiou due to work committments at the new Bryn Fish Bar. Curtis Roberts assumed the unenviable role of player manager but the squad was hampered by a string of injuries and circumstances going against them eventually finishing bottom of the table and finding themselves facing life back in the Second Division.
Off the pitch, long-term Chairman, Ian Williams officially left the club to peruse his role as Chairman of Llangennech Community Council. However the club was unsuccessful in trying to develop a new second pitch in Llangennech Park due to the close proximity of the proposed pitch to the cricket square. Attention was immediately switched to Llangennech Schools playing field when it became apparent that the school would now favour the development to level their field. The existing facility presented a problem where the pitch sloped four metres down from one touch line to the other.
|Division Two 2013/14|
|C K Swiss Valley||22||13||2||7||56||41||15||41|
|Greenfield Rovers ++||22||5||2||15||29||81||-52||12|
|Reserve Division Three Section B 2013/14|
|Carmarthen Town A ++||16||10||1||5||53||31||22||25|
|C K Swiss Valley||16||7||1||8||39||47||-8||22|
The season started with the appointment of another former player, Andrew Kirkhouse as the club's Manager. Kirky strengthened the squad with some experienced players who followed him from Wellfield Athletic. Expectations were high but results were never consistent enough to mount a serious promotion challenge. The club eventually finished in 9th position.
in the junior section, Mark Thomas' under 16s team completed their junior age groups and several players made their senior debuts towards the end of the season. The under 14s reached the cup semi-final and the under 12s reached the league championship play-offs.
|Division Two 2014/15|
|Penyfan United ++||22||13||2||7||80||42||38||40|
|C K Swiss Valley||22||8||4||10||53||40||13||28|
|Reserve Division Three 2014/15|
|Carmarthen Town A ++||20||15||1||4||114||41||73||35|
|C K Swiss Valley||20||11||1||8||53||54||-1||34|
|Trostre Sports ++||20||5||0||15||40||89||-49||13|
Before a ball was kicked in the 2014/15 season, the club received the news that it had longed for over the past 15 years. Funding had been secured to level the school playing field and provide a dedicated home for Llangennech AFC. On Thursday 17th July, work began on the new pitch to everyone's delight.
On the field, the Firsts were largely inconsistent and finished 9th, while Dean Bolgiani's Second Team had a much improved year, finishing in mid-table. The club fielded ten junior teams including a girl's under 8s side for the first time.
|Division Two 2015/16|
|Loughor Rovers Res||26||21||2||3||135||36||99||65|
|Bwlch Rangers Res ++||26||13||2||11||69||62||7||39|
|Pengelli United Res||26||12||4||10||60||57||3||35|
|Porth Tywyn Suburbs||26||2||4||20||24||107||-83||10|
|Division Four 2015/16|
|Gorseinon Athletic Res||22||19||1||2||94||27||67||58|
|Llangennech Res ++||22||14||1||7||72||53||19||41|
|Carmarthen Town A ++||22||12||4||6||80||40||40||38|
|Kidwelly Town Res ++||22||7||5||10||51||61||-10||21|
|Johnstown Res ++||22||5||5||12||54||80||-26||18|
|Drefach Res ++||22||6||4||12||48||77||-28||17|
|Pembrey Res ++||22||4||4||14||35||92||-57||14|
|Bancffosfelen Res ++||22||4||2||16||46||88||-42||6|
|Ponthenri Res ++||22||1||0||21||39||105||-66||-2|
With Andrew Kirkhouse departing for Manager duty at high-flying Pengelli Utd, Dean Bolgiani took control of Llan 1st team. A tough season followed at the new home of Llan AFC but both teams maintained their status in Divisions 2 and 4 of the Carmarthenshire League. Mike O'Mara was identified as the standout performer of the season.
|Division Two 2016/17|
|C K Swiss Valley ++||26||25||0||1||129||25||104||74|
|Johnstown United Res||26||14||2||10||85||63||22||44|
|Pengelli United Res||26||11||5||10||52||54||-2||38|
|Bwlch res ++||26||3||1||22||40||129||-89||7|
|Division Four 2016/17|
|Carmarthen Stars Res||24||23||1||0||157||19||138||70|
|Trostre Res ++||24||21||1||2||140||31||109||61|
|C K Swiss Valley Res||24||13||4||7||86||60||26||43|
|Pontarddulais A ++||24||11||3||10||92||77||15||33|
|AFC Hendy ++||24||9||2||13||63||71||-81||27|
|Kidwelly Town res||24||6||1||17||44||115||-71||19|
The first team suffered a poor start to the season but the appointment of former player Nathan Phillips - brought in to play and assist the manager - boosted training numbers and increased the quality of technical sessions. A Darch cup run soon ensued and inspired Dean Bolgiani's team to an upsurge in form that saw them finish the season in championship winning form, eventually finishing outside of the promotion places. The historic cup run saw Llan beat unbeaten Div 2 leaders CKSV in a pulsating semi final at Dafen (Watch the match highlights here) which booked a final at Steboneath against Drefach. A man-of-the-math performance from Davey Lewis saw Llan run out as emphatic winners in a 4-2 win and lift their first cup silverware in history.
The Reserves struggled to maintain a challenge in Division 4 without an official manager. The return of some former players saw Emyr "Big Ems" Williams given the player-caretaker manager role. The upsurge in the 1st team form rubbed off on the Reserve squad which saw results improve in the second half of the season with a respectable 10th place finish having completed all fixtures, which was a far cry from the position in November.
The Youth team flourished in the league, winning their section and they reached the semi final of the Cup; some of the promising players to make first team appearances included goalkeeper Ben Matthews, midfielders Connor Morgan, Shaun Roberts, Kieran Rees, Peter Watts and striker Eray Wilson.
Complications with facilities and contractual obligations at the school ground saw the club withdraw their occupancy from their new home at the Llangennech Primary School to end of of the club's most successful seasons on record. Mike O'Mara, Davey Lewis, Jason Carrick, Drew Murphy-Jones & Jack Reynolds were recognised for awards at the annual presentation night.
|Division Two 2017/18|
|Evans & Williams Res||24||13||5||6||79||57||22||44|
|Gorseinon Athletic Res||24||12||1||11||56||54||2||37|
|Pontarddulais Town Res||24||9||4||11||59||60||-1||31|
|Pengelli United Res||24||5||9||10||33||61||-28||24|
|Division Four 2017/18|
|West End United ++||26||24||1||1||184||22||162||70|
|C K Swiss Valley Res||26||17||3||6||73||58||15||54|
|C P Suburbs||26||5||10||11||43||83||-40||25|
|Kidwelly Town Res||26||3||5||18||39||147||-108||14|
Hopes were high following the cup success and signings of some former players returning from premier league duty with other clubs. Dean Bolgiani and Nathan Phillips took charge of 1st team with Emyr Williams and Rhys "Rhino" Davies taking care of Reserves. However the 1st team began poorly and Bolgiani soon stepped down as manager. Nathan Phillips and Emyr Williams took control during a difficult spell while the winter took hold and many games were postponed due to the condition of the "Llan Siro" at the Park. Despite some improved performances, results did not fall and training numbers were poor throughout a season. Despite another cup run (this time in the Div 1 /2 Senior Cup) which saw the club lose 1-2 to Penygaer in the semi final at Graig's 3G pitch (Watch the highlights here), the club's season fizzled out disappointingly.
The season saw the first team finish bottom but one. The 18/19 season will see an overhaul of the league that will categorise Llan in CL Div 2.
With Bolgiani briefly taking over the Reserve team manager role in October before - as the the club's first ever cup winning manager - left his role. Rhys Davies subsequently brought in former player Darren Dickeson to assist and the Reserves maintained a decent tilt at promotion; however, with the effect of the winter postponements meaning a grueling end of season schedule to catch up with, a mid table finish was settled for ahead of the CL revamp which will see Llan Resvs play in Resv Division 3 for 18/19 season.
The club were without a youth team mainly due to a lack of an U16 coming through to support numbers. At a junior level, the clubs maintained teams at U6, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 13s.
The annual awards night saw awards to Neil Bryant (1st team Player of the Year), Dan Evans (Player's Player of the Year), Peter Watts (Both 2nd team Player and Player's Player of the Year), Kieran Rees (Most Improved) John Peet (Commitment Award) and Emyr Williams (Clubman of the Year).
Off the field, the committee went from strength to strength with recruitment and new sponsorship and participation ideas. In May, the club also become pivotal to the formation of the Llangennech & Bryn Sports Association, which is a community group set up to improve and manage grass roots facilities within the community for all sports.
At the end of the season, long-serving club stalwart Kevin Brazel stepped aside as chairman due to work commitments. The club thank him wholeheartedly for his contribution and maintain that the door will always be open to his involvement in any capacity.
|Division Two 2018/19|
|West End United||20||16||2||2||107||34||73||50|
|Carmarthen Town United||20||11||1||8||74||50||24||34|
|Llanelli Park Rangers||20||3||1||16||35||111||-76||10|
|C P Suburbs||20||2||0||18||43||103||-60||6|
|Reserve Division Three Section B 2018/19|
|Dafen Welfare A||19||10||5||4||82||38||44||35|
|Pontarddulais Town A ++||19||12||2||5||59||41||18||35|
Emyr Williams was installed as new Chairman. Nathan Phillips departed as 1st team manager due to work commitments. Nathan Mcauley took the reins, assisted by Darren Dickeson, and a solid preseason ensued. Despite losing the first league game away to West End (top for most of the season) the team began to string some results together and a title tilt was on. Outrageous bicycle kick goals from Mike O'Mara and Davey Lewis were two of the highlights of the first half of the season. The first round of the West Wales cup saw Llan drawn at home to Giants Grave and - as it headed to penalties - it almost resulted in Llan's greatest ever result; however the "Giant Killing" wasn't to be, with the Giants scoring late in extra time to win 2-1. They went on to lose in the semi final. A few poor results against mid table sides saw Llan's promotion hopes fade until Hendy FC suddenly folded and all results were voided (Llan having played and beaten them just once while rivals had twice), it supplied the lifeline to bring Llan back into promotion contention. A tough preseason paid off as an end of season run of 5 consecutive league wins (including 2 wins against the top 2 teams) saw Llan finish third and earn promotion to CL Div 1 with a record W13 D1 L6.
Struggling for numbers in the early part of the season under the guidance of Rhys Davies and Emyr Williams, the Reserves were on the brink of expulsion after conceding 3 games by Nov 3rd. The news galvanised the squad and somehow they managed to fulfil the remaining 14 fixtures to end the season with a respectable mid-table finish. The side only lost twice by more than 2 goals (by 3 on both occasions) and finished the season with a record of W6 D1 L9 of the actual games played, including 9-0 and 12-0 wins.
The Club started its first ever Veterans team with over 25 players ranging from ages 36 to 55 turning out across 5 friendly matches on Sunday afternoons. Llan Pops will forever be trend setters as other local clubs such as Seaside and Albies will follow suit next season. Veteran Goalkeeper Neil Bryant, 48, was still turning in man of the match performances for the first team as well as playing for the Swansea over 45s team. This led to an eventual Wales 40s call up and Neil represented Wales in February 2019, Llan's first serving International!
End of season awards went to Nathan Jones (1st PotY), Chris Hickey (1st PPotY), Dan Price (Commitment Award), Jack Yelland (Young PotY), Jason Carrick (2nd PotY), Chris Meredith (2nd PPotY), while Neil Bryant earned recognition with a special international award. Martin Williams was awarded Clubman of the Year.
In June 2019, Nathan Mcauley was offered the role of first team coach at Welsh League outfit Garden Village FC and left his role as first team manager with the best wishes of the Club.
The Club began the season with a Youth team but failed to maintain the numbers and the team unfortunately disbanded, however a number of the players continued to turn out for the senior teams, including notable performances from Chinua Bob-Osamor and Rio Borrelli.
The minis / juniors maintained teams at 7-11 and U14 playing regularly throughout the season. They enjoyed a visit to a session from Swansea City Ambassadors Lee Trundle and Leon Britton as well as a tour of the Liberty Stadium with Trundle himself as a bonus award through the club's successful application for SwanAid funding.
Off the field, the Club continued to support the established LBSA. It also took part in the Football v Homophobia Campaign that saw the club badge sitting as a participant next to treble-winning Man City on the FvH website! The Club was selected by the FAW to earn a place in a marketing consultancy programme, Morethanaclub.
|Division Two 2019/20|
|Reserve Division Three 2019/20|
|Camford Sports Res||17||11||1||5||18||34||2.00|
|Carmarthen Town Utd Res||14||5||4||5||-3||19||1.36|
|CK Swiss Valley A||15||4||3||8||-3||15||1.00|
|Burry Port A||18||4||1||13||-52||13||0.72|
|C P Suburbs Reserves||15||2||1||12||-48||7||0.47|
Following the departure of Nathan Mcauley in preseason to the Welsh League side Garden Village’s coaching staff, the club began another season looking for a new 1st team boss. The obvious choice was Mcauley’s assistant from the promotion winning campaign, Darren Dickeson. He agreed to take on the role and brought in the well-known coaching legend Terry Lewis for the preseason sessions. Lewis had previously worked at Llanelli Town (winning the Welsh Premier League and participating in the European Champions League qualifiers), Cwmamman Utd, and most recently had led Bwlch Rangers to CAFL Premier Champions glory in 2018. The regime saw a strong training attendance and some solid performances in preseason. However – after opening with 2 losses in the league campaign – Dickeson realised he had underestimated the time required to fulfill the job and duly stood down with the club’s best interests at heart but was happy to remain as part of the club’s setup. Terry Lewis chose to depart the club as Dickeson relinquished the role.
Club stalwart, coach and Treasurer Martin Williams stepped up, immediately overseeing a victory at Llandovery and duly appointed First Team Manager. Steady performances led to the November games that heeded close losses to the top two, at Ammanford (1-2) and home to Dafen (2-3). The side entered a new decade in midtable obscurity. January 2020 saw the trend continue until a 3-1 Challenge Cup win over Dafen on February 1st seeing the side into round 3 where - with growing confidence - they beat Kidwelly 6-1 to book a semi final place. However, the Coronavirus Pandemic brought an abrupt halt to the season on March 7th 2020. With no clarity on relegation or the restructure due to the departure of some clubs to the newly formed West Wales League starting in 2020/21, an anxious wait ensued.
With the impending birth of Rhys “Rhino” Davies’ first child, the Reserves began the Division 3 season under the guidance of Emyr Williams and Neil Bryant. The club saw new players sign up as well as old players return to the club, including Nathan Mcauley, whose stint as coach at GV had not worked out. A mixed start to the season ensued; with Bryant also committed to Swansea and Wales Veterans football teams, manager Williams had to play the unfamiliar role of goalkeeper in losses to CKSV and Pwll. An upturn in fortunes followed, and the team went on a 5-game win streak leading into Christmas, including an epic 8-6 home win against Caerbryn. The only blemish during that time was a respectable 3-2 Darch Cup loss to Reserve Division 1 high-flyers Loughor Rovers. Standout performances included a 5-4 win at Carmarthen Town Utd. With the side in 3rd, the beginning of the decade couldn’t have been any tougher with away games against the top two teams. A last minute 3-2 loss at Ammanford and a 2-1 reverse at Camford proved minor setbacks. With Mcauley remaining fit, playing off the front combination of brothers Paul and Dai Thomas, the makings of a potent strike-force with the firepower to maintain a tilt at promotion was confirmed with respective 7-1 and 5-1 beatings of promotion rivals Pontarddulais and Pembrey. February proved a washout with just two games surviving the weather – a well-earned draw at Pembrey and a 9-0 home win against Burry Port. The side, now 3 points off top spot, were in good spirits as they entered the last 6 games of the campaign - 5 of which were due to be played at home. The COVID-19 Pandemic then halted the season.
Following a long wait to see what the FAW’s guidance to grassroots football was, coupled with the West Wales league being finalized and its subsequent effect on the CAFL, on June 16th it was confirmed that the First Team would maintain their Division 1 status while the Reserves earned promotion into CAFL Reserve Division 2 for the first time ever, based on the “Points per Game” formula adopted by much of the new football world.
The Mini and Junior section ran teams at U6,8,9,10,11,12,15 with over 100 children enjoying weekly training and games under the guidance of an ever-growing team of qualified coaches and volunteers. The 12s had a consistent squad of 14 players who fulfilled 19 fixtures before the pandemic ended in 7th place. The 15s had a 17-strong squad were in 4th place following 14 games.
The club’s pioneering Veterans’ team, Llan Pops, recorded their first win against Birchgrove at Llandarcy on October 13th 2019! For the record, the final score was 4-2, with Wayne ‘Coco’ Phillips (3) and Christian ‘Blocker’ Williams (who also scored an own goal!) on the scoresheet.
The club hosted its first ever guest speaker fundraising event with Dean Saunders on November 2nd 2019 at the Community Centre, which proved a great success. Saunders had endured a tough year under the eye of the media. Dean’s agent hadn’t passed on the request we made – merely as a publicity stunt - for him to sign up and play 1 minute in the West Wales Cup tie against Birchgrove on the day!
Off the field, the club were instrumental in securing an £8k offer from the FAW Trust to the LBSA to develop a mini pitch, the total cost of which would be £24k. The offer was based on securing the remaining funding from other sources.
The long close season saw club members vote on a new badge design to be adopted from next season. A new striped design badge won the vote, an emblem that reflects the club’s heritage and included the clubs more recently used motto; “Fight Not Fold”, in welsh; BRWYDRO NID PLYGU. This was followed soon after with a vote on the new club kit design and for the first time, every player from U6 to Senior would wear the same strip. The winning ensemble was a fetching Fade design, which is supplied by Core 37.
End of season awards went to Tom Harris (1st PotY), Gavin Williams (1st PPotY), Alex Davies (1st Top Scorer 12 goals), Dan Price (Commitment Award), Cian Morgan (Young PotY), Paul Thomas (2nd PotY), Nathan Mcauley (2nd PPotY), Paul Thomas (2nd Top Scorer 16 goals). Natalie Price was awarded Clubman of the Year for her outstanding service as General Secretary.
2020/21 Covid-19 PANDEMIC
With Nathan Mcauley back in charge, a few friendlies were played but much of the season was lost to lockdown. The reserves logged a 6-4 away win to Hendy, always worth a mention.
Despite the pandemic the club increased its profile and membership in this time largely due to its social media efforts. The club made efforts to carry out a socially-distanced photo shoot which was a hit with all members, and a sky sports-type celebration video was filmed for all future media posts for each player! Prior to Christmas, all parents were emailed FIFA Card-type portraits of the kids, which was very popular. Spring 2021 saw an online "Best Welsh Football Club Badge" competition via a Twitter Poll take place. Llangennech AFC made it all the way to the semi final for having the smartest badge in Wales!
The First team finished fifth in the league (W11 D2 L9), with a good cup run ended by Loughor. The Reserves, with the remit of maintaining Resv Div 2 status (under the management of Chris Evans & Neil Bryant) won back-to-back promotions by finishing in second place (W9 D2 L5). Due to the emergence of the U16s side from last season, the club fielded an A (3rd) team for the season, finishing in fifth place (W9 D4 L9) of 15, a major achievement for a team of old men and young lads!
The boy’s sides (U6,7,8,10,11,13,14) and coaches continued to develop while a new Girls section was launched with 3 teams – supported by Street Star Soccer Coaching. As well as the continuation of the Llan Pops team (playing Pontarddulais Vets), a new Walking football section was launched. Playing under the nickname of “The Walking Heart Attacks” (WHA), the side began playing competitive games in the south Wales league, attracting the signings of 3 Wales international players from Llandarcy! They were runners up in the Actif Carmarthenshire Team of the Year!
The club's Speaker Event in November 2021 welcomed former Arsenal and England attacker Paul Merson, who's stories to a big and enthusiastic Llangennech audience were the pinnacle of tremendous evening for the club.
As the club embarked into 2022 (since its establishment in 1982), a new 40th anniversary royal blue Adidas kit was launched, sponsored by the long-established club backer and founder Barrie Williams of CFL.
Presentation awards went to:
Clubman of the Year – Katie Mcauley, Commitment Award – Liam "Lump" James, 1st Team Player of the Year – Callum “Chez” Morgan, 1st Team Players Player of the Year – Callum “Chez” Morgan, 1st Team Top Scorer – Alex Davies, Young Player of the Year – Ryan Roberts, Reserve Team Player of the Year – Ki Rees, Reserve Team Players Player of the Year – Leeroy Bakasa, Reserve Team Top Scorer – Leeroy Bakasa, A Team Player of the Year – Jonny Barlow, A Team Players Player of the Year – Llyr Parkman
The First team enjoyed a good Div 1 season and finished very strongly once more but were pipped to the championship by Tumble Utd's endurance. Despite that, a 2nd place finish secured promotion to the CAFL Premier Division for the first time in the club's history (P22, W15, D3, L4) This did result forgettable Cup runs! The Reserves, with the remit of maintaining Resv Div 1 status, finished with a comfortable mid-table finish. The A team were guided by Aled Davies for the season which continued to see experience guiding the future, with 52-year old player-coach Mike Lewis becoming the club's oldest ever goalscorer in competitive mens footy!
The club's boys and girls teams thrived and accounted for 400 players combined with the seniors in April 2023. Facilities to contain the growth was now the issue! The Pops section remained relatively quiet, with one significant appearance against Llanelli Reds O50s in October 2022 (eventual Welsh Champions) resulting in a 3-3 draw at Penrhos. If that was to be the last game for many, then it would spell a happy ending to their careers! WHA continued to thrive and a Women's walking football section christened as "The Morlais Movers" was also set up with over 20 players regularly. With all these added sections thriving the club saw over 500 players participating!
The annual speaker event saw the club host Liverpool and West Ham legend Neil "Razor" Ruddock at Llangennech Rugby Social Club in a hilarious event that was one of his first after his gastric band surgery. He ended up back in the Castle for a lock in with many until 3am! A great season was topped off with a boys and girls award ceremony at the Selwyn Samuel Centre followed by the mens award at the Castle presented by new village resident and Wales 80/90/00s stalwart Andy Melville! Amazing.
Presentation awards went to:
Clubman of the Year – Nathan Mcauley, Commitment Award – Ki Rees, 1st Team Player of the Year – Tom Harris, 1st Team Players Player of the Year – Ryan Roberts, Club Top Scorer – Liam Griffiths, Young Player of the Year – Blake Kitching, Reserve Team Player of the Year & Reserve Team Players Player of the Year – Gaz Evans, "A" Team Player of the Year – Jason Carrick, "A" Team Players Player of the Year – Gareth Anson-Harries, Veo Goal of the Season (New) - Callum "Chez" Morgan. Additionally, the FAW awarded Conor Mcauley (16) as the McDonald's West Wales Regional Young Volunteer of the Year for his work with the coaching the Girls U9 team at the club.
Llangennech AFC General Secretaries
1984-1986: Gareth Jones
1986-1990*: Robert Langdon
1992*-1994: Mr Tony V. Williams
1994-1995: Mr Paul Bowen
1995-1997: Mr Mike Davies
1997-1998: Mr Alf Rossi
1998-2001: Mr Ian Williams
2001-2003: Miss Victoria Hancock
2003-2004: Mr Ian Williams
2004-2007: Mr Clive Dakin
2007-2010: Mr Christopher Coslett
2010-2015: Mr Martin Williams
2015-2016: Mr Mike Davies
2016-2017: Mr Michael Jones
2017-2019: Mr John Peet
2019-2022: Mrs Natalie Price
2022-2024: Mr Emyr (Big Em) Williams (Acting)
*Information taken from the collection of West Wales Football Association Official Rule Books. Unfortunately the 1990/91 and 1991/92 season editions are not available at the present time.
Llangennech AFC Junior Secretaries
2002-2004: Mr Ian Williams
2004-2008: Mr Phil Parkman
2008-2009: Mrs Helen Williams
2009-2011: Mr Martin Williams
2011-2012: Mr Mathew Williams
2012-2014: Mr Mark Thomas
2014-2016: Mr Martin Williams
2016-2018: Ms Kelly Pickett
2018-2022: Mrs Natalie Price
2022-2024: Mrs Emma Evans
Significant Club Records:
Oldest Player to Represent - Ian Morlais Williams (20.2.57) is the oldest player to make an appearance for the club aged 57 years and 39 days on 19th of April 2014. Molly played at centre back for the home Reserve team (at Hendy) in the loss against Carmarthen Town.
Oldest Player to Score a Goal - Mike Lewis (10.1.71) is the oldest player to score a goal for the club aged 52 years and 19 days. It came in the 28th minute in a 4-3 loss to Pembrey at Elba on 28th of January 2023.
Oldest Player to Score Hatrick - James Hughes (9.5.75) aged 48 years and 128 days. It happened in a 5-4 loss at Garden Village on 15th of September 2023. Hughesy came off the bench at 62 mins and scored in the 75th, 89th and on 90+2 minutes.
Oldest Llan Pops Vets Team Player - Ian Morlais Williams remains the oldest player to represent the Llan Pops Vets team (est. 2018) against Birchgrove Vets at Penrheol on April 7th 2019 (62 years and 46 days).
Youngest Player to Represent - Legend has it that the youngest player ever to take the field for the club’s men’s teams was Emyr “Little Emz” Williams (2.7.1984) having just turned 12 years-old in a 1996 pre-season Star Cup match that the First team lost 28-0 in Penyfan. This remains a competition record to this day. It is also rumoured (yet to be verified by a trusted source) that his dad, Ian Morlais Williams, scored 7 own goals - making him top scorer on the day.