Dates of remaining phase one fixtures confirmed

The dates of our remaining six fixtures of phase one of the 2020/21 JD Cymru Premier season have been confirmed by the FAW.

We resume on Saturday 6 March away to Cefn Druids, before back to back home games against Penybont and Aberystwyth Town. We then make the short trip for the reverse fixture against Penybont.

There is then an 11-day break in our schedule, with our final two matches of phase one seeing us host Bala Town and travel to Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Due to Welsh Government and FAW guidelines, all fixtures will be played behind closed doors until further notice.

All fixtures are subject to change.

‘Elite Status’ reinstated for JD Cymru Premier

The Football Association of Wales has today (Tuesday 23 February) confirmed that ‘elite status’ will be reinstated for the JD Cymru Premier, allowing the league to resume on March 6.

A statement from the FAW read:

The Football Association of Wales has been informed by the National Sport Group (NSG) that the JD Cymru Premier and the Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League have had their ‘Elite Status’ reinstated with immediate effect. 

Although the country remains at Alert Level 4 of the Welsh Government Control Plan, clubs in these leagues can prepare for the resumption of fixtures under the FAW’s strict Return to Play COVID-19 protocols.  

At this current time, and taking into account the continuing public health crisis, JD Cymru North and JD Cymru South have not had their ‘Elite Status’ reinstated by the NSG whilst the country remains at Alert Level 4.  

As a consequence, with the exemption of those clubs with professionals who cannot carry out their work from home, Tier 2 clubs are not permitted to return until the country either enters Alert Level 3 or the NSG grant ‘Elite Status’ to the leagues; whichever comes first. 

The NSG includes representation from Sport Wales, Welsh Sports Association, Welsh Government and Commonwealth Games Wales to consider the ‘Elite Status’ designation.  

Confirmation of the rescheduled fixtures for the JD Cymru Premier and the Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League will be announced in due course on CymruFootball.Wales.

The FAW continues to encourage that everyone follows the Welsh Government guidelines to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Everyone at Barry Town United is naturally delighted to be returning to action and we are looking forward to resuming the campaign. We hope that the next step will be to welcome supporters back to grounds in a safe manner. UP THE TOWN!

FAW confirm proposed return date for JD Cymru Premier

The Football Association of Wales have confirmed plans for the return of the JD Cymru Premier in the coming weeks as part of the ‘Return to Play’ programme.

The National League Board has determined that an attempt will be made to complete the following league season when the country either returns to Alert Level 3 in accordance with the Welsh Government Covid-19 Control Plan or when the ‘Elite Status’ as defined by Sport Wales is redesignated to that competition, whichever is the sooner.

The new proposed playing calendar for the JD Cymru Premier is 5 March to 31 May. We have six remaining fixtures to play of phase one before the 10 in phase two.

In addition, the FAW has confirmed plans to continuing playing the Nathaniel MG Cup if the calendar allows (March to 31 May) as well as the JD Welsh Cup, which will be played amongst the 44 teams at tiers one and two only (20 April to 5 June).

Jamie Bird: “This feels like the perfect move”

Following confirmation of Jamie Bird’s arrival, we caught up with the midfielder to discuss the move.

Hi Jamie, welcome back to Barry Town. How pleased are you to have got the move done?

“I’m really happy to be back. I’m delighted to be working with Gav again because I feel like he got the best out of me. I was injured for the start of the season and then when I got back fit we went back into lockdown, so I’m buzzing to get back playing again.”

You spent with us on loan in the 2015/16 season. What made you want to come back?

“As I say, a lot of it is down to Gav. He’s really professional and I believe he can get me back playing the way I was a few years ago and get my game back in order. My short period at the club before was probably when I was at my best, so this feels like the perfect move. I’m hungrier than ever to play football.”

What are your memories of your loan spell with us?

“I was great. It was my first time playing in a senior environment, so it was a fantastic experience for me and I really enjoyed it.”

For fans who might not know remember you from your loan spell, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“I’m an energetic box-to-box midfielder. I like to score goals, create chances and get forward.”

What are your ambitions for the rest of the season?

“As a team, the aim has to be to qualify for Europe again and I think that’s definitely achievable. On a personal level, I want to get back fit and firing and return to my best.”

#BirdIsTheWord | Jamie Bird returns to Barry Town

Barry Town United are pleased to confirm the signing of Jamie Bird from Bristol Manor Farm.

Bird returns to Jenner Park six years after an impressive loan spell in the 2015/16 season when the club were in Welsh League Division One.  

The dynamic midfielder was a Cardiff City player at the time, having been with the Bluebirds from the age of seven before signing his first professional contract shortly after his time at Barry.

Bird left the Welsh capital in 2017 and signed for Hereford FC, where he won the Southern League Premier in his debut season. He has since had spells at Merthyr Town, Croesyceiliog and Bristol Manor Farm, but now the 23-year-old has agreed a deal to play in the Welsh top-flight for the first time.

Gavin Chesterfield said: “Jamie has a great pedigree and he was fantastic for us in his spell here before. I’m excited to be working with him and I think he’ll benefit from being part of our culture and training environment. He is a creative player, but a powerful player as well, and will add a different dimension to our team.”

Rhys Kavanagh: “I want to help the team push up the table”

Following confirmation of Rhys Kavanagh’s arrival, we caught up with the striker to discuss the move.

Hi Rhys, welcome to Barry Town. How pleased are you to have got the move done?

“Thanks very much. I’m buzzing to get back into football and this is a great group of lads so I can’t wait to get started.”

You’ve had a difficult couple of years with injury, how excited are you to get back playing again?

“I can’t wait. I’ve been training over the last couple of weeks and it’s been really good, now I’m just looking forward to hopefully getting some gametime.”

You spent three years at Bristol Rovers before leaving last summer. How did they help you with your development?

“It was massive. It was a great experience being around such a good group of players and it really helped me.”

Having spoken to Gavin Chesterfield, how did he convince you to sign?

“Gav has really given me a lot of confidence. I believe we can work together really well and hopefully I can bring something to the table for him.”

For fans who might not know too much about you, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“I’m an attacking player, so hopefully I can score some goals! I want to try and bring something different to the attack.”

What are you ambitions for the rest of the season?

“I want to help the team push up the table and see how high we can get.”

#KavThat | Barry Town sign Rhys Kavanagh

Barry Town United are pleased to confirm the signing of striker Rhys Kavanagh.

A product of Newport County’s academy, Kavanagh helped the Exiles’ Under-18s win the EFL Youth Alliance Merit League One in 2016-17, scoring  28 goals in 32 appearances along the way.

That summer, he was snapped up by Bristol Rovers, signing his first professional contract at the Memorial Ground and joining the club’s development squad.

Kavanagh impressed in his appearances for the Pirates’ youth sides, and also enjoyed loan spells with Hungerford Town, Bath City and Gloucester City.

However he has unfortunately struggled with injury in recent years, and was forced to retire from professional football last summer when his contract at Bristol Rovers came to an end. However, he expressed his desire to continue playing and now the 22-year-old has agreed a deal at Jenner Park.

Gavin Chesterfield said: “Rhys is an exciting player that I’ve known about for a long time. We feel like we could be a good match for each other and I’m excited to see what he can do. He knows many of our current squad and he’ll add a different attacking dimension to us.”

Lee Idzi: “It was a no-brainer to join”

Following confirmation of Lee Idzi’s arrival, we caught up with the experienced goalkeeper to discuss the move.

Hi Lee, welcome to Barry Town. How pleased are you to have got the move done?

“I’m delighted. It’s a great club with a really good history and I can’t wait to get started.”

You join the club after six and a half years at Carmarthen. What made you want to make the move?

“It’s been a funny old year with Covid and delays to the Cymru South starting. Obviously I was hoping to help Carmarthen bounce straight back to the Cymru Premier but that ship has unfortunately sailed due to the current circumstances. This is the perfect opportunity for me to get back playing again.

“It was quite an easy decision in the end really. I know that the club is run really well and it’s a good group of players. Like I say, the history is great, the facilities are great, so it was a no-brainer really.”

You haven’t been able to play at all this season due to the Cymru South not yet getting underway. How excited are you to hopefully get back playing when we’re able to do so?

“I enjoyed the break to begin with, but now I’m refreshed and ready to get going again. I want to work hard and help the team.”

You bring a lot of experience to the squad, having spent the majority of your career in the top-flight, is that experience one big thing you’ll bring to the group?

“Anything I can do to help the younger players in the squad, or help the team get through certain parts of the season, I’ll do it. I’m not far off 400 top-flight appearances so I want to keep building towards that and help people with my experience.”

As a goalkeeper, obviously there’s the challenge of competing for just one spot in the starting XI each week. Are you looking forward to battling it out with Mike?

“Absolutely. Mike’s a great keeper and he’s been in the league a long time as well. I’m sure I’ll push him and he’ll push me so we get the best out of each other. Then whoever plays, plays!”

What are your ambitions for the rest of the season?

“I want to get back fit and firing. I’ll continue my rehab and then hopefully start catching a few balls again! Of course I then want to get in the team and get some gametime.”

#IdzADeal | Lee Idzi joins Barry Town United

Barry Town United are pleased to confirm the signing of goalkeeper Lee Idzi from Carmarthen Town.

Idzi joins the club after six and a half years at Richmond Park, all spent in the Welsh top-flight before the Old Gold’s relegation last season.

The 32-year-old has also previously appeared for Bangor City, where he was a Welsh Premier League and Welsh Cup runner-up, as well as for Neath and Haverfordwest. Idzi has made 394 top-flight appearances in total, meaning he brings a huge wealth of experience to our squad.

Following Josh Gould’s return to parent club Swansea City, Gavin Chesterfield was keen to add another option between the sticks and expressed his delight at securing Idzi’s signature.  

Chesterfield said: “Lee is someone I worked with very briefly at Haverfordwest a long time ago and my conversations with him have been hugely refreshing. I think he’s excited to have a new challenge after being very loyal to Carmarthen over many years. He adds huge experience and character to our squad and I’m very pleased to bring him.”

Gavin Chesterfield on Paul Morgan

Following confirmation of Paul Morgan’s departure, Gavin Chesterfield was keen to place on record his admiration for the full-back:

“We played a Welsh Cup game away at Newport County many years ago and Paul was playing for them as a right-footed left-back. I knew he was a Barry lad, so when he got released from Newport, he came straight here.

“He trained with the first team, but played in the development team for a year and since then he’s been outstanding.

“Paul is an unbelievable bloke and he can be proud of everything he’s achieved at the football club. Numerous trophies, numerous highlights and he’s gone all the way through the divisions with us.

“It’s disappointing to see him move on, but he deserves to play football and he’s got a good opportunity to do that so I wish him nothing but the best.

“I think the world of him and I know how much he loves the club. The boys will miss him because he’s a big part of our changing room, but I know he won’t be a stranger.”