Club Statement: Firebreak Lockdown

On Monday 19 October, the Welsh Government announced that Wales would go into a ‘firebreak’ lockdown, commencing at 6pm on Friday 23 October until Monday 9 November.

The conditions of the lockdown state that:

Sportspeople who work and earn a living through sport are allowed to continue working, and like everyone else they can leave home to do so if they cannot work from home.

Fixtures involving professional sportspeople are allowed to continue behind closed doors. All participants, such as players, officials, coaches, and broadcasters, are there in a working capacity.

Meanwhile, the ‘elite programme’ – that had allowed the 2020-21 JD Cymru Premier season to start behind closed doors and with strict protocols – has been suspended.  

Following this announcement, we, along with all other JD Cymru Premier clubs, were asked by the FAW if we would be able to continue playing with only professional players and staff. 

We want to, and are ready to, continue playing with 21 professionally registered players. However it was our opinion that we should only continue to play football if the whole league was able to do so. As a result, our fixtures during the lockdown period will be postponed.

Our reasons for taking this stance are as follows:

  • We believe the decision should be one that is in the best interest of the whole JD Cymru Premier. 50% of the clubs in the league would be unable to continue playing as they do not have enough professional players registered. 
  • It is our opinion that either the whole league should have its elite status reinstated and we all play, or no team in the league should continue to play. 
  • Whilst we currently find ourselves in a financially stable position, many of the clubs in our league do not. This break gives those a much needed financial rest.
  • A stop in all domestic football activity in Wales will help the infection rate to slow and hopefully allow all tiers of football to begin and fans to return to our grounds as soon as it is safe to do so. 
  • The return to play protocols we have been guided by since the start of the 2020-21 season require an army of volunteers in roles such as administration, compliance, stewarding, ball retrieving and temperature checking. These individuals would not be permitted entry to our games as they are volunteers. We take our responsibilities as a club extremely seriously and do not feel we could safely run a match day without these individuals who are the lifeblood of our football club. 

We thank supporters for their understanding during these challenging times. We hope to be back on the football pitch very soon and have you there with us. 

Josh Graham: “I believe I’m ready to make that step up”

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

Hi Josh, welcome to Barry Town. How pleased are you to get the move done?

“Thank you for the welcome! I’m very pleased to have signed. It’s a good opportunity for me and I can’t wait to get going.”

What was it about Barry that appealed to you?

“It’s a higher standard than I’ve played at before and I believe I’m ready to make that step up. I hope being here will only make me a better player.”

Speaking to Gavin Chesterfield, how did he convince you to sign?

“He told me a lot about the club, the players and the unity in the squad and I can’t wait to be a part of that.”

Most people will know you as part of STM Sports’ side over the last few years. Tell us a bit about your time there?

“I had been at STM my whole adult life before they unfortunately folded in the summer. I’m a local boy so I always loved playing for the club, and it was great to finish on a high by reaching the Nathaniel MG Cup final last season. I moved to Taffs Well but with the Cymru South not starting, I never played a minute!”

This will be your first taste of the Cymru Premier, are you excited about that?

“Yeah I just can’t wait to get going! I believe in myself and my ability so I’m looking forward to starting training on Tuesday and testing myself.”

For supporters 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 direct, quick and energetic. Hopefully I can bring some goals too!”

Finally, do you have any message for fans?

“Get behind the team and let’s hope we can get into Europe once again!”

#JoshJoins | Barry Town United secure signing of Josh Graham

Barry Town United are pleased to announce the signing of striker Josh Graham.

Graham joined JD Cymru South side Taffs Well in the summer but as the second tier are yet to start playing competitive football, he has now moved to Jenner Park to bolster our attacking options.

The 26-year-old made his name at STM Sports, helping the Cardiff-based side rise up through the divisions and reach the Cymru South in 2019.

He stood out in STM’s fairytale journey to the Nathaniel MG Cup final last season, as the club beat top-flight sides Newtown and Aberystwyth Town in a magnificent run.  

Graham netted a hat-trick against Pontypridd Town in round one, before scoring the winning goal in the semi-final against Aberystwyth.  

Gavin Chesterfield said:

“I’m looking forward to working with Josh, he is a player who has played very well over the years for STM Sports including against higher opposition. He has probably deserved the step up for a while but for one reason or another it hasn’t happened.

“I’m delighted this step up has come for him at a good age – having spoken to him he’s excited by the opportunity to test himself. Our thanks go to Lee Kendall and Taffs Well for their help in the transfer.”

Barry Town United vs Connah’s Quay Nomads | JD Cymru Premier Preview

We’re back in familiar surroundings this afternoon as Jenner Park hosts our JD Cymru Premier encounter with Connah’s Quay Nomads, live on Sgorio (kick-off 5:15pm).

The last week has been demanding for our squad, who were already struggling with multiple injuries, with two away games in the space of five days.  

After fighting hard to earn a 1-1 draw at Newtown last Saturday, we fell to a 4-0 defeat to Bala Town on Wednesday night, ending our six-match unbeaten run.

As the fixture congestion now begins to ease, we hope to find our feet again in the coming weeks, starting with today’s clash against the Nomads.

Andy Morrison’s side were also beaten in midweek, as they lost 1-0 away to The New Saints. Louis Robles’s first half goal proved the difference in Oswestry.

It was Connah’s Quay’s first defeat of the campaign as they aim to defend the title that they won last season, ending TNS’s eight-year streak in the process.

Nomads won all three games against Barry last season, scoring seven goals without reply. Gavin Chesterfield will look to the 2018-19 campaign for happier memories against today’s opponents, when Town remained unbeaten in all four league meetings.

Due to a Welsh Government and FAW ruling, games must currently be played behind-closed-doors until stated otherwise. Your support will be hugely missed at Jenner Park, but you will be able to follow the fixture through live updates on our Twitter page and watch the action live on Sgorio.  

#SamSigns | Sam Bowen joins Barry Town on loan from Cardiff City

Barry Town United are pleased to confirm the signing of midfielder Sam Bowen on loan from Cardiff City.

Son of former Bluebirds forward Jason, Sam has been in the Championship club’s academy since the age of six and first came to the attention of supporters four years ago when he scored from the half-way line for the Under 16s against Hull City.

He would go on to captain the Under 18 side and is now a key part of the Under 23 squad. Last season, the 19-year-old made the substitutes bench for the first team’s FA Cup fixtures against Carlisle United and Reading.

Bowen has been capped nine times by Wales Under 19s and was called up for the Under 21 squad for the first time earlier this month alongside former Barry loanees George Ratcliffe, Sion Spence and Mo Touray.

Gavin Chesterfield said:

“Sam is a player I have admired for some time after previously working with him at international level. I have seen what he is capable of first hand and I think this loan comes at a good time for Sam’s development. He will add further quality to our squad and will complement the players we already have. Thank you to Cardiff City for their continued trust in us.”

Everyone at Barry Town gives Sam a warm welcome. He will wear the number 20 shirt.

Bala Town vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier preview

After leaving it late to maintain our unbeaten run away at Newtown on Saturday, we are on the road again tonight as Bala Town play hosts in the JD Cymru Premier (kick-off 7:45pm).

It was Kayne McLaggon’s 50th goal for Barry in the 94th minute that rescued a point for us at Latham Park and made it six games in a row without defeat. James Davies’s lob had given Newtown the lead before Evan Press was brought down in the box in second half stoppage time, and although McLaggon saw the resulting penalty saved, he was on hand to tap in the rebound.

Later that day, live on Sgorio, Bala came from behind to beat Aberystwyth 5-2, Chris Venables standing out as he netted two in the space of four minutes. It was the second time this season that the Lakesiders have scored five one in game, having beaten Penybont 5-1 – Venables again grabbing a brace along with Will Evans. However they did also suffer a surprising 2-1 defeat to newly-promoted Haverfordwest.

Colin Caton’s side have only played five league games so far in 2020/21, the lowest in the division, owing to their European exploits, floodlight failure and bad weather. It means they currently sit fifth in the table with games in hand over the sides above them.

Both meetings between Barry and Bala last season ended level, setting the tone for what is expected to be another even game this evening.

We led twice at Jenner Park at the start of the campaign through Drew Fahiya and Kayne McLaggon but had to settle for a 2-2 draw, while Keyon Reffell provided an equaliser on the stroke of half-time in the return game at Maes Tegid that ended 1-1.

Despite both clubs finishing in the top six, the curtailed season prevented both phase two meetings from taking to place – a trip to Gwynedd was actually next on our fixture list before football came to a halt.

The points-per-game system determined that Bala finished one place above us in third place, and the Lakesiders went on to face Valletta and Standard Liege in the Europa League. Their game in Belgium was the reason tonight’s fixture was moved from its original date in mid-September.

Looking ahead to the game, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“It will be a tough challenge but that’s what we want. We want to make sure we are constantly improving and we know we are going to have to be better than we were against Newtown. It is a tough gig driving up for a night game in midweek, but I’m looking forward to the match. We have had a close rivalry with Bala in the last couple of years so it will be tight.”

Due to a Welsh Government and FAW ruling, games must currently be played behind-closed-doors until stated otherwise. Your support will be hugely missed at Maes Tegid, but you will be able to follow this evening’s fixture through live updates on our Twitter page.   

Newtown vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier preview

We travel to Newtown this afternoon for the first of two away games in a row in the JD Cymru Premier (kick-off 2:30pm).

We have won both of our games on the road so far this season, at Flint Town United and Aberystwyth Town, contributing to a five-game winning run that we will be hoping to continue this afternoon.

The latest victory came in midweek against Cardiff Metropolitan University, when David Cotterill’s second half free-kick was just reward for a game in which Barry had several clear-cut goalscoring opportunities but had to settle for a 1-0 win.

Meanwhile, Newtown come into today’s game following two consecutive losses away from home, firstly at Penybont and then at The New Saints on Tuesday night. It was goalless at the break at Park Hall, but two second half goals from Dean Ebbe condemned Chris Hughes’s side to defeat.

Newtown did earn three points in their last home game, and in emphatic style too – they defeated Cefn Druids 4-1 at the end of September. Despite trailing, goals from Ryan Edwards and Neil Mitchell, plus a brace from Nick Rushton, turned the game around.

That does however stand as the club’s only victory in seven Cymru Premier games so far this campaign, placing them ninth in the table ahead of today’s fixtures. With ten goals scored, finding the back of the net has not been a problem, but at the other end, Newtown are yet to keep a clean sheet.

We were victorious at Latham Park last season as first half goals from Sion Spence, Keyon Reffell and Kayne McLaggon proved the difference in a 3-2 win in October that maintained our unbeaten start to the campaign and ensured we remained top of the table. The Robins then defeated us 1-0 on two consecutive weekends at Jenner Park in November and December, first in the league and then in the Welsh Cup. Despite both teams finishing in the top six, the curtailed season meant that there were no phase two meetings between the sides.

Looking ahead to the game, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“You’re definitely at your most vulnerable when you think you’ve got football beat, so we know it’ll be a tough match. Success is built off people who are resilient, hard-working and honest and this group of lads are all those things. Latham Park is a difficult place to go and Newtown are a really good team so we look forward to the challenge and fingers crossed we can keep this run going.”

Due to a Welsh Government and FAW ruling, games must currently be played behind-closed-doors until stated otherwise. Your support will be hugely missed at Latham Park, but you will be able to follow this afternoon’s fixture through live updates on our Twitter page.   

Town announce new creative partnership with CREO

Barry Town United are delighted to announce a new sponsorship agreement with CREO, one of Wales’ leading brand and digital agencies.

This exciting partnership will see the CREO logo appear on our kit for the forthcoming season, with the company working alongside the club to deliver a range of digital assets over the coming months.

This will include new imagery for social media as well as a new website that will bring all elements of our club under one digital umbrella. 

Jordan Thorne, Creative Director at CREO commented: 

“For us as a team, and as passionate football fans in general, we feel incredibly proud to be sponsoring Barry Town. It’s a club with an illustrious history and a fantastic future. During these unprecedented times, it’s essential for clubs to engage with supporters fully and the development of a new digital platform will support the club in achieving this objective. 

“It will offer a professional look that helps promote the club in its entirety whilst representing the JD Cymru Premier in a positive manner. We find ourselves within strange times and the unique visual language we have created will allow the club to speak to their supporters and stakeholders in a new and engaging way, helping to strengthen relationships and build new ones.

“We would like to thank the board directors and members, as well as the media team, first-team manager Gavin Chesterfield and all connected to the club in allowing us this fantastic opportunity – put wind in our sails and we can go anywhere. Up the Town.”

Richard Ward, CREO Managing Director commented: 

“CREO are extremely proud to sponsor Barry Town United Football Club for the forthcoming season. Barry Town have an incredibly rich and successful history both domestically and in European competitions.

“I personally am looking forward to engaging with the club and its fantastic fan base. Living locally I know how much the club means to the community of Barry and hope that by bringing our digital and creative expertise to the table we can showcase this great football club to the wider world.”

Barry Town United vs Cardiff Metropolitan University | JD Cymru Premier preview

Tonight we welcome Cardiff Metropolitan University to Jenner Park as the JD Cymru Premier continues to charge on (kick-off 7:45pm).

This is the first time since we were promoted back to the top-flight three years ago that we will not be facing Cardiff Met in the regular league season in a double header over the Christmas period. To date, the results from those festive fixtures stand at three Barry victories, two wins for the Archers and one draw.

It finished 1-1 at Jenner Park on Boxing Day last year before we won 1-0 at Cyncoed four days later – Mo Touray’s goal securing a place in the top six to ensure we ended 2019 on a high. Cardiff Met would finish the season in seventh place on points-per-game, with the curtailed season denying them the opportunity to achieve European qualification in the play-offs for the second consecutive year. 

Christian Edwards’s side have struggled for form so far in 2020-21, with just one win from six games. That came on the opening weekend in a thrilling 3-2 victory away to Aberystwyth Town, when they trailed twice at Park Avenue but two late goals from Ollie Hulbert secured the three points.

Since then, Cardiff Met have drawn with Haverfordwest and Cefn Druids and lost to The New Saints, Penybont and most recently Caernarfon Town. The Cofis ran out 3-0 winners at Cyncoed in front of the Sgorio cameras on Saturday, as the Students were punished for Eliot Evans’s first half penalty miss.

Meanwhile, Barry head into tonight’s game in search of a fifth win in a row. Fantastic determination and team spirit was shown to achieve the latest victory as we defeated Aberystwyth 2-1 away from home on Saturday. Steff Davies put the Ceredigion side ahead early in the second half, before our task was made even harder by Clayton Green’s red card on the hour mark which rules him out of tonight’s game.

However two goals in three minutes, first from Kayne McLaggon and then Jordan Cotterill, turned the game around and gave us a crucial win. It means that we remain third in the Cymru Premier going into tonight’s fixture.

Looking ahead to the game, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“Cardiff Met are an established Cymru Premier team and I know they’ll be well-coached, well-organised and difficult opponents. We know each other well, so it’ll be a good game. That’s the thing with this league, there’s no easy matches and anyone can beat anyone and that’s what makes it exciting.”

Due to a Welsh Government and FAW ruling, games must currently be played behind-closed-doors until stated otherwise. Your support will be hugely missed at Jenner Park, but you will be able to follow this evening’s fixture through live updates on our Twitter page.   

Aberystwyth Town vs Barry Town United | JD Cymru Premier preview

The games keep on coming thick and fast in the JD Cymru Premier as we travel to Aberystwyth Town this afternoon (kick-off 2:30pm).

It provides us with a good opportunity to put together some momentum and build on our run of three consecutive victories, the latest of which came against newly-promoted Haverfordwest County on Wednesday night.

It was a game which saw David Cotterill net his first Barry goal, a powerful free-kick from distance, to give us a 1-0 lead at half-time, before the Bluebirds came back into the game and equalised after the break through Ben Fawcett’s header. Mike Lewis then made an excellent save to prevent Kieran Lewis from completing the turnaround.

It was Nat Jarvis, also scoring his first goal for the club, who popped up with the winning moment in the 68th minute, nodding home from close range following a great delivery from Chris Hugh. The result lifted us to third in the Cymru Premier table after four games.

Meanwhile, Aberystwyth are winless in two matches, both away from home, most recently suffering a 2-0 defeat to Connah’s Quay Nomads on Wednesday. The game was decided by two first half goals for the reigning Cymru Premier champions, but Andy Morrison was full of praise for the spirit shown by the Seasiders.

They did however win their last home fixture, a 3-1 triumph against Flint Town United. That is the only victory they have to their name so far this campaign, placing them eighth in the table at this early stage. It is a first season at the helm for club legend Gavin Allen, who replaced Matthew Bishop as manager in the summer. Goals have been almost guaranteed in his tenure so far, with Aberystwyth failing to score just once (against Nomads), while they are yet to keep a clean sheet.  

Barry won both meetings between the two sides last season, most memorably just before Christmas when Kayne McLaggon’s second half goal gave us a 1-0 win at Park Avenue. McLaggon had also scored a brace against Aberystwyth earlier in the campaign, helping Barry to a 3-1 victory at Jenner Park along with Clayton Green’s strike. We are actually yet to lose to the Black and Greens since our promotion back to the top-flight in 2017.

Due to a Welsh Government and FAW ruling, games must currently be played behind-closed-doors until stated otherwise. Your support will be hugely missed at Park Avenue, but you will be able to follow this afternoon’s fixture through live updates on our Twitter page.