Obituary: Keith Pontin

Barry Town United are saddened to hear of the death of our former centre-half Keith Pontin.

Keith was much more than a centre half and earned two caps at full international level for Wales before joining Barry Town from Merthyr in September 1985. The move was quite a coup for Barry at the time as they had signed a Rolls-Royce of a player, certainly for the level he was then playing at. He was a classy defender in every sense of the phrase and one of the rocks on which Barry’s successes of the 1980s was built.

After making his debut against Minehead in the FA Cup on 28 September 1985, ‘Pont’ as he was known to fans, continually gave assured and confident performances during his six-season spell at Jenner Park. He rarely missed a game and played in 299 matches for the Linnets, scoring 23 goals.

So good were his overall performances that he won the club’s Players’ Player of the Season award three times (1988, 1989 & 1991), the Player of the Season accolade in 1987 and not to mention the Chairman’s special award in 1986. He was that good. Keith also captained the team and acted as assistant manager to Mel Donovan during the second part of the 1988-89 season.

At Barry he played in the Southern League, which Barry returned to play in briefly during the 1989-90 season. Prior to that, he helped the club win four Welsh League titles between 1985 and 1989 and played in the Welsh Cup semi-finals versus Swansea and Wrexham. He also played a pivotal part in a highly successful 1985-86 season when the Town also lifted the Welsh League Cup and South Wales Senior Cups to add to its League title.

The club sends its deepest and heartfelt condolences to Keith’s family, a player who will be sorely missed by his former playing colleagues and supporters at Jenner Park.

Vacancy: U19s Manager

Barry Town United are advertising for the position of U19s Manager.

Accountable to: Academy Director
Location: Jenner Park, Barry, CF62 9BG
Contract type: Part time

What is the role?

This role offers the successful candidate an exciting opportunity to manage  the Barry Town United Academy Development squad who play in the Cymru Premier DVP South League. The squad are based across two locations, two evenings a week at Jenner Park and Leckwith Stadium. You  will inspire, educate and develop the players whilst providing support, guidance and professional management to individuals and a squad as a whole. You will combine this with the management of the squad from a tactical and player perspective.

The above will provide the successful candidate with the opportunity to contribute to a progressive learning environment, which positively impacts a player’s development and potential to achieve on and off the pitch.

What are we looking for?

The successful candidate will support the development of academy players in accordance with our Academy Performance Plan (inc. coaching and playing philosophy), providing all players appropriate playing opportunities, in consultation with the Academy Director as well as working closely with first team coaching staff to aid the successful progression of players throughout the club.

You will also have a duty of care to protect the welfare of our players under your supervision by creating an environment that protects them from harm.

Essential Experience:

  • Experience of management and coaching within an academy and football development system
  • Track record of identifying and developing talent, as well as monitoring and reporting upon player progress
  • Evidence of proactively seeking personal development opportunities
  • UEFA A Licence or working towards
  • FAW Safeguarding
  • Emergency First Aid Award

Essential Skills:

  • Excellent time management & organisational skills
  • Great understanding of effective communication for a wide range of individuals & groups
  • A wide range of coaching experience in a 1-on-1, position specific and team environment

What do you get in return?

If you are successful, you can look forward to:

  • An opportunity to work for a successful Cymru Premier League Football Club
  • Regular accredited CPD opportunities 
  • Working in an environment with strong core values, providing learning and development opportunities; whilst working with like-minded individuals
  • A competitive coaching session rate

If you wish to apply for this role then please email a CV and cover letter highlighting why you feel you are suitable for the position to the email address below:

damian.flynn@barrytown.co.uk

The closing date for applications is Monday 10th August.

Barry Town United shows support for ‘Mentally Healthy Football’

Barry Town United has welcomed a joint Declaration from the UK football family signifying its support for building a mentally healthy environment at every level of the game, as a lasting legacy of the Heads Up campaign.

The Mentally Healthy Football Declaration will see all of UK football recognising that mental health is as important as physical health and pioneering a ‘team approach’ on this important issue. The UK football family will build on the important work that clubs and football organisations are already doing, working together to roll out these efforts across the football system, share best practice, and support the development of ‘mentally healthy clubs’ at every level of the game.

The landmark Declaration has been signed by senior figures from across the football system, including the FA, the Premier League, the English Football League (EFL), Scottish FA, FA Wales, Irish FA, League Managers Association (LMA), Professional Footballers Association (PFA), Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) and League Football Education (LFE).

Following an unprecedented season for football, mental health issues are more relevant than ever.   Through the Declaration, football has committed to working together to embed an environment across all of UK football:

  • Where players and staff are encouraged to look after their mental health just as they look after their physical health;
  • where they feel able to spot the signs that they, a team-mate or colleague might be struggling and know where to access support;
  • and where speaking out about mental health is seen as a sign of strength rather than weakness.

The Declaration will see the FAW join a UK-wide mental health implementation group next season, working towards a collective ‘game plan’ for the first time to ensure the mental health of players, staff, managers, coaches and officials is prioritised across the game.

The Declaration has also been welcomed by Heads Up’s charity partners Mind, CALM and Sporting Chance, who will work with us all next season to take the Declaration forward.

You can find out more about the Heads Up campaign by visiting www.headstogether.org.uk/heads-up


Mae Barry Town United wedi croesawu Datganiad ar y cyd gan deulu pêl-droed y Deyrnas Unedig yn dynodi ei gefnogaeth dros feithrin amgylchedd er lles iechyd meddwl ar bob lefel o’r gêm, fel etifeddiaeth barhaus i’r ymgyrch Heads Up.

Drwy’r Datganiad Pêl-droed er Lles Iechyd Meddwl, bydd teulu pêl-droed y DU gyfan yn cydnabod bod iechyd meddwl yr un mor bwysig ag iechyd corfforol, a bydd yn meithrin ‘ymagwedd tîm’ at y mater pwysig hwn. Bydd teulu pêl-droed y DU yn adeiladu ar y gwaith pwysig mae clybiau a sefydliadau eisoes yn ei wneud, gan weithio gyda’n gilydd i gyflwyno’r ymdrechion hyn ar draws y system bêl-droed, rhannu arfer gorau, a chefnogi’r datblygiad o ‘glybiau er lles iechyd meddwl’ ar bob lefel o’r gêm.

Mae’r Datganiad hanesyddol wedi’i lofnodi gan uwch swyddogion o bob rhan o’r system bêl-droed, gan gynnwys y Gymdeithas Bêl-droed (FA), Uwch-Gynghrair Lloegr (Premier League), Cynghrair Bêl-droed Lloegr (EFL), Cymdeithas Bêl-droed yr Alban, Cymdeithas Bêl-droed Cymru, Cymdeithas Bêl-droed Iwerddon, y Gymdeithas Rheolwyr Proffesiynol (LMA), y Gymdeithas Chwaraewyr Proffesiynol (PFA), Swyddogion Gemau’r Gêm Broffesiynol Cyfyngedig (PGMOL) a League Football Education (LFE).

Yn dilyn tymor digynsail i bêl-droed, mae materion iechyd meddwl yn fwy perthnasol nag erioed. Drwy’r Datganiad, mae byd pêl-droed y DU wedi ymrwymo i gydweithio er mwyn ymgorffori amgylchedd lle:

  • caiff chwaraewyr a staff eu hannog i edrych ar ôl eu hiechyd meddwl yn yr un ffordd ag y maent eu hiechyd corfforol;
  • mae pawb yn teimlo eu bod yn gallu adnabod yr arwyddion eu bod nhw, neu aelod o’r tîm neu gydweithiwr, yn cael trafferthion ac yn gwybod o ble i gael cefnogaeth;
  • mae siarad am iechyd meddwl yn cael ei weld fel arwydd o gryfder yn hytrach nag yn wendid.

Bydd y Datganiad yn gweld CBDC yn ymuno â grŵp gweithredu ar iechyd meddwl ar daws y DU y tymor nesaf, gan weithio tuag at ‘gynllun gêm’ ar y cyd am y tro cyntaf erioed i sicrhau bod iechyd meddwl chwaraewyr, staff, rheolwyr, hyfforddwyr a swyddogion yn cael ei flaenoriaethu ar draws y gêm.

Hefyd yn croesawu’r Datganiad mae partneriaid elusennol Heads Up, sef Mind, CALM a Sporting Chance, a fydd yn gweithio gyda ni dros y tymor nesaf i weithredu’r Datganiad.

Gallwch ganfod rhagor am ymgyrch Heads Up drwy ymweld â www.headstogether.org.uk/heads-up

2020/21 UEFA Europa League tie information

Four weeks today, we will be kicking off in the preliminary round of the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League, and preparation is well underway both on and off the pitch.

As the football calendar has become condensed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s tie will be only one-legged, with the team drawn out of the pot first being given home advantage.

We can confirm that should we be given a home fixture, this will be played at the Cardiff City Stadium. This is the nearest ground that fully complies with Covid-19 game safety regulations, and has hosted five EFL Championship games in the last five weeks.

UEFA have also ruled that all games will be played behind closed doors, meaning supporters will unfortunately not be able to attend our fixture whether home or away. This is disappointing for everyone at the club, however we are sure the UEFA decision was made in the interests of both safety and to ensure no unfair advantage to any team given the new one legged format.

Nonetheless, we are keen to still make the game an experience to be enjoyed by our supporters, who were fantastic in both Europa League games last summer, and the match will be broadcast live either on television or an internet stream. We are nothing without your incredible support, and you will have a huge role to play come August 20th.

Further information will be announced in due course, with all aspects of the game set to become clearer following the draw on August 9th.

Drew Fahiya and Curtis Watkins depart Barry Town

Barry Town United can confirm that Drew Fahiya and Curtis Watkins will both depart the football club this summer.

The long-serving pair leave Jenner Park with everyone’s best wishes, having each played key roles in the club’s many successes in recent years.

Barry-born Fahiya joined the club in 2015 from AFC Rhoose and Watkins arrived the following year after leaving Cardiff City, and both helped the club to the Welsh League Division One title in 2016/17. Fahiya was joint top scorer that season, netting 19 goals.

The two continued to feature regularly in the Welsh Premier League, adapting to the step up as the team finished seventh in 2017/18 before securing Europa League football with a third place finish the season after – a magnificent achievement for two players who had been playing second tier football with the club just two years earlier. Qualification was achieved in a 5-2 win away at Bala Town, a game which Watkins started and Fahiya came off the bench to score the fifth goal.

Centre-back Watkins departs the club having made 97 appearances, scoring three goals, while forward Fahiya featured on 138 occasions, scoring 31 times. Those numbers demonstrate what excellent servants both have been to Barry.

Gavin Chesterfield said:

“Firstly, everyone around the club and especially the changing room will miss two fantastic guys. Both have contributed hugely on and off the field in their time at the club and I know they are very proud of all they have achieved in a Barry shirt.

“At the respective stages of their careers, whilst I’m sad to lose them both I fully respect their desire to play more football. I wish them both the very best and thank them for all they have done and I know they will never be strangers to our club.”

Mikey George: “It feels really good to be back with my hometown club”

Following the confirmation that Mikey George would be returning to Jenner Park, we caught up with the midfielder to get his thoughts on the move.

Hi Mikey, welcome back to Barry. What made you want to return to the club?

“I was really disappointed to leave the club last summer, and wanted to come back straight away. But in a way, going away and getting more experience under my belt has grown my confidence and I think it’s given Gav more confidence in me as well. It feels really good to be back with my hometown club, it really does.

“To be honest Gav is the main reason why I’m coming back because he made me the player that I am today. In terms of my technical ability, my fitness, my weight of pass, how to read the game – that’s all down to Gav. He taught me the ins and outs of the league. I take my hat off to him as a coach because he’s absolutely fantastic.”

How do you think you’ve changed in the last year since you left the club?

“The main thing is maturity. When I was coming through the Barry youth system and breaking into the first team, I was still a teenager learning the game. But now I’ve gone out and experienced men’s football, I’ve controlled what was inside of me. I understand the game better and deal with the officials better. I definitely feel more confident now.”

You were at Penybont last season and Llanelli on loan the year before, how good was it to be playing regular top-flight football?

“It was a fantastic experience. Playing against some of the best players in the league was great. I played a more defensive role at Penybont which I hadn’t done before, so I feel I can now offer more in the midfield. I’m a more well-rounded player for sure.”

Being from Barry, how does it feel to play for your hometown club?

“It was always a dream of mine since I was a kid. I’ve been watching Barry for years and always wanted to play for them. So it feels amazing.”

Does it make it easier coming back to a club and squad that you know?

“Obviously some players have been added, but I feel I had a good relationship with the team before, so it shouldn’t take me long to settle back in. Curtis [Hutson] has joined as well and he was a good mate of mine at Penybont. I really feel as though the dressing room will be good this year and that’s key to being successful because you want to work hard for each other.”

I’m sure fans will remember you from your first spell at the club, but just as a reminder, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“Fans will remember me as the little terrier on the pitch that always tries to win the ball back and has loads of energy, and that hasn’t changed. But I’m also more relaxed now and will offer more for the team.”

What are your ambitions for the new season?

“I obviously want to try and start as many games as I can. But for the team, I honestly believe we can go far in the Europa League and I genuinely think we can win the league. With the squad that we have, it’s young, fresh and there’s depth there too. There’s also lots of experience too. With that combination, I’m confident this year, I really am.”

Finally, any message for the fans?

“Just to let you know that I’m back and ready to go straight away! I’ve got loads of energy, and hopefully you can see I’m a more versatile player now with a better passing range. I’ve got fire inside me and I hope to see you all as soon as possible.”

#MikeyAdded | Barry Town United complete the signing of Mikey George

Barry Town United are delighted to announce that Mikey George has agreed terms to join the club for a second spell.

Born in Barry, George left Jenner Park last year and spent the 2019/20 campaign at Penybont, making 23 appearances in the club’s debut season in the Cymru Premier.

The versatile player joined Barry from Cambrian and Clydach four years ago, initially becoming part of the Development Team squad. He would make his senior debut in the 7-1 win over Haverfordwest County in the Nathaniel MG Cup in November 2016, coming on as a late substitute for Jordan Cotterill. Upon the club’s promotion to the top-flight the following year, George made three Welsh Premier League appearances which earned him his first senior team contract in the summer of 2018.

That same season as part of his plan for development, Mikey was loaned to fellow Welsh Premier League club Llanelli Town where he impressed making 19 appearances. Mikey now returns to his hometown club following another successful season in the top flight.

Having completed the signing, Gavin Chesterfield commented:

“I’m delighted to bring Mikey back to the club. He knows what we are about and how we work. Being honest I didn’t want to lose him last season but to his and Penybont’s, Mikey has matured as a player and his all action style and versatility will bring much to our squad. I’m genuinely excited to be working with him again and have no doubt be will emerge as one of the Cymru Premier League’s young talents.”

Curtis Hutson: “I can’t wait to get started”

Following the confirmation that Curtis Hutson would be returning to Jenner Park, we caught up with the winger to get his thoughts on the move.

Hi Curtis, welcome back to Barry. What made you want to return to the club?

“Everything that is going on at the club at the moment is really exciting, there’s a lot of ambition. I believe in Gav’s vision for the future and feel I have a place in that. I think I can bring a different element to the team that’s not there at the moment. It will be exciting to be around people who can challenge me and get the best out of me.

“I know a lot of the boys already too, I grew up with Clayton and I played with some of them at Cardiff City. It’s important for me to be in an environment where there are a few more players that I know and that understand me.”

What are your memories from your time at the club before in the 2014/15 season?

“I was only young and I didn’t really play as much as I wanted to, but it was good to be part of a squad that won the league. It was my first experience of winning a title, so that was great. But I just felt like I needed to get more experience.”

How do you think you’ve changed in the five years since you left the club?

“I’ve definitely think I’ve matured as a player. I’ve learnt to be critical of myself and to work hard on any areas that I feel I’m slacking on. I don’t turn a blind eye to poor performances. I’ve been more honest with myself and that’s really helped me improve.”

You have spent the last two years at Penybont, helping win promotion to the Cymru Premier and playing regularly last season. How did you find your time there?

“Winning the league and going unbeaten was a season to remember. Not many players can say they’ve gone through undefeated seasons, so the memories will stick with me forever. It was then good to get some experience in the Cymru Premier last season and I feel I put in some good performances.”

You played in both games against Barry last season, how did you find that?

“I won a penalty in the first game of the season which was good. Obviously the Barry squad was more experienced in the league and a lot stronger, but it made me realise that I could play at this level and do well. A good season of hard work was essential for me, and I feel I had that.”  

Some fans might remember you from your first spell at the club, but for those that don’t, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“I’m primarily a winger, but can also play up top or in the ten. I enjoy going forward and creating chances, and most importantly scoring goals.” 

What are your ambitions for the new season?

“I’ve got used to the league now and I’ve been working hard since the season ended so I really want to kick on now. I would love to be in the team of the year, because it would show I am capable of being up there with the best.

“I’d like to be competitive with as many as goals as I can too. The standard that Kayne sets is amazing, and that provides me with a target too. I like to aim high. I’ve put the foundations in place and now I can’t wait to get started.”

Finally, any message for the fans?

“It’s horrible playing against Barry when you’ve got all those fans against you! They’re amazing fans and I can’t think of anything better than having them behind me. Out of all the supporters I’ve heard in the league, they’ve got to be the best.

“I remember a chant I had before. It didn’t rhyme but I loved it. It was “Who needs Giggsy, we’ve got Curtis!” because he’s my cousin. I’ve always remembered that.”

#ComebackThursday | Curtis Hutson returns to Barry Town United

Barry Town United are pleased to announce that Curtis Hutson has agreed terms to join the club from fellow Cymru Premier League side Penybont.

Hutson returns to the club having spent the 2014/15 season at Jenner Park, when he was part of the squad that won the Welsh League Division Two title, making 18 appearances. He will be most fondly remembered for his winning goal against Risca United and his penalty that helped a ten-man Barry side come from 2-0 down to draw with West End.

A former Cardiff City academy player and Wales Under-16 international, Hutson would go on to play for both Caerau Ely and Goytre United, as well as spend time in Australia with Mornington Soccer Club, before signing for Penybont in 2018. He helped Rhys Griffiths’s side go unbeaten in his first season at the club as they stormed to the Welsh League Division One title, and then made 21 Cymru Premier League appearances last season, scoring five times.

Commenting on the signing, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“I’m delighted to welcome Curtis back to the club. Since he was last with us in 2015 Curtis has worked hard to develop his game and last season at Penybont he showed he can be a major threat in the Cymru Premier League. Whilst Curtis has matured his game, at 25 years of age there is so much more to come. He will add something different to the squad and I’m excited to see him back in a Barry Town shirt.”

Nat Jarvis: “It’s been a long time coming but is finally done”

Following the confirmation of the signing of Nat Jarvis, we caught up with the striker who gave his first interview as a Barry Town player.

Hi Nat, welcome to Barry Town. The move has been talked about for a while now, how pleased are you to have signed for the club?

“I’m buzzing. I’m really happy to be linking up with Gav as a manager and my close friends who have played for the club for a few seasons. It’s a stone’s throw away from my house, so it will be great to be playing closer to home also.

“It’s been close before, and me and Gav have spoken in probably the last three four or seasons, but I’ve put it off a couple times not feeling that the move would be the right one for me. But this time it feels like perfect timing. I’m really happy to have finally got it done.”

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

“It’s his drive and hunger to compete at the highest level and compete in Europe regularly. I’ve worked with him before at uni level, so I know what his sessions are like. The way he goes about things is very professional and he pays a lot of attention to detail.

“He has assured me that he’s the manager to play to my strengths. I’ve been to places where I’ve had to stamp my authority or show what I’m good at, as some managers haven’t known what sort of player I am or what I need around me to get the best out of me. But I think a lot of the players that he has assembled at Barry will compliment me quite well.”

You know a few of the boys in the squad already, was that a big factor in the move for you?

“It was massive for me. As I’ve travelled around quite a lot to play football, I’ve had to get to know lots of different people – some friendly, some not! But this team that Gav has assembled is just full of players that I know and that I’ve played with before. So it definitely seems to fit the bill.

“Luke Cooper and Clayts have pestered me for a while about signing, and I’ve told them before when I’ve been close and it hasn’t quite happened and they’ve been disappointed. But this time around they’re really happy!”

You grew up in Cardiff, came through the Cardiff City academy but have spent the last few years playing in the English system, are you pleased to be back in Wales?

“Definitely. It’s easier when you’re younger, but travelling around a lot does take its toll on you, especially if you’re at a club where you’re not playing. So I’m really, really happy to be back home.”

It will be your first taste of the Cymru Premier, are you looking forward to that?

“It’s a fresh challenge for me, which me and Gav talked about a lot. There’s the chance to play in Europe too, which I’ve never done before. I’m looking forward to playing against new teams, and they probably won’t know as much about me as teams over in England would.”

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?

“Pace, power and goals! I’ve got lots of drive and lots of experience to give. I can be direct and aggressive at times. I’m quite strong with my back to goal and link up well with other strikers, helping bring them into the game. I’m good aerially too – I played with Jack Compton at Chippenham and any time he looked to cross I would be in the box ready to pounce!”

Finally, the fans have been calling for this signing for a while, do you have any message for them?

“I’m delighted to have signed for the club. It’s been a long time coming but is finally done. I’ve come here to win, to play in Europe and score goals! It won’t be long until the fans will be back at Jenner Park after such a tough few months with regards to Covid-19. Be safe and look forward to seeing you soon!”