2020/21 JD Cymru Premier Phase One fixtures released!

The new JD Cymru Premier campaign is just 15 days away and we are pleased to reveal our Phase One fixtures for 2020/21.

We start the season by hosting last year’s runners-up The New Saints at 2:30pm on Saturday 12 September, and are back at Jenner Park a week later against Caernarfon Town.

Our first away trip of the campaign was originally scheduled to come on Wednesday 16 September at Bala Town, but due to the Lakesiders’ involvement in the UEFA Europa League, that fixture has been moved to Tuesday 13 October. Instead, newly-promoted Flint Town United will be the first team we visit on our travels on Saturday 26 September.

Due to the delayed start of the campaign, that away game at Maes Tegid is one of three midweek fixtures scheduled early on the season – we’ll also face Haverfordwest County and Cardiff Met University, both at Jenner Park, under the floodlights.

The Christmas period is always an exciting one for football, and this season we face a double header against Penybont on Boxing Day and Tuesday 29 December. As the calendar then changes to 2021, there are three games to round off Phase One, starting with Haverfordwest away on New Year’s Day and concluding with the short trip to Cardiff Met on Friday 29 January.

As always, all fixtures remain subject to change and may be moved for television broadcast. As previously confirmed, games will be played behind-closed-doors until declared otherwise by the Welsh Government and the FAW. This is a decision we are disappointed by, but one that is out of the club’s hands.

Barry Town United Supporters Update | August 27

As you will have read, the JD Cymru Premier 2020/21 season will start on the weekend of September 12, under the FAW’s Return to Play Protocol.

This means that the opening matches will be played behind closed doors, with registered participants on and off the pitch following the Return to Play rules.

Although we hope we will quickly reach a point where fans can attend, we don’t know when this will happen, as it is in the hands of Welsh Government and the FAW.  We have made our views clear and, along with all other Cymru Premier clubs, lobbied to delay a return to play until supporters are welcomed back but unfortunately this decision has been taken out of Cymru Premier Clubs hands. 

Our only hope is that you, our 12th man, will return to the stands very soon and we will of course keep you updated on any updates we receive. 

In these circumstances, we obviously cannot sell season tickets as we normally would. Club membership from 2019-20 will remain valid until our Annual General Meeting, which we hope to hold soon at the Clubhouse, subject to the standard restrictions. Details will be announced shortly.

We are very grateful to members of the Vice Presidents Club who have continued to contribute over the past six months when there have been no games taking place. Again, membership will soon re-open for the new season for those who pay on an annual basis.

Even though matches are behind closed doors, we intend to publish a hard-copy programme for our home games. However, these will be limited in numbers. As in previous seasons, we will have a programme subscription scheme for fans to reserve copies for the whole season.

Barry Town shirt sponsors for the 2019-20 season will be able to collect their shirt from the club on Thursday 3 September and Saturday 5 September. Shirt sponsorship for the new 2020-21 season will be available this weekend.

A big thank you to everybody who has pre-purchased a new 2020-21 shirt. They will be with us soon, and can be collected or sent to you as ordered. We can’t wait to see your names embedded in the shirt! 

The Clubhouse is open every evening of the week from 4pm, showing the latest live sport, so please join us for a drink.

Last, but not least, a big thank you to Mark Hollis, who is stepping down this summer from his role as Membership Coordinator. Mark has been invaluable in organising membership, coordinating supporter travel and running the reserved programme scheme since we re-joined the Cymru Premier, and we all really appreciate his hard work.

Up the Town!

Gavin Chesterfield reacts to Europa League exit

Watch below as manager Gavin Chesterfield speaks to Olly Allen following our 5-1 defeat to NSI Runavik in the UEFA Europa League.

NSÍ Runavík vs Barry Town United | UEFA Europa League Preview

It’s gameday!

For the first time since March 6, Barry are in competitive action as we take on Faroese side NSÍ Runavík in the preliminary round of the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League (kick-off 6pm).

Qualification for this season’s competition was secured with a fourth place finish in the JD Cymru Premier after the league was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic and the table decided on a points per game model. It is our second successive campaign in the Europa League, following the encounter with Cliftonville of Northern Ireland in the preliminary round last summer.

NSÍ are regulars in European competition, but have failed to progress from a tie in 13 attempts. In 2019/20 they were defeated in the Europa League preliminary round 2-0 on aggregate by Ballymena United. Barry will be their fourth opponent in Europe from the United Kingdom, following on from Fulham, Linfield, Hibernian and the aforementioned Ballymena. They qualified this time around by finishing third in the 2019 Faroe Islands Premier League. In the 2020 campaign, which started in May, they are currently fourth.

With club colours of yellow and black, NSÍ’s entire squad is Faroese apart from Dane Jesper Christjansen. They are captained by Klæmint Olsen, the all-time top goalscorer in the Faroese top-flight, who scored against Spain in a Euro 2020 qualified last year. Swede Glenn Ståhl was appointed as manager at the start of the current Faroese season. The Runavík Stadium usually hosts their league fixtures, but this evening’s game will be played at the picturesque Svangaskarð, just down the road in Toftir.

The reward for the winner of this evening’s tie is a trip to Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen in the first qualifying round on Thursday 27th August.

Speaking ahead of the game, manager Gavin Chesterfield said:

“Last year we were well prepared and had done our homework, but went to Northern Ireland a bit wide-eyed. But there’s no doubt in my mind that what happened last year will stand us in good stead this time around.

“This year we’ll go into the game with a bit more experience, especially experience of how to deal with big occasions, and that will be key.

“There’s a great feel-good factor in the camp. The friendlies we’ve had have been really good preparation and the lads’ mentality and attitude has been fantastic.”

Upon UEFA’s request, this evening’s game is being played behind-closed-doors, but we will be streaming the match live on our Facebook page. Meanwhile, the clubhouse at Jenner Park will be open from 3:30pm to welcome supporters and host a matchday atmosphere whilst complying with social distancing guidelines. Commemorative match tickets will also be on sale.

#HiHarry | Harry Thomas-Barker joins on initial short-term deal

Barry Town United are pleased to confirm the signing of goalkeeper Harry Thomas-Barker on an initial short-term deal.

The 18-year-old joins the club after leaving Bristol Rovers earlier this summer, having been a regular for the Gas’ Under-18 side. He also spent time out on loan at Cadbury Heath and Frome Town.

Thomas-Barker has featured in friendlies against Connah’s Quay Nomads and The New Saints in the last few weeks, and now becomes part of our squad for the UEFA Europa League campaign.

Gavin Chesterfield: “We’ll go there with plenty of excitement and anticipation”

Yesterday we learnt our opponents for this year’s preliminary round of the UEFA Europa League, as it was confirmed that we would be facing an away tie against NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands on Thursday 20th August.

Speaking after the draw, manager Gavin Chesterfield admitted that the excitement was now fully kicking in after finding out who Town would be coming up against:

“It was great watching it on the livestream surrounded by people who are central to the football club and great also to see our name up there again.

“Excitement is the overriding feeling. It’s a proper European experience really, a chance to visit a country that I haven’t been to before and I doubt any of our players have been to before.

“It will be difficult because they’re in-season at the moment, so will be in fine fettle in terms of fitness, but we certainly go there with plenty of excitement and anticipation.”

It is, of course, the club’s second consecutive season in the Europa League preliminary round, and Chesterfield hopes to use last year’s defeat to Cliftonville to his advantage in ten days time:

“Last year we were well prepared and had done our homework, but went to Northern Ireland a bit wide-eyed. But there’s no doubt in my mind that what happened last year will stand us in good stead this time around.

“This year we’ll go into the game with a bit more experience, especially experience of how to deal with big occasions, and that will be key.”

However the tie is slightly different this time around. With the coronavirus pandemic condensing the football calendar, the winner will be decided over a singular leg, rather than the usual two. Yet Chesterfield felt as if this may suit his side better:

“The fact that it’s a one-legged affair makes things different to our experience last year, but we’ll still aim to represent ourselves and Wales to the best of our ability.

“It will be very similar to the knockout cup format that we’re used to domestically. We have much more experience playing ties with one leg rather than two, so that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

“We’ll go there well-prepared and confident.”

The squad have been back in training since mid-July and have played two friendlies so far against Connah’s Quay Nomads and The New Saints, with Chesterfield pleased with how the build-up has gone so far:

“There’s a great feel-good factor in the camp. The friendlies we’ve had so far have been really good preparation and the lads’ mentality and attitude has been fantastic. They returned from the break in good shape and so far everything has gone quite well.

“Focus is the most important thing now. Those behind the scenes at the club will take care of the logistical challenges, so it’s down to myself, my staff and the squad to be the best prepared we can on the pitch.”

CONFIRMED: Town to face NSI Runavik in 2020/21 Europa League Preliminary Round

It has been confirmed that Barry Town United will face an away tie against NSÍ Runavík of the Faroe Islands in the one-legged preliminary round of the 2020/21 UEFA Europa on Thursday 20th August.

Founded in 1957, NSÍ first played in Europe in 2003 before winning the Faroe Islands Premier League for the first time four years later. That is their only league title to date, but they have won the Faroe Islands Cup three times – in 1986, 2002 and 2017. They are now UEFA Europa League regulars, but have never got past the first qualifying round, playing against teams such as Fulham and Hibernian in the past. NSÍ qualified for this season’s competition by finishing third in the 2019 Faroe Islands Premier League. In the 2020 campaign, which started in May, they are currently fourth.

With club colours of yellow and black, their entire squad is Faroese with many international caps between them, while they are managed by Swede Glenn Ståhl, who was appointed at the start of the current Faroese season. As previously announced, UEFA have ruled that the fixture must take place behind closed doors in the interests of both safety and to ensure no unfair advantage to any team given the new one-legged format.

Details of how you can follow the game will be announced in the coming days.

All you need to know ahead of the UEFA Europa League Preliminary Round draw

It’s draw day!

In a few hours time, we’ll know which team we’ll be facing in this season’s preliminary round of the UEFA Europa League.

The draw will be streamed live from UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. It is scheduled to start at 12pm Welsh time and expected to last around 15 minutes.

In accordance with the principles set by the Club Competitions Committee at its meeting on 17 June 2020, UEFA has split the draw into two groups – each with an equal number of seeded and unseeded teams.

Barry are one of four unseeded teams in Group 2 – along with St. Joseph’s (Gibraltar), Coleraine (Northern Ireland) and Glentoran (Northern Ireland). This means we will face one of the following four seeded clubs: B36 Torshavn (Faroe Islands), La Fiorita (San Marino), NSI Runavik (Faroe Islands) or HB Torshavn (Faroe Islands).

The balls containing the names of the seeded teams will be placed in one bowl and the balls containing the names of the unseeded teams will be put into another bowl. One ball will be taken from each bowl and placed in a large empty bowl in the middle, where they will be shuffled. The club drawn first plays the single leg of the tie at home if no fixture reversals apply.

All preliminary round fixtures are currently scheduled to take place on Thursday 20th August. All match dates, venues and kick-off times will be confirmed by the end of Monday 10th August.

Should we be drawn as the home team, the fixture will be played at the Cardiff City Stadium. As previously communicated, all fixtures in the preliminary round will go ahead without supporters upon UEFA request.

Monday 10th August is also the date for the competition’s first qualifying round, meaning we will find out our next opponent should we progress from the preliminary round. We will once again be unseeded for this draw, unless we are drawn against B36 Torshavn this afternoon.

Profiling our potential Europa League opponents | Part Two

As Sunday’s UEFA Europa League Preliminary Round draw edges closer, it’s time to complete our look at the teams we could be facing on August 20th.

On Wednesday, we looked at four of the eight clubs that we could be drawn against, and today it’s time to find out more about the other half – in order of coefficient.

As before, there’s the caveat that UEFA are set to group teams for the draw due to Covid-19 travel regulations, but that information will not be released until Saturday.

Tre Penne – San Marino

Tre Penne have been one of San Marino’s most regular European competitors in recent seasons – they’ve been in Europe seven times in the past ten years, winning the Campionate Sammarinese di Calcio four times in that period.

They met The New Saints in 2016-17, losing 5-1 on aggregate to the team from Oswestry. In last season’s tournaments, they entered the Champions League Preliminary Round where they lost 1-0 in their first match, against FC Santa Coloma of Andorra (one of Barry’s other possible opponents), and were then knocked out of the Europa League by Suduva of Lithuania.

Last season, they were placed third in the San Marino Championship, and had reached the semi-final of the Coppa Tittano after winning 11-0 over two legs in the quarter-finals, but, like in many other countries, both league and cup competitions were abandoned.

NSI Runavik – Faroe Islands

NSI Runavik are also experienced entrants to European competition, despite not having won much of the Faroe Islands silverware. They won the league title in 2007, and the cup three times in their history, most recently in 2017. Nevertheless, this will be their sixth consecutive season on the continental front.

The Faroe Islands play a summer season, so NSI’s qualification is based on finishing third in last season’s championship. They were knocked out of the cup in the first round by eventual winners, HB. At the time of writing, they’re fourth in the 2020 season after 15 matches – but as the top four are all within eight points of each other, there’s little to read into that.

In last season’s Europa League Preliminary Round, they faced Ballymena United of Northern Ireland, losing 2-0 in the away leg and drawing goal-less at home. They’re fond of some high scores, though – the previous season they were beaten 12-5 by Hibernian of Scotland, with one game ending 4-6, and, before that, were eliminated by 5-4 on aggregate by Linfield.

HB Torshavn – Faroe Islands

Havnar Boltfelag are the third of the possible Faroese clubs who could come out of the hat against Barry, and were last year’s Faroe Islands Cup winners, winning the final 3-1 against Vikingur Gota.

That was HB’s 27th cup success. They’ve also won the Faroese Championship on 23 occasions, most recently in 2018. Last season, they finished fourth in the league, whilst this season they are currently topping the league table – five points clear of KI Klaksvik.

In last season’s Europa League, they were narrowly defeated 3-2 on aggregate by Linfield, having been eliminated from the Champions League by HJK Helsinki. Their best European result came in 2014 when they knocked out Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar, winning the home leg 5-2. Lincoln Red Imps, of course, are another possible opponent for Barry in this season’s Europa League.

UE Engordany – Andorra

UE Engordany of Andorra are the lowest ranked of the eight seeded clubs in the Preliminary Round. Finishing third in the Primera Divisio which ended in July, they qualified through the league after Inter d’Escaldes completed the league and cup double. It must have been a strange experience for them watching the conclusion to the cup, knowing that their local rivals Inter Escaldes reaching the final would secure them a European spot!

In recent years, they’ve seen success in winning the 2019 Copa Constitucio and were runners-up in the league the previous season.

Engordany have not played as much European football as some of Barry’s other possible opponents but they have the impressive record of winning preliminary round ties in the past two seasons – knocking out Sammarinese opponents on both occasions. They beat Folgore 3-2 in 2019 at this stage and La Fiorita 3-1 last year. However, they were comfortably defeated in the following First Qualifying Round matches.

Profiling our potential Europa League opponents | Part One

There are just four days to go until we’ll find out our opponents in the preliminary round of this year’s UEFA Europa League, so it’s time to take a look at who we could be facing.

UEFA announced yesterday that teams are likely to be grouped for the draw due to Covid-19 travel regulations, but as that information will not be released until the day before, we’re still running down all eight teams that we could play, thanks to Ian Johnson.

Here’s part one – in order of seeding from highest to lowest.

Lincoln Red Imps – Gibraltar

Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar are the top seeds in the Preliminary Round draw, and will also be a seeded club in the First Qualifying Round. They’ve won the Gibraltar League on 24 occasions, including 14 consecutive titles between 2003 and 2016.

In Europe, their biggest moment came when they beat Celtic 1-0 in the home match at the Victoria Stadium, but they’ve also had aggregate victories over FC Santa Coloma over Andorra and Flora Tallinn of Estonia in the Champions League qualifiers. They were defeated by TNS 3-2 on aggregate when they last met Welsh opposition in 2018.

Red Imps were having an uncharacteristically poor season when Covid-19 halted the Gibraltar League in the Spring, in third place, ten points behind leaders Europa FC and five points behind second place St Joseph’s. However, they were still in the semi-finals of the Rock Cup, and would have hoped to win that for the first time in five seasons.

Lincoln Red Imps are the only seeded club from Gibraltar that Barry can play in this season’s Europa League.

FC Santa Coloma – Andorra

FC Santa Coloma are another club who are used to winning their league more than they are used to finishing runners-up.

This season’s Andorran League went to the wire, with FC Santa Coloma hoping that their rivals, Inter d’Escaldes, would drop points on the final day of the season and allow them to win the league, which re-started in July after a Covid19 enforced break. Santa Coloma were also beaten to Andorra’s Copa Constitucio by Inter, losing 2-0 in the final. They’ve won the Primera Division on 13 occasions, including six consecutive seasons before this year.

In Europe, they’ve knocked out Banants of Armenia over two legs, and beat San Marino side Tre Penne in last year’s Champions League Preliminary Round.

Like Lincoln Red Imps, they will be seeded in the First Qualifying Round draw.

B36 Torshavn – Faroe Islands

B36 Torshavn are the highest seeded of the three Faroe Islands clubs to be represented in this year’s Preliminary Round, and the last of the three clubs who will also be seeded in the First Qualifying Round draw.

The Faroese are mid-way through their league campaign, and B36 qualified for the Europa League after finishing second in the table last season. They were top with four games to play, but finished as runners-up, three points behind KI Klaksvík. At the time of writing, they are third in the Faroese League.

In the Champions League, they met TNS in 2016, the Oswestry club winning both legs to go through 6-2 on aggregate. However, they had a better year in the Europa League two seasons ago, knocking out St Joseph’s of Gibraltar on penalties and then beating OFK Titograd of Montenegro before being finally beaten by Besiktas. Last season they were beaten in both legs by Crusaders of Belfast. 

B36 have won the Faroese League eleven times, most recently in 2015, and the Faroe Islands Cup six times, 2018 the last occasion.

La Fiorita – San Marino

La Fiorita of San Marino were a surprise addition to the list of Europa League Preliminary Round seeds, only added to Barry’s list of possible opponents last week when Folgore were banned from European competition due to match-fixing.

They’ve won the Campianato Sammarinese di Calcio on six occasions and the Coppa Titano five times, doing the double in 2017-18.

San Marino was one of the countries in Europe that was earliest hit by Covid-19, so it was no surprise when the league there was brought to an early conclusion. La Fiorita were fourth when the league was ended, taking advantage of Folgore’s misfortune to book themselves an unexpected place in the Europa League.

La Fiorita have yet to make it through a European tie, but they did hold Linfield to a goalless draw at home after losing 1-0 in the return. Last year they lost 3-1 on aggregate to UE Engordany of Andorra, another of Barry’s possible opponents this season.