A 104-YEAR-OLD football club is “homeless” after Caerphilly council blocked plans to upgrade a pitch, despite already investing "thousands of pounds", writes Michael Jones.

Following the council’s decision to close Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre – where Ynysddu Welfare FC currently play – the club had been set to move to Bryn Playing Fields next season.

Yet club secretary Ben Murphy was “totally gobsmacked” after receiving an email saying the council had unanimously decided Ynysddu first-team could not play there.

Ynysddu’s pitch has to meet set criteria, as they play in the Gwent County First Division.


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There were plans to increase the pitch size, and erect supporter barriers and dugouts – Ynysddu then wanted to build a perimeter fence and a small supporters stand.

“Thousands of pounds” had already been spent on improving the field’s drainage by the council, said Mr Murphy.

“It just shows how shambolic the council are.

“They’ve given us a grant to upgrade a pitch that we now can’t upgrade.

“They’ve shown willingness and all of a sudden: ‘bang you can’t have it.’

“It was totally out of the blue and we’ve had zero consultation.”

A spokesperson for CCBC said: “The council is keen to support the club with their future aspirations and we are exploring all available options.

“Discussions are ongoing to identify a suitable venue.”

However, “every solution they are offering us is a short-term solution”, said Mr Murphy.

“What we want is somewhere to develop and make our home.

“It’s not about money, because we don’t expect financial support.

“We want a long-term solution.”

Ynysddu captured the public imagination and the attention of the national press earlier this season after accidentally entering a youth side in the FAW Youth Cup, despite not having one.

After scrambling together a squad, they knocked out Britton Ferry in an “unbelievable” victory, but fell short against Llanelli Town in the second round.

Now Mr Murphy says plans to create a permanent youth structure and a veteran over 40s side have also been halted.

“We’ve been led down a garden path.

“We even had an email on the 3rd of April telling us what we can and cannot do, what insurances and liability we need to take out.

“It’s a joke.”

Mr Murphy said the club would “find a way of surviving”.