FORMER Welsh League champions Abergavenny Thursdays face an uncertain future after being forced to withdraw from the Gwent County League due to a lack of players.

The club, founder members of the League of Wales in 1992, were due to host Pontypool Town in their opening Gwent County League Division Three fixture tonight.

But league secretary Glyn Jones confirmed that Thursdays have withdrawn and that Division Three will contain 14 teams this season.

"It is very sad but there is a lack of players in the area and that is the reason," said Mr Jones.

"The Welsh pyramid system is good in some ways but not in others," he added.

"Take the Cwmbran and Pontypool area – there are too many teams and not enough players to go around.

"Everyone is struggling and Abergavenny won't be the last to go."

Founded in 1927, Thursdays were crowned

Welsh League champions for the first time in 1959 and won successive titles in 1991 and 1992 before the formation of the new League of Wales (now known as the Welsh Premier League) for the 1992/93 season.

A repeat of the 1992 success in the first season of the League of Wales would have meant a place in the European Cup but it was not to be.

Before a ball was kicked the Football Association of Wales requested that the club put up a bond as surety that their floodlights would be erected in time for the start of the League Cup competition.

Thursdays supplied the bond to the detriment of the club's resources and the uncertainty as to whether the club would be competing in the League of Wales led to the loss of many players and the team manager.

Cwmbran Town were the first League of Wales champions and Abergavenny were relegated before slipping through all three divisions of the Welsh League and into the Gwent County League

In the course of five seasons they suffered four relegations and conceded 675 league goals.

Mr Jones revealed that Gwent County Division One club Govilon are set to play their home matches at Thursdays' historic Pen-y-Pound Stadium.