In just their second season as a club, Cefn Mawr Rangers are flying high at the right end of the fourth tier Welsh National League Division One (WNLD1).
But who exactly are the team which have seemingly come from nowhere to glory? We left it to manager Eddie Lancaster and coach Gavin Pritchard to explain.
Following in the footsteps of the likes of Queens Park and Rhostyllen, Rangers achieved promotion from the fifth tier North East Wales Football League in their first season and have maintained their excellence, losing only one of their ten league games.
Speaking about the clubs history, Pritchard said,
“Cefn Mawr Rangers formed in 2016…hoping to reform the old successful Flexsys F.C team, after a 5-year gap. During our season in the NEWFL, we gained promotion and won the Horace Wynn Cup and the Queensway Presidential Cup in a treble winning season during the first ear of the club’s formation.”
Also, the club’s formation meant the third Cefn Mawr based team was formed, with Welsh Premier League Cefn Druids and WNL Premier Division (WNLPD) Cefn Albion all being based within the village, Pritchard definitely believes his team belong within the football mad community.
“Football is such a huge part to the Cefn Mawr community and all three clubs should be immensely proud of everything they have achieved within the respective histories. But to start a club with a group of close friends and vision it into such a successful and respected club is something we are extremely proud of.”
Manager Lancaster believes that the friendships between club personnel allows for their great achievements to date.
“Within the club there is such a strong togetherness both on and off the field. Myself (26), my assistant Dan Richards (24) are still learning and we have recently added Gavin Pritchard (19) to the coaching team, together we all work closely to ensure we push and motivate the players to get the most out of their potential as players and individuals, this is a key factor to our success.”
A realistic and relaxed approach from Lancaster could also be key as he looks to propel his side into the WNLPD by achieving promotion this season.
“Despite there being areas during the season in which we could have performed better but this is all a learning process and we have done just that in the hopes to further improve as a team into the second half of the season.”
However, the coaches have strong faith in their players with a view to continuously improve and grow together this became clear as Pritchard gave insight into the squad.
“All our players are key, with Captain Aron Blackwell excelling in his role and leading by example. Lewis Jones with 70+ goals last season and club top goal scorer this season so far from a midfield position. New signings have been brought in this season with good pedigree to bolster the team, Matty Thompson, Hari Gould, Ryan Harden, James Fell and Luke Bowen. Our deadline day addition in Richard Griffiths and marquee signing Andy Pasco transferring from Brickfield Rangers.”
The club aren’t narrow minded either and success isn’t as simple as winning trophies for Rangers, Pritchard discussed the clubs future aspirations.
“To continue climbing the leagues as far as the new FAW proposals will allow, and to introduce further teams to provide football opportunities to the local Cefn Mawr community on top continue our work to develop the talented group of players we already have at the football club.”
With a huge top of the table clash against Brymbo on 24 February now within the near future, Pritchard concluded the interview with the following words.
“We are a club of high principles and values, with an active committee and a close relationship with the local community council. We look forward to welcoming you to the Muga. #UpTheRangers”