#CCL Series: Aberystwyth Exiles
As part of our ongoing coverage of the Cardiff Combination Football League, we want to feature the clubs that make up the league, profiling their respective histories and plans for their future.
Our second of the series begins with Aberystwyth Exiles FC and we interviewed First Team Manager James Naik.
Aberystwyth Exiles were formed in 2012 by current First Team Manager James Naik and have risen from Division Two to the Premier Division in three seasons. As many of the founder players had either studied at Aberystwyth University or formerly lived in the area, the team was named as such and continues to encourage players who have moved to the capital. Although the team has more local players these days, its links with Aberystwyth still exist and has affiliate status with Welsh Premier League side Aberystwyth Town. The club has grown to two teams with a Second Team run by Aled Jones in Division 2. Naik said
“Last year was a huge year for us as we won our not only our first trophy, we also gained promotion for the second time in three years. Winning the Sam Cornish Cup after a fantastic final at the Cardiff City Stadium was brilliant for us and we followed that with winning the inaugural Harris Parker Spooner Super Cup at the start of this season.”
In regards to this season, Naik says “After topping the Premier Division for the first five or six weeks we then went on a poor run of six straight defeats but have thankfully found form again. Our target at the beginning of the season was consolidating and challenging in the Cups and we are doing that, having reached the semi-final of the Combination Cup. Despite the poor runs both sides have had at times overall the season has generally been successful and hopefully we can push on and end the season strongly. We have beaten seven of the other eight Premier League sides in either the League or Cup this season and this shows that we are more than capable of holding our own despite only being promoted last season.”
Naik then talks about the future for the club:
“The next stage for us will be trying to find a ground we can afford that meets the South Wales Alliance criteria, as we currently hire pitches at Cardiff University. The dream would be our own ground but we would be happy to share with a higher-tier side. We are also looking into setting up other sides over the next few years. I think as it stands next season may be too early for us to get promoted – but we can certainly challenge and we have shown that this season. We are actively looking for financial backing to help us push on future.”
The Exiles are next in action against Llanishen FC in the Milsom Harries Cup Second Round on Saturday, which is a 1.45pm kick-off at Caedelyn Park.