What happened to Ebbw Vale after their nine year Premier League stint?
Back in 1992, the League of Wales was formed and had 16 teams to begin its first competitive season, one of those team were Ebbw Vale FC, a side that only lasted nine years in the league before ceasing to exist.
The club achieved their highest finish ever in their history, by finishing 3rd in the 1997/1998 season, they qualified for the Intertoto Cup due to this and played against sides like Bastia, GAK, NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac and Silkeborg IF.
A year later though, the town of Ebbw Vale would lose their top flight representative after being expelled from Wales top league.
With an 8,000 capacity stadium like Eugene Cross Park, a ground that now holds Principality Premiership rugby there, the town needed representation in the round ball sport.
Step forward both RTB Ebbw Vale and Ebbw Vale Town FC, who are both from the area, although it is RTB Ebbw Vale who continue to play their home games at Eugene Cross Park.
Ebbw Vale Town AFC reformed eight-years after their exit from the Welsh Premier League, under former Ebbw Vale player Ian Richards, who was assisted by Pete Preece and Paul Rouse.
The clubs ambition was to give the Blaenau Gwent town Welsh League status again and began a U16 side in which Owain Caple-Davies began and to this day, he remains with the club as a player.
There’s family links with the involvement of Owain and Ebbw though as he was the grandson of Dai Coughlin who oversaw the good years and the bad years of Ebbw Vale FC.
It’s been tough for the club though as they’ve yet to reach the Gwent County League, despite going close on separate occasions but have found it hard with the quality of sides around them.
But Geoff Edwards, who donned the gloves after Ian Richards persuaded him to begin playing again saw him proved right on that decision after winning the North Gwent Premier Division. As well as winning the league title there, they’ve also been in Cup finals in the Gwent Area, as they try and bring back the glory days of Ebbw Vale.
In the present day though, it is Head Coach Ian Williams now tasked with the job of bringing succes to Ebbw Vale’s phoenix club Ebbw Vale Town AFC, as he aims to recapture the glory days of old.
Goalkeeper and club Chairman Geoff Edwards has set out a plan for the club under their new Head Coach but is aware of the hurdles that come their way.
“We’re hoping we can get this club back on the right track. We know it’s gonna be difficult but we’ll take one step at a time.
Our main aim is to get youngsters a chance of senior football with the experienced ones, also for players to enjoy their football, once you get this mixture, we know we’ll be on the right track.”
(Featured Image: Andy Dolman)