How European qualification is a sign of good times returning for Barry Town United
After securing European football on Saturday, the good times look set to return to Jenner Park.
Barry Town United qualified for the UEFA Europa League after beating Bala Town 5-2 at Maes Tegid on Saturday afternoon.
Having lost in the Europa League play-offs, the Jenner Park outfit have gone one better this season by qualifying automatically, meaning they won’t have to fight anymore for their place.
Different calibre of signings?
This could attract a different calibre of players to the club. Gavin Chesterfield has already utilised his contacts from his UEFA Pro Licence course for a key signing this season. Chesterfield worked alongside Newport County manager Michael Flynn when working towards the Licence and now County loanee Momodou Touray has flourished at Jenner Park.
Cardiff City and Swansea City could now be inclined to send their youngsters to Barry Town United. It worked well for Swansea City this season when Ben Cabango spent the first part of the season with the reigning champions The New Saints. He’s now being linked with a move
European football is now available to players in the South Wales area. This is a big advantage when negotiating any deals for players.
For the younger players released from professional clubs in Wales, Barry could be the platform to get back into professional football. Just look at Macauley Southam-Hales. The 22-year-old was released by Cardiff City but worked hard for 18 months with Barry Town United and is now back in the game with Fleetwood Town.
Even bigger crowds?
Barry Town United have the second highest crowds in the Welsh Premier League, averaging just under 500 a game. With European football at Jenner Park and possibly second to play for in the Welsh Premier League, crowds should spike after this success.
There is a small core of Barry support who will follow them home and away but now has been presented an opportunity for the club and the town to further their relationship and come together for their European campaign.
Just the beginning?
Barry Town United were considered title contenders in the last few months and that in itself has shown how far the club has come.
After battling through the Welsh Leagues to return to the Welsh Premier League, Barry are now considered in the same ilk as Connah’s Quay and The New Saints.
If Barry Town United were to pip Connah’s Quay to second place then they would not only have a European run to look forward to but also a number of games in Scotland.
Barry aren’t that far off a proper title challenge. The cream will rise to the top as proven this season with The New Saints set to record their eighth straight title win. However, Barry have been competitive in their meetings with The New Saints this season.
A squad that will continue to develop
You have to remember that this is a young Barry Town United team. It’s also one that has a lot of Welsh players, which has been great for the domestic game. A total of five Barry players were involved for the Wales C game with forward Kayne McLaggon on the scoresheet in that one.
McLaggon was one of the older heads in this Barry team who has given them the experience they’ve needed.
But the future is bright for Barry with the young players they have. Look at players such as Robbie Patten and Tom Fry who have come into the club and bought into the ethos.
The players continue to play for one another and the manager and it really could be the start of something. After Cardiff Metropolitan’s win of the League Cup, silverware is the next step for this proud club.
(Featured Image: Rhys Skinner)