Guilsfield FC

Football has been played in Guilsfield since the early part of 1930’s but little is known of the teams of that era. A team was known to have played in the village at the end of World War 2. One game played was their version of an international when they played the local Italian prisoner of war camp side. One player of note from the early 50’s was Wyn Nicholls who later played for Newtown, Welshpool and gained Welsh Caps at under 18 level. He later signed professional forms for Wrexham.

The present club was formed on August 6th 1957. Mr Bill Laker and several other men folk of the village got together to form a local side, with seven or eight local lads playing for surrounding villages it was felt that the village needed to form a team of its own. The club entered the Montgomeryshire Amateur League and matches during this early period were played on local farmer’s fields and during the summer months the committee and players would help the farmer with his harvest to cover the ground rent for the season.

During the mid sixties the village doubled in size and the local Community Centre was built with room to accommodate a football pitch, which is where the club plays today. Throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s the team was almost all local players of a good standard but honours eluded the club except for the occasional runners-up in cup finals.

At the beginning of the 90’s a grandstand was built and the dressing rooms refurbished at a total cost of £34,000. By now the team was starting to show potential and the 1994/1995 season saw the club win the Montgomeryshire Amateur League, First Division. The club took advantage of the Welsh F.A. pyramid system, was promoted to the Mid Wales League and duly finished in a creditable 4th spot in our first season. The 2000/2001 Spar Mid Wales League campaign was brought to a premature conclusion following the foot and mouth crisis that broke out in mid February 2001. At the time of abandonment we were well placed in the league and fighting for promotion to the Cymru Alliance League. As a result of the merger of two existing Cymru Alliance League clubs (Llangefni Town and Glantraeth) an extra promotion slot was available and our application to join the league for 2001/2002 was accepted.

In our first two seasons we finished in 15th place. It was during our second season that Mike Barton was appointed as manager. Mike soon got to grips with the standard of football in the league and began to strengthen the side. This rebuilding led to Guilsfield finishing in sixth position in 2003/04.

The next league campaign saw us occupying a top half position throughout the campaign finally finishing in seventh spot. Our highest ever league position came four seasons ago and culminated with a 4-0 victory against Tywyn/Bryncrug in the Central Wales Challenge Cup Final. The 2006/07 season saw Guilsfield in a mid-table slot but disappointingly unable to retain the Central Wales Cup, losing to Llanfyllin Town in the final.

The 50th anniversary season (2007/08) of the club saw Guilsfield led by new manager Graham Evans. The players went on a great Welsh Cup run after defeating 3 Welsh Premier League clubs in Airbus UK, Connah’s Quay Nomads and Caernarfon Town en route to losing in the Quarter Final in front of 500 spectators to Bangor City. Our top scorer for the season, Tim Nunnerley was rewarded for a fabulous year by being named the League’s Player of the Year.

Mike Barton returned as manager in 2008/09 and we completed the season in 13th spot and met Welsh Premier League giants The New Saints in the Welsh Cup, being narrowly defeated 3-2. Unfortunately, we also suffered defeat in a penalty shoot-out in the League Cup semi final against Holyhead Hotspur.

Season 2009/10 was full of interest, with the focus on the FAW’s controversial plans for the re-structure of the Welsh Pyramid system. Our aim was to remain in this league but we struggled with our inconsistent play up until Christmas. However, the New Year brought a change in fortunes and the players put in a great League run in 2010 to secure our place in the Cymru Alliance League, despite ten clubs being relegated.

In the 2010/11 season, we gained our first piece of silverware at this level by winning the Huws Gray League Cup after a great performance to defeat Porthmadog in the final held at Cefn Druids FC. During the season, the team was led by current manager Russell Cadwallader.

Guilsfield managed to retain its league status and celebrated the official opening of its new floodlights to bring the facilities up to the level of the majority of the other member clubs.

The Huws Gray Alliance continues to go from strength to strength, now boasting a large number of ex- Welsh Premier League clubs battling for honours. At Guilsfield, our aim is to maintain our place in this tough league and we look forward to extending a warm welcome to all football supporters and clubs next season.

Huws Gray Alliance, JD Cymru North
2019, 2020