PyC first supported AFC Llwydcoed in 2020 when they wanted to build new spectator stands. With the arrival of the FAW League restructure for the 2020/21 season, the Club had to find sponsors and grants worth £75,000 to meet the FAWs criteria just to stay at the Tier 3 level they were already at. A lot of hard work and commitment saw the committee achieve these standards and were finally awarded with a place in the newly created FAW Ardal Southwest Division for season 2020/21 with the help of a small grant from Pen y Cymoedd.
Despite the lockdowns and impact that had, the club has gone from strength to strength and were working with others to put in place a 3 year development plan to help improve the performance of the club, both on and off the field.
The club has teams across a wide range of age groups which includes u6, u7, u8, u9, u11, u12, u14, u16, u19, a reserve and first team and recently developed senior ladies team this season. The club has built a much-deserved reputation for developing young talent across the area and high standards of coaching. The club has very close community ties with a strong partnership with Llwydcoed Community Centre based on Llwydcoed home pitch, where many activities and projects are promoted and delivered.
However, in 2022 they were shocked to find out that the size of their pitch and issues with drainage and access meant they would not meet FAW Tier 3 Club criteria. The club pulled together and started working with the local authority, FAW, Sport Wales and funders and what came from this was an urgent programme of works costing £205,000. The club officers have worked tirelessly over last 6 months with all these partners and have now secured £20,000 from Sport Wales, £20,000 from RCT CBC and some of their own funding and after carefully considering the proposal we have offered them £126,254.55
“In the short term, investment into the infrastructure would go far in assisting the club in maintaining its FAW Tier 3 Club Licence with the view to push onto a FAW Tier 2 Club Licence. Currently AFC Llwydcoed are one of a handful of clubs within the RCT county to hold an FAW Club Licence. The club has stated that they intend to develop the facility in the long run to make the playing surface more usable for the Juniors, Women’s, and Reserves sections of the club. This will improve accessibility and matchday experiences for fans, including those with disabilities, which is a necessity in today’s modern football. We are aware of the influence this club has on the community, and we love their enthusiasm, dedication, and energy for upholding and enhancing the club.” – Kate Breeze, Executive Director, Pen y Cymoedd
Cllr Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure, said:
“We are pleased AFC Llwydcoed has secured this funding and thank Pen Y Cymoedd and Sport Wales for its support. The club is a great example of the efforts taking place to develop young talent and provide exceptional grass-roots facilities and opportunities for all. We continue to support and develop this approach across the county borough via investment in indoor and outdoor facilities and the work of our Sport RCT and Leisure for Life teams.
We wish the club, its players and supporters all the very best. We congratulate them on the commitment they have shown and the effort they have made to protect and develop their future.
As well as the funding and support for the infrastructure work, the club have been overwhelmed with the support of their sponsors and other local clubs like Aberdare RFC who are going out of their way to support Llwydcoed with after match hospitality etc as they will not be able to use their facilities for at least a whole season.
Statement from Llwydcoed AFC:
“With the longstanding association AFC Llwydcoed has with Pen-y-Cymoedd, we as a club are extremely grateful for all the help and support we’ve received with a variety of projects completed over the last few years. However, more recently, we received the news that we had to make major improvements to the Welfare ground in order to meet the current Welsh FA licencing criteria, something that’s essential to ensure we protect our Welsh league status, and critical to the club’s continual growth & future aspirations. This recent award of £126k towards the total project costs has been vital, and with the remaining project costs now acquired, work is planned to start early February 2024.
Everyone associated with AFC Llwydcoed would like to thank Kate & her team at Pen-y-Cymoedd, for their continued help and support, and also Michelle Gibbs (R.C.T. Parks & Leisure), our loyal Sponsors & supporters, the people of Llwydcoed & of the wider communities, who without, none of this would be possible. We look forward to welcoming you ALL to new and improved facilities in the not too distant future.” – Ashley Lewis, Chair