Abergavenny Town

Founded: 2014 (formerly Govilon FC)

Ground: Pen-Y-Pound Stadium

Nickname: The Pennies

Manager: Ben Murphy

by Jordan Forster

Abergavenny Town boss Ben Murphy is delighted to be part of the FAW tier three leagues and believes “it’s an exciting time for Welsh football and for us as a club."

The Pennies will compete in the south east division - which includes Central Wales clubs Rhayader Town and Llandrindod Wells - and Murphy believes it will be a very competitive league with several ambitious clubs involved.

Long term followers of Welsh football may remember the name Abergavenny Thursdays, which was a founding member of the League of Wales. Although Town play at the same Pen-Y-Pound Stadium that Thursdays did and the clubs’ recent history is linked, they are different clubs with distinct identities. When Thursdays folded in 2013 after a decade of troubles, Town moved into Pen-Y-Pound and absorbed what remained of the old club.

Abergavenny Town’s heritage is through Govilon FC, a club that represented the village of the same name for over 100 years in district and regional football. Difficulties around the use and development of their village pitch for a higher level coincided with the demise of Thursdays and following the move to Abergavenny in 2014, the club assumed the mantle as the Monmouthshire town’s foremost football representatives for the 2014/15 campaign.

In their first season as Abergavenny Town, the Gwent County League title was won and Welsh League football was restored to the town for the first time in 13 years. The 2015/16 season brought further triumph when successive promotions were obtained after Town finished 2nd behind Pontypridd Town in Welsh Football League Division Three. Better still, Abergavenny won the FAW Trophy in the same season, defeating Sully Sports of the South Wales Alliance League 1-0 in the final held at Dragon Park in Newport.

After this promotion in 2016, The Pennies have remained at this level (tier 3) since, with a fifth placed finish in 2018/19 the club’s best ever.

Murphy became Town’s manager last December following a long association with Ynysddu Welfare of the Gwent Premier League, including 3 years as manager in which Murphy won a league and cup double - and promotion to Gwent’s top flight - in 2017/18 and in 2018/19 Ynysddu missed out on becoming Gwent champions by two points. After taking over at Abergavenny, Murphy steered The Pennies to 13th placed finish.

Although he believes Gwent clubs Caldicot Town and Goytre FC will be the favourites, Murphy is wary that Rhayader Town and Llandrindod Wells represent “unknown quantities” and awaits the new challenge they present.

“I’m sure when the fixtures come out every club will be looking for those two games,” he says. While Murphy is relishing those “away days” he also believes the travel commitment for both clubs will be as much of a test as anything on the playing field.

“I’ll be interested to see how the travelling to Gwent every other week affects them but I’m sure they will be coming into the league with high ambitions and we look forward to hosting them at Pen-Y-Pound.”