Football Association of Wales
The Football Association of Wales is the governing body of association football in Wales. It is a member of FIFA, UEFA and the IFAB, the FAW was founded at a meeting held on 2 February 1876 at the Wynnstay Arms Hotel in Wrexham, initially to formalise the arrangements for the forthcoming match against Scotland. In May 1876, a meeting was called, this time in the ballroom of the Wynnstay Arms Hotel in Ruabon where the name Football Association of Wales was agreed. The arguments and discussions continued so long that the local policeman came in to call time, the meeting ended with Llewelyn Kenrick appointed as the first chairman and honorary secretary with John Hawley Edwards as first treasurer. Kenrick continued to serve the FAW until 1884, when he left, in 1897, when the FAW secretary was charged with fraud, Kenrick returned to guide the association through the crisis. He made the break a few months later over the minor issue of the allocation of gate money to Welsh Cup semi-finalists and finalists. The FAW is also responsible for all actions against players in teams associated with the FAW. This includes Welsh teams playing in the English football pyramid, superseding the English FA disciplinary system with the exception of Cardiff City, the FAW is based at Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff. It is governed by a council including nineteen councillors who are either elected, in 2012, chief executive Jonathan Ford claimed the FAW had an income of £14 million, funded from FIFA, UEFA, grants, sponsorship and TV revenue. All finances were spent on the development of the game. In 2013, Dragon Park, the Wales National Football Development Centre, Wales national football team List of football clubs in Wales Official website Wales at FIFA site Wales at UEFA site A Bibliography of Association Football in Wales
Robert John Page is a Welsh former professional footballer and manager, who now manages the Wales under-21 team. In an eighteen-year career in the Premier League and the Football League he made 550 competitive appearances for six different clubs and he both captained a team and scored a goal in all top four divisions of English football. He also gained 41 caps for Wales in an international career, captaining the side once. A defender, he began his career with Watford in 1993 and he went on to be voted the clubs Player of the Season in their 1999–2000 Premier League campaign. He was sold to Sheffield United for a £350,000 fee in September 2001 and he signed with Cardiff City in July 2004, before moving on to Coventry City in February 2005. He joined Huddersfield Town in January 2008, before moving on to Chesterfield in May 2008 and he worked as a coach at Port Vale for three years before he was appointed as manager, initially on a caretaker basis, in September 2014. In May 2016, he was appointed manager of Northampton Town on a three-year contract and he was appointed Wales under-21 manager two months later. Page started his career at Watford in 1993, having been with the club from the age of 11. He established himself as a key member of the first team under manager Kenny Jackett and his first major feat with the club came in the 1997–98 season, when new manager Graham Taylor appointed Page as captain and led the Hornets to the Second Division title. He made 49 appearances in league and cup competitions, and ensured the Hornets earned a point at second-place Bristol City in his final game of the season. As expected Watford were relegated at the end of their season in the Premier League. However Page did play in some memorable moments for the club, including a 1–0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield and he also scored against Sheffield Wednesday to win the club a point at Hillsborough. Page was also voted Watford Player of the Season and he remained with Watford for the 2000–01 campaign, making 42 appearances in league and cup competitions. In May 2001, in one of his first acts as manager, Gianluca Vialli transfer listed Page and he was loaned out to First Division rivals Sheffield United in August 2001, before moving to Bramall Lane permanently the next month for a £350,000 fee. He went on to make 45 appearances for the club in the 2001–02 campaign, the next season he captained the Blades to a third-place finish. He played in the clubs play-off semi-final victory over Nottingham Forest, neil Warnock also led the Blades to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and League Cup in 2003, where they were beaten by Arsenal and Liverpool respectively. He recovered from an injury to make 35 appearances in 2003–04. He moved to Championship rivals Cardiff City on a transfer in July 2004
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sports Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, footballers generally wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. Professional clubs also usually display players surnames or nicknames on their shirts, Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. The Laws of the Game set out the equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4. Five separate items are specified, shirt, shorts, socks, footwear, goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify that these are required, shirts must have sleeves, and goalkeepers must wear shirts which are easily distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts may be worn, but must be the colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered entirely by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, and provide a reasonable degree of protection. The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player. In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour. The England national team plays in red shirts even when it is not required. Many professional clubs also have a kit, ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the basic colour scheme for several decades. Teams representing countries in international competition generally wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation, shirts are normally made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed, competitions such as the Premier League may also require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. The captain of team is usually required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify him as the captain to the referee. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be either of leather or a synthetic material. Modern boots are cut slightly below the ankles, as opposed to the high-ankled boots used in former times, studs may be either moulded directly to the sole or be detachable, normally by means of a screw thread
FIFA U-20 World Cup
The Championship has been awarded every two years since the first tournament in 1977 held in Tunisia. In the nineteen tournaments held, only nine nations have won the title, argentina is the most successful team with six titles, followed by Brazil with five titles. Portugal and Serbia won two titles, while Ghana, Germany, Spain, France and Russia have won the title once each. A corresponding event for teams, the FIFA U-20 Womens World Cup, began in 2002 with the name FIFA U-19 Womens World Championship. FIFA Coca-Cola Cup until 1997, features 24 teams in the final tournament,23 countries, including the defending champions, have to qualify in the six confederations Youth Championships. Key, a. e. t. – after extra time PSO – match won on penalty shootout Below are the 34 nations that have reached at least the semifinal in the U-20 World Cup finals. All continental confederations except for the OFC have made an appearance in the match of the tournament. To date, CONMEBOL leads with eleven titles, followed by UEFA with eight titles, teams from the AFC and CONCACAF have made the tournament final three times, but were defeated by CONMEBOL or UEFA sides. No current OFC member has made the semifinals. Australia reached the semifinals as an OFC member in 1993, finishing fourth,1 =1 as Yugoslavia 2 = as part of OFC. The Adidas Golden Ball award is awarded to the player who plays the most outstanding football during the tournament and it is selected by the media poll. Since the 2007 tournament, those who finish as runners-up in the vote receive the Silver Ball and Bronze Ball awards as the second, the Adidas Golden Shoe is awarded to the topscorer of the tournament. If more than one players are equal by same goals, the players will be selected based by the most assists during the tournament, the Golden Glove Award is awarded to the best goalkeeper of the tournament. FIFA Fair Play Award is given to the team who has the best fair play record during the tournament with the set by FIFA Fair Play Committee. Most World Cup appearances 18, Brazil, most consecutive finals tournaments 15, Brazil
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon. The country lies within the temperate zone and has a changeable. Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Llywelyn ap Gruffudds death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of Englands conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism, Welsh national feeling grew over the century, Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, two-thirds of the population live in south Wales, mainly in and around Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, and in the nearby valleys. Now that the countrys traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales economy depends on the sector, light and service industries. Wales 2010 gross value added was £45.5 billion, over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the land of song, Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Celtic Britons in particular, the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, and Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales and these words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning fellow-countrymen. The use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, in particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage, culture, and language to the Welsh. The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century and it is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh, until c.1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of names, Cambrian, Cambric and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh
Wales national football team
The Wales national football team represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales, the body for football in Wales. During their history, Wales have qualified for two international tournaments. They reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 FIFA World Cup and they reached the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2016 after beating Belgium in the quarter-final match on 1 July 2016. This was, therefore, the first time that Wales had reached the semi-final of a major tournament, Wales also progressed through UEFA Euro 1976 qualifying to the quarter-final, which was played on a home and away leg basis but they did not feature in the finals tournament. At all levels including the teams the Welsh national team draws players primarily from clubs in the English football league system. The main professional Welsh clubs play in the English leagues, with some full-time and part-time professional clubs playing in the Welsh football league system. Wales played its first competitive match on 25 March 1876 against Scotland in Glasgow, Scotland took the spoils winning 2–0. Wales first match against England came in 1879 – a 2–1 defeat at the Kennington Oval, London and in 1882 Wales faced Ireland for the first time, the associations of the four Home Nations met in Manchester on 6 December 1882 to set down a set of worldwide rules. This meeting saw the establishment of the International Football Association Board to approve changes to the rules, the 1883–84 season saw the formation of the British Home Championship, a tournament which was played annually between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, until 1983–84. Wales were champions on 12 occasions, winning seven times whilst sharing the title five times. As a result, Wales did not enter the first three World Cups, in 1932 Wales played host to the Republic of Ireland, the first time they played against a side from outside the four home nations. A year later, Wales played a match outside the United Kingdom for the first time when they travelled to Paris to take on France in a match which was drawn 1–1. The top two teams were to qualify for the finals in Brazil, but Wales finished bottom of the group. The 1950s were an age for Welsh football with stars such as Ivor Allchurch, Cliff Jones, Alf Sherwood, Jack Kelsey, Trevor Ford, Ronnie Burgess, Terry Medwin. Wales made its only World Cup finals tournament appearance in the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, however, their path to qualification was unusual. In the Asian/African qualifying zone Egypt and Sudan had refused to play against Israel following the Suez crisis, as a result, FIFA proclaimed Israel winners of their respective group. However, FIFA did not want a team to qualify for the World Cup finals without actually playing a match and so lots were drawn of all the second placed teams in UEFA
Harry Wilson (footballer, born 1997)
Harry Wilson is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Liverpool. In October 2013 Wilson became the youngest ever player to play for Wales, at the age of 16 years and 207 days and he also became Liverpools youngest ever international. Born in Wrexham, he was schooled at Ysgol Dinas Brân in Llangollen, Wilson first signed to Liverpool as a member of the U9s squad. Aged 15 he became a member of the Liverpool Academy squad. During the 2012–13 campaign, Wilson featured for the U18s and was a face in the U16 side. For the beginning of the season, he was promoted to the U18s full-time. In 2014 Wilson was joint top scorer with fellow Liverpool youngster Sheyi Ojo at the Ajax Future Cup, in July 2014 he signed his first professional contract with the club. He competed in the 2014–15 UEFA Youth League in which Liverpool reached the last 16, on 11 July 2015, Wilson was named in Liverpools 30-man squad for their pre-season tour of Thailand, Australia and Malaysia. On 16 August he was crowned best forward of the 2015 PSV Otten Cup, on 26 August 2015, Wilson joined League One side Crewe Alexandra on youth loan deal for four months until 5 January 2016. He made his debut against Millwall as a 67th-minute substitute for David Fox in a 1–3 loss at Gresty Road on 12 September, Wilson was recalled from his loan spell on 1 December. On 28 July 2016, Wilson signed a new contract with Liverpool and he made his first team debut for the club on 18 January 2017, in a 1-0 win over Plymouth Argyle in an FA Cup third round replay. An unused substitute in a 1–0 victory over Macedonia on 11 October, Wilson made his debut four days later against Belgium, upon making this appearance he became the youngest ever player to play for Wales, beating the previous record holder Gareth Bale by 108 days. He was praised by Coleman, who said Now he has had a taste of it, that cements his future with Wales for the next 10 or 15 years. Wilsons maternal grandfather Peter Edwards earned around £125,000 after placing a £50 bet with William Hill on his becoming an international footballer. In June 2015 Wilson again joined up with the senior Welsh squad for a training camp in Cardiff. On 20 March 2017, he replaced Tom Lawrence in the Wales squad for the match against Republic of Ireland due to injury, as of match played 18 January 2017. As of match played 15 October 2013, Liverpool Academy profile Harry Wilson at Soccerbase Harry Wilson at Soccerway
Goalkeeper (association football)
Goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport, the goalkeepers primary role is to prevent the opposing team from successfully moving the ball over the defended goal-line. This is accomplished by the moving into the path of the ball. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, goalkeepers usually perform goal kicks, and also give commands to their defence during corner kicks, direct and indirect free kicks, and marking. Goalkeepers play an important role in directing on field strategy as they have a view of the entire pitch. If an attacker on the opposing team obstructs the keeper from catching or saving the ball, for example, in a corner, it will normally be a free kick. If a goalkeeper is injured or sent off, a goalkeeper has to take their place. In order to replace a goalkeeper who is sent off, a team usually substitutes an outfield player for the backup keeper and they then play the remainder of the match with nine outfield players. Goalkeepers often have longer playing careers than players, many not retiring until their late thirties or early forties. This can be explained by noting that goalkeepers play a physically demanding position that requires significantly less running. For example, Peter Shilton played for 31 years between 1966 and 1997 before retiring at the age of 47. Because only one player can play in goal and the position is so specialised many professional teams on average especially at the highest level have one player as first-choice for many years, for example Gianlugi Buffon has played as first choice keeper for Juventus for more than 15 years. Petr Cech prior to his move to Aresnal was first choice keeper for Chelsea between 2004 and 2015, the squad number for a first choice goalkeeper is generally number 1. Although this is common, some goalkeepers now wear other numbers when in goal, association football, like many sports, has experienced many changes in tactics resulting in the generation and elimination of different positions. Goalkeeper is the position that is certain to have existed since the codification of the sport. The earliest account of football teams with player positions comes from Richard Mulcaster in 1581, the earliest specific reference to keeping goal comes from Cornish Hurling in 1602. One of these is appointed by lots, to the one side, there is assigned for their guard, a couple of their best stopping Hurlers. Other references to scoring goals begin in English literature in the early 16th century, for example, in John Days play The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, Ill play a gole at camp-ball
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, Lloegr, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
Tranmere Rovers F.C.
Tranmere Rovers Football Club is a professional association football club founded in 1884, and based in Birkenhead, Wirral, England. Originally known as Belmont Football Club, they adopted their current name in 1885. They were a member of Division Three North in 1921, and were a member of The Football League until 2015, when they were relegated to the National League. During the 1980s, they were beset by problems and, in 1987. Under Kings successor, John Aldridge, Tranmere experienced a number of cup runs, other cup runs include reaching FA Cup quarter-finals in 2000,2001 and 2004. Tranmeres regular kit is a strip with blue trim, their main colours since 1962. The club moved to its current home, Prenton Park, in 1912, in 1995, the ground had a major redevelopment in response to the Taylor Report. It now seats 16,567 in four stands, the Main Stand, the Kop, the Johnny King Stand, Tranmere Rovers were, initially, formed as Belmont Football Club when the football arms of two cricket clubs – Lyndhurst Wanderers and Belmont – came together in 1884. On 15 November 1884, they won their first game 4–0 against Brunswick Rovers and this was a friendly match, as there were no leagues until 1888. Under the presidency of James McGaul, the team had an inaugural season. An unrelated, disbanded side had played under the name Tranmere Rovers Cricket Club in 1881–82, on 16 September 1885, before their second season began, Belmont F. C. adopted this name Tranmere Rovers. Tranmere played their first matches at Steeles Field in Birkenhead, in 1887, they bought Ravenshaws Field from Tranmere Rugby Club. In 1895, their ground was renamed Prenton Park, although it was 25 years later that the team moved into the current stadium of the same name, Tranmere first wore a kit of blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks. In 1889 they adopted orange and maroon shirts, but in 1904 returned to wearing their original kit, in 1886, Tranmere entered their first competition, the Liverpool and District Challenge Cup, in 1889, they entered the West Lancashire League. They joined the Combination, a stronger league, in 1897. Tranmere won the Lancashire Combination Championship in 1914 and Stan Rowlands became the first Tranmere player to receive a cap when he was selected to play for Wales. Rovers continued to play throughout the First World War, although their players were criticised for avoiding military service, following the expulsion of Leeds City Reserves in 1919, Tranmere were able to enter the Central League. Their timing was excellent as the season, four Central League clubs – including Tranmere – were invited to join the new Division Three North
Swansea City A.F.C.
Swansea City Association Football Club is a Welsh professional football club based in Swansea, Wales, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. Swansea City represent England when playing in European competitions, although they have represented Wales in the past, the club was founded in 1912 as Swansea Town and joined the Football League in 1921. The club changed their name in 1969, when adopted the name Swansea City to reflect Swanseas new status as a city. Swansea have played their matches at the Liberty Stadium since 2005. In 1981, the club was promoted to the original Football League First Division and it was during the following season they came close to winning the league title, but a decline then set near the seasons end before finishing sixth, although a club record. The clubs subsequent climb from the division of English football to the top division is chronicled in the 2014 film. In 2011, Swansea were promoted to the Premier League, following the lead of many other South Wales sides, joined the second division of the Southern League for the following season. J. W. Thorpe was the clubs first chairman, a site owned by Swansea Gaslight Co. called Vetch Field due to the vegetables that grew there, was rented to be the clubs ground. The clubs first professional match was a 1–1 draw at the Vetch Field against Cardiff City on 7 September 1912. During that first season the Welsh Cup was won for the first time, before the game Bradshaw had scored with thirty-six consecutive spot kicks. Remarkably, the Swans played most of the half with ten men. The Swans drew at another First Division side, Newcastle United, in the next round, following the First World War the Southern League dropped its second division, and with many clubs dropping out due to financial difficulties, the Swans were placed in the first division. After just four seasons in the Southern League, Swansea Town became founder members of the new Third Division of The Football League in 1920, the side had remained unbeaten at home in the league all season – something the next promotion team would emulate over twenty years later. Sadly for the Swans, an experienced Bolton side won the game 3–0, Swans record their highest average attendance during the season of 16,118 for pre-war league games. During the 1926–27 season they beat Real Madrid 3–0 on tour, during the 1931–32 season they finished 1st and went out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. However they won the Welsh Cup after beating Wrexham 2–0 away after a replay and it was not until the 1933–34 season that Wilfred Milne scored his first goal for Swansea at Lincoln City after 501 appearances without a goal. After just one back from wartime football, the Swans finished 21st in the Second Division. The following season was one of consolidation, however in 1948–1949 the Swans stormed their way to winning the division for the second time
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders, centre-back, sweeper, full-back, the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations, a centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, and tries to prevent opposing players, particularly centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, tackling, intercepting passes, contesting headers, with the ball, centre-backs are generally expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defenders goal, during normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions, in the modern game, most teams employ two or three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper. The 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, and 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs, the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who sweeps up the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents. Because of this, it is referred to as libero. For example, the system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s. The more modern libero possesses the qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack. This variation on the position requires great pace and fitness, while rarely seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack, some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles. If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery, in modern football, its usage has been fairly restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a highly respected. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greeces manager, Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greeces sweeper to great success, as Greece surprisingly became European champions. The full-backs take up the wide positions and traditionally stayed in defence at all times
Cardiff City F.C.
Cardiff City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Cardiff, Wales that competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1899 as Riverside A. F. C. before changing its name to Cardiff City in 1908 and they play their home games at the Cardiff City Stadium, after moving from Ninian Park in 2009. The club reverted to their traditional blue in January 2015 and they have long-standing rivalries with nearby clubs Swansea City, known as the South Wales derby, and Bristol City, known as the Severnside derby. The club was founded in 1899 as Riverside A. F. C and their first season saw them playing friendlies against local sides at their Sophia Gardens ground, but in 1900 they joined the Cardiff & District League for their first competitive season. To combat this they arranged to join the South Wales Amateur League in 1907, with the club growing in stature, they were forced to turn down the opportunity to join the newly formed Southern League Second Division due to the lack of facilities at their Sophia Gardens ground. The club eventually secured land to build their own stadium, moving into Ninian Park, the club made its first signing the following year with the acquisition of Jack Evans from fellow Welsh club Cwmparc. With the new ground in place, Cardiff joined the Southern League Second Division, and appointed their first manager in Davy McDougall, who became player-manager. They went on to finish in place in their first year in the league but the board decided to replace McDougall with Fred Stewart. In 1920, the club submitted an application to join the Football League and were placed into the Second Division for the 1920–21 season. Stewart brought in players with Football League experience, breaking the clubs transfer record on two occasions to sign Jimmy Gill and later Jimmy Blair from The Wednesday. In the 74th minute, after collecting a throw George MacLachlan, dan Lewis, the Arsenal goalkeeper, appeared to collect the ball but, under pressure from the advancing Len Davies, clumsily allowed the ball to roll through his grasp. In a further attempt to retrieve the ball Lewis only succeeded in knocking the ball with his elbow into his own net, captain Fred Keenor received the FA Cup trophy from King George V only seven years after Cardiff City had entered the Football League. However, he was unable to turn the fortunes around by the end of the season. McCandless left the club soon after and was replaced by Cyril Spiers who led the club to promotion the in 1951–52 season, however, despite spending five seasons in the First Division, the club continually struggled in the bottom half of the table and were eventually relegated in 1957. They returned to the First Division for two seasons between 1960 and 1962 before again suffering relegation, during the 1960s, Cardiff began qualifying for European competition for the first time as a result of winning the Welsh Cup. They went on to reach the quarter-finals before being knocked out by Real Zaragoza, despite their exploits in Europe, the club were still struggling in league competition under the stewardship of Jimmy Scoular, finishing in 20th position in the Second Division. After a 1–1 draw in the first leg, just over 43,000 fans turned out at Ninian Park to watch Hamburg win 3–2, during the 1970–71 season, Cardiff reached the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup where they faced Spanish side Real Madrid. The first leg of the tie was held at Ninian Park where 47,000 fans watched one of the most famous victories in the history when Brian Clark headed in to give Cardiff a 1–0 win
Coventry City F.C.
Coventry City Football Club is a professional football club in Coventry, West Midlands, England, which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. Coventry City formed as Singers F. C. in 1883 and they won their only major trophy in 1987 when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 3–2 to win the FA Cup. They are one of five clubs to have ever won the FA Cup and FA Youth Cup in the same season. They returned to Wembley in April 2017, beating Oxford United 2-1 to win the English Football League Trophy. Following eleven seasons in the second-tier Football League Championship, Coventry were relegated to Football League One in 2012, Coventry have qualified for European competitions twice. In the 1970–71 season, they competed in the European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, despite beating Bayern Munich 2–1 in their home leg, they had lost 1–6 in the first leg in Munich to go out of the competition. They were unable to compete in the 1987–88 UEFA Cup Winners Cup due to the ban on English clubs at that time, from 1899 to 2005, Coventry City played at Highfield Road. A return to the Ricoh Arena was announced on 21 August 2014 by the club after a one-year absence,1883 – The club is founded by employees of Singer, the cycle firm, with William Stanley one of the leading lights. 1898 – The clubs name is changed from Singers F. C. to Coventry City,1899 – The club move to Highfield Road following stints at Dowells Field and Stoke Road. 1901 – The club suffer their worst ever defeat with an 11–2 loss against Worcester-based Berwick Rangers in the round of the FA Cup. 1919 – The club are voted into the Football League, where they have remained ever since,1928 – In February, and with Coventry struggling near the foot of Division Three South, the clubs worst ever attendance is recorded. Only 2,059 turn up for the match against Crystal Palace,1932 – Centre-forward Clarrie Bourton heads the Football League scoring lists with 49 goals. The following season he scored 40 goals,1934 – City record their biggest ever victory a 9–0 league drubbing of Bristol City. 1936 – Coventry City win the Third Division South championship after a final day 2–1 victory over Torquay United. 1958 – Goalkeeper Alf Wood becomes the oldest player to start a game for the club and he played against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup aged 43 years and 207 days. 1961 – Former Fulham player and PFA chairman Jimmy Hill is appointed following an embarrassing FA Cup defeat at home to non-league Kings Lynn. 1964 – Jimmy Hill guides Coventry to promotion from Division Three as champions after a final day 1–0 victory over Colchester United,1967 – Coventry City promoted as Second Division champions to the top flight for the first time in their history. This made manager and BBC Sport presenter Jimmy Hill a legend at the club, Coventrys record attendance was also set in this year – officially recorded as 51,455, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the team that finished a close second to Coventry at the top of the table
Chelsea Football Club is an English professional football club based in Fulham, London, that competes in the Premier League. Founded in 1905, the home ground since then has been Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had their first major success in 1955, when they won the league championship and they then won various cup competitions between 1965 and 1996. The clubs greatest period of success has come during the last two decades, winning 21 trophies since 1997. Chelsea are the only London club to win the UEFA Champions League, and one of four clubs, Chelseas regular kit colours are royal blue shirts and shorts with white socks. The clubs crest has changed several times in attempts to re-brand the club. The current crest, featuring a lion rampant regardant holding a staff, is a modification of the one introduced in the early 1950s. The club have the sixth-highest average all-time attendance in English football and their average home gate for the 2015–16 season was 41,500, the seventh highest in the Premier League. Since 2003, Chelsea have been owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, in 2016, they were ranked by Forbes magazine as the seventh most valuable football club in the world, at £1.15 billion. In 1904, Gus Mears acquired the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium with the aim of turning it into a football ground, an offer to lease it to nearby Fulham was turned down, so Mears opted to found his own club to use the stadium. Chelsea were founded on 10 March 1905 at The Rising Sun pub, opposite the main entrance to the ground on Fulham Road. The club won promotion to the First Division in their second season and they reached the 1915 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Sheffield United at Old Trafford, and finished third in the First Division in 1920, the clubs best league campaign to that point. Chelsea attracted large crowds and had a reputation for signing big-name players, former Arsenal and England centre-forward Ted Drake became manager in 1952 and proceeded to modernise the club. The following season saw UEFA create the European Champions Cup, but after objections from The Football League, Chelsea failed to build on this success, and spent the remainder of the 1950s in mid-table. Drake was dismissed in 1961 and replaced by player-coach Tommy Docherty, Docherty built a new team around the group of talented young players emerging from the clubs youth set-up and Chelsea challenged for honours throughout the 1960s, enduring several near-misses. They were on course for a treble of League, FA Cup and League Cup going into the stages of the 1964–65 season, winning the League Cup. In three seasons the side were beaten in three major semi-finals and were FA Cup runners-up, under Dochertys successor, Dave Sexton, Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1970, beating Leeds United 2–1 in a final replay. Chelsea took their first European honour, a UEFA Cup Winners Cup triumph, the year, with another replayed win
Brentford Football Club is a professional association football club based in Brentford, Greater London, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. It was founded on 10 October 1889 and plays its games at Griffin Park, its home stadium since 1904. Brentfords most successful spell came during the 1930s, when it achieved consecutive top six finishes in the First Division, Brentford have been FA Cup quarter-finalists on four occasions, and have been runners-up of the Football League Trophy on three occasions. As a result of a vote, by eight votes to five, taken six days later, the very first fixture, between Brentford FC and Kew FC, was on 23 November 1889. Due to ownership of the land changing hands, Brentford FC was on the lookout for a new ground after only 30 months, in October 1892, Benns Field – land behind The Plough PH Little Ealing Lane – in Little Ealing, was the clubs new home. The football club decided to move nearer to Brentford and in December 1894 it moved to Shotters Field – what is now Gunnersbury School, The Ride – and stayed there until April 1898. As the club grew, therefore entertaining larger crowds, a move to a ground with the chance of improving better spectator facilities, with under cover enclosures and changing rooms, was looked for. Boston Park Cricket Ground, in York Road, Brentford – what is now land along the east side of Ealing Road, finally, in January 1904, the club agreed a 21-year lease on an orchard, once owned by Chiswick brewers Fuller, Smith and Turner. The clearance of the orchard, over 200 trees, and the levelling of the land took several months, in August 1904 trial matches were played on the pitch. Then the first competitive match was played, a team game in the Western League v Plymouth Argyle. On 7 September 1904, Brentford and West Ham United played out a 0–0 draw, in the Southern League First Division, in 1920 it was a founder member of the Football League Third Division. In 1921–22, the Football League Third Division was regionalised and Brentford FC was placed in the Southern section, during the late 1920s and 1930s, the club began to make real progress. In the 1929–30 season, the side won all 21 of its matches in the Third Division South. It is the last of six teams in English football to amass a perfect record. After several more near-misses, promotion to the Second Division was finally achieved in 1932–33, Two years later, Brentford reached the First Division and finished 5th in its debut season – which is still the clubs highest ever league position – to complete a remarkable rise for the club. Under manager Harry Curtis and captain Arthur Bateman, Brentford achieved more impressive placings in the league for the rest of the decade before the Second World War interrupted. During the war, Brentford competed in the London War Cup, the club was relegated in the first season after the war, and a downward spiral set in, which culminated in relegation to the Third Division in 1953–54 and the Fourth Division in 1961–62
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their teams defenders and forwards, some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being mobile and efficient in passing, they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the teams formation, most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing teams attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who typically travel the greatest distance during a match, central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided roughly equally between attack and defence. When the opposing team has the ball, a midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward. The 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders, the 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, and in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder. The term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who have abilities and are skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots. A good box-to-box midfielder needs good passing, vision, control, stamina, tackling and marking in defence, left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch. They may be asked to cross the ball into the penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1, a notable example of a right midfielder is David Beckham. Defensive midfielders are players who focus on protecting their teams goal. These players may defend a zone in front of their teams defence, defensive midfielders may also move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude, The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someones position, great. A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of play, marking, tackling, interceptions, passing and great stamina. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their teams defence, a player in this role will try to protect their goal by disrupting the opponents attacking moves and stopping long shots on the goal. The holding midfielder may also have responsibilities when their team has the ball and this player will make mostly short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the teams strategy
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups,5 League Cups, the club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup. The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players, in 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles,5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, José Mourinho is the clubs current manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2016. As of June 2015, it is the worlds most valuable football brand and it is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. In August 2012, Manchester United made a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club holds several rivalries, most notably with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United, Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. By 1888, the club had become a member of The Combination. Following the leagues dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance and this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the LYR from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division, in January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2017 – the club was served with a winding-up order. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield, Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000, in the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947,1948 and 1949, in 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the title winning side of 1956 were labelled the Busby Babes by the media. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season
Watford Football Club is a professional football club based in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the highest level in the English football league system. Founded in 1881 as Watford Rovers, the club entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1886, after finishing the 1914–15 season as Southern League champions under the management of Harry Kent, Watford joined the Football League in 1920. The club played at grounds in its early history, before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922. Watford spent most of the half century in the lower divisions of The Football League, changing colours. England manager Graham Taylors tenure at the club saw Watford scale new heights, between Taylors appointment in 1977 and departure in 1987, Watford rose from the Fourth Division to the First Division. The team finished second in the First Division in the 1982–83 season, competed in the UEFA Cup in 1983–84, the club experienced a further one season stint in the top division of English football during the 2006–07 season, under Aidy Boothroyds management. After eight years, Watford are again competing in the Premier League 2015–16 season, Watford is currently owned by the Pozzo family, which also owns Udinese Calcio in Italy and previously Granada CF in Spain. Watford Rovers was formed in 1881 by Henry Groverand, who went on to play for the club as a full-back, Rovers, originally composed entirely of amateur players, held home games at several locations in the town of Watford. The team first competed in the FA Cup in the 1886–87 season, the team became the football section of West Hertfordshire Sports Club in 1890, and consequently moved to a ground on Cassio Road. Renamed as West Hertfordshire in 1893, Rovers joined the Southern Football League in 1896, West Hertfordshire merged with local rivals Watford St. Marys in 1898, the merged team was named Watford Football Club. Following relegation to the Southern League Second Division in 1903, Watford appointed its first manager – former England international and he led Watford to promotion, and kept the team in the division until his departure in 1910. Despite financial constraints, Watford won the Southern League title in the 1914–15 season under his successor, there was a re-election system in place which meant the bottom two teams in each of the two divisions had to apply for re-election to the league. Watford finished outside the top six positions in every season between 1922 and 1934. The Football League was suspended in 1939 due to the Second World War, Football resumed in 1946, with Watford still in the Third Division South. Ron Burgess replaced McBain during that season, and in the following campaign Burgess presided over Watfords first Football League promotion and this team included Fourth Division top scorer Cliff Holton, who scored a club record 42 league goals in the season. Holton was sold to Northampton the following year after another 34 goals, eighteen-year-old Northern Irish goalkeeper Pat Jennings also featured under McGarry, and made his international debut despite being a Third Division player. Furphys rebuilding came to fruition in 1969 with the signing of Barry Endean, Watford secured the Third Division title in April, at home to Plymouth Argyle. A year later Watford reached the FA Cup semi-final for the first time, defeating First Division teams Stoke City, hampered by a lack of funds, however, Furphy eventually joined Blackburn Rovers, to be succeeded by George Kirby
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing teams goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players, modern team formations generally include one to three forwards, for example, the common 4–2–3–1 formation includes one forward. Unconventional formations may include more than three forwards, or none, the centre-forward is often a tall player, typically known as a target man, whose main function is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the strikers or central attacking midfielders. The present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder, a centre-forward usually must be strong, to win key headers and outmuscle defenders. The term centre-forward is taken from the football playing formation in which there were five forward players. The number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. Strikers are known for their ability to peel off defenders and to run into space via the side of the defender and to receive the ball in a good goalscoring position. They are typically fast players with ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short burst speed, a good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, and have the ability to pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. Deep-lying forwards have a history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years. Originally such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards, in fact, a coined term, the nine-and-a-half, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. In Italy, this role is known as a rifinitore or seconda punta, whereas in Brazil, it is known as segundo atacante. An outside forward plays as the forward on the right or left wing – as an outside right or outside left. As football tactics have largely developed, and wingers have dropped back to become midfielders, many commentators and football analysts still refer to the wing positions as outside right and outside left. However, in the British game they are counted as part of the midfield. It is a duty to beat opposing full-backs, deliver cut-backs or crosses from wide positions and, to a lesser extent, to beat defenders. They are usually some of the quickest players in the team, in their Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese usage, the defensive duties of the winger have been usually confined to pressing the opposition fullbacks when they have the ball
Everton F. C. /ˈɛvərtən/ is a football club in Liverpool, England, that currently competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club have competed in the top division for a record 114 seasons and won the League Championship nine times, formed in 1878, Everton were founding members of The Football League in 1888 and won their first League Championship two seasons later. The mid-1980s represented their most recent period of sustained success, with two League Championships, an FA Cup, and the 1985 European Cup Winners Cup, the clubs most recent major trophy was the 1995 FA Cup. The clubs supporters are known as Evertonians, Everton have a rivalry with neighbours Liverpool, and the two sides contest the Merseyside derby. The club have been based at Goodison Park in Walton, Liverpool, since 1892, the clubs home colours are royal blue shirts with white shorts and socks. Everton were founded as St Domingos in 1878 so that people from the parish of St Domingos Methodist Church Everton could play year round — cricket was played in summer. The clubs first game was a 1–0 victory over Everton Church Club, the club was renamed Everton in November 1879 after the local area, as people outside the parish wished to participate. The club was a member of the Football League in 1888–89. Everton won the FA Cup for the first time in 1906, the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 interrupted the football programme while Everton were champions, which was something that would again occur in 1939. It was not until 1927 that Evertons first sustained period of success began, in 1925 the club signed Dixie Dean from Tranmere Rovers. In 1927–28, Dean set the record for league goals in a single season with 60 goals in 39 league games. He helped Everton win their third League Championship that season, however, Everton were relegated to the Second Division two years later during internal turmoil at the club. The club quickly rebounded and was promoted at the first attempt, on return to the top flight in 1931–32, Everton wasted no time in reaffirming their status and won a fourth League Championship at the first opportunity. Everton also won their second FA Cup in 1933 with a 3–0 win against Manchester City in the final, the era ended in 1938–39 with a fifth League Championship. Everton were relegated for the time in 1950–51 and did not earn promotion until 1953–54. The club have been a top-flight presence ever since, Evertons second successful era started when Harry Catterick was made manager in 1961. In 1962–63, his season in charge, Everton won the League Championship. In 1966 the club won the FA Cup with a 3–2 win over Sheffield Wednesday, Everton again reached the final in 1968, but this time were unable to overcome West Bromwich Albion at Wembley
West Bromwich Albion F.C.
The club was formed in 1878 and has played at its home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Albion were one of the members of the Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football. They have been champions of England once, in 1919–20 and have been runners-up twice but they have had success in the FA Cup. The first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, and they also won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966. The clubs longest consecutive period in the top division spanned twenty-four years between 1949 and 1973, and from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest ever spell out of the top division and they currently play in the Premier League. The team has played in blue and white stripes for most of the clubs history. The club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salters Spring Works in West Bromwich, the club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup. They reached the quarter-finals, beating several longer-established clubs on the way, in 1883, Albion won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the year, this enabled them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season. In 1885 the club turned professional, and in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time and they reached the final again in 1887, but lost 2–0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, as FA Cup winners, they qualified to play in a Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat. Thus when the Football League started later that year, Albion became one of the founder members. Albions second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0 and they met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in 1900–01, their first season at The Hawthorns and they were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, and the season reached another FA Cup Final. Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the time in their history following the end of World War I. The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, in 1930–31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup, beating Birmingham 2–1 in the final. The Double of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved before or since, Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later
Dragon Park is the Wales National Football Development Centre in the city of Newport, South Wales. The centre is located at the Newport International Sports Village, Lliswerry in the east of Newport near Newport Stadium and it was officially opened 20 April 2013 by Michel Platini, President of UEFA. The £5M complex was a joint venture between UEFA, the Football Association of Wales, Sport Wales and Newport City Council, the Centre is intended to develop the Wales under-21, Wales womens and younger age-group squads. The centre includes two pitches and one artificial turf pitch. The centre also provides headquarters for the Welsh Football Trust, the development body, with analysis suites, sports science laboratories
Cardiff City Stadium
The Cardiff City Stadium is a football stadium in the Leckwith area of Cardiff, Wales. It is the home of Cardiff City Football Club and the Wales national football team. Following expansion of the Ninian Stand in July 2014, the now officially holds 33,280 supporters - meaning that it is the 24th largest stadium in the United Kingdom in terms of capacity. The stadium replaced Ninian Park as Cardiff Citys home ground in 2009 and it also hosted the home matches of the Cardiff Blues rugby union team until the 2011–12 season, although originally the Blues had a lease until 2029. After the Millennium Stadium, it is the second largest stadium in Cardiff, the stadium is part of the Leckwith development, which also includes the Cardiff International Sports Stadium. A branded sponsor name will be assigned as and when the rights are sold. The stadium was opened on 22 July 2009, with Cardiff City playing a friendly match against Celtic. The stadium was built on the site of the former Cardiff Athletics Stadium, in November 2002 the club and Cardiff Council signed an outline agreement for the development, subject to later agreement for outline planning permission. This was increased in light of Cardiff Citys promotion to the Championship in May 2003 with local fears over traffic, on 9 September 2003 the Welsh Assembly gave approval to the plan. In April 2004, Cardiff Council gave the first phase covering the stadium with a capacity of 30,000 seats, on 1 March 2005 the club delayed the development until at least July 2005. After a 1–0 home loss to Sheffield United and a mobbing by fans, on 6 March 2005 Hammam apologised to fans, on 31 January 2006 the developers secured Asda as the lead retailer of the new development, which enabled the final funding of the stadium to start. This allowed the council timetable to extend by four months to September 2006, on 24 October 2006 Laing ORouke won the contract to develop the 30,000 seat stadium, which Ridsdale stated would be ready for December 2008. In March 2007, the plans were altered to allow construction to begin as soon as possible. The former chairman of Cardiff City, Steve Borley, said in March 2008 that We are working to raise the capacity, the task is to raise that even further, and we believe it could be almost 28,000 when the stadium opens. When work finally commenced Peter Ridsdale stated that he expected the stadium to be ready by Christmas 2008, although some believe this slight delay was caused by Cardiff Citys ongoing legal action with Langston, it was actually caused by unexpectedly poor weather during the summer of 2007. Land clearance started on 21 February 2007, while on 9 May, final finances were put in place for Laing ORourke to bring equipment on site and start construction. Developers and contractors The lead developer was PMG Developments, a Cardiff-based property developer led by Cardiff City director Paul Guy, cowlin was picked as the preferred contractor for the new athletic stadium. Required analysis of soil and water for the site was performed by TES Bretby, schedule Leckwith Road was widened to a dual carriageway over 18 months, with the scheme allowing for an extra access lane to become available on matchdays
Anfield is a football stadium in Anfield, Liverpool, England which has a seating capacity of 54,074 making it the sixth largest football stadium in England. It has been the home of Liverpool F. C. since their formation in 1892 and it was originally the home of Everton F. C. from 1884 to 1891, before they moved to Goodison Park after a dispute with the club president. The stadium has four stands, the Spion Kop, Main Stand, Centenary Stand, the record attendance of 61,905, was set at a match between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1952. The ground converted to a stadium in 1994 as a result of the Taylor Report which greatly reduced its capacity. Two gates at the ground are named after former Liverpool managers, Bill Shankly, a statue of Shankly is situated outside the stadium. The ground is 2 miles from Liverpool Lime Street railway station, construction for an extension to the Main Stand began on 8 December 2014. This extension increased the capacity to 54,074, making it one of the largest all-seater single stands in European football. There are future plans to expand the Anfield Road Stand which would bring the size to around 59,000. Opened in 1884, Anfield was originally owned by John Orrell, Everton, who previously played at Priory Road, were in need of a new venue owing to the noise produced by the crowd on match days. Orrell lent the pitch to the club in exchange for a small rent, the first match at the ground was between Everton and Earlestown on 28 September 1884, which Everton won 5–0. The ground was considered of international standard at the time, playing host to the British Home Championship match between England and Ireland in 1889. Anfields first league match was played on 8 September 1888, between Everton and Accrington F. C. Everton quickly improved as a team, and became Anfields first league champions in the 1890–91 season. In 1892, negotiations to purchase the land at Anfield from Orrell escalated into a dispute between Houlding and the Everton F. C. committee over how the club was run, events culminated in Evertons move to Goodison Park. Houlding was left with an empty stadium, and decided to form a new club to occupy it. The new team was called Liverpool F. C. and Athletic Grounds Ltd, Liverpools first Football League match at Anfield was played on 9 September 1893, against Lincoln City. Liverpool won 4–0 in front of 5,000 spectators, a new stand capable of holding 3,000 spectators was constructed in 1895 on the site of the present Main Stand. Designed by architect Archibald Leitch, the stand had a red and white gable. Another stand was constructed at the Anfield Road end in 1903, built from timber, after Liverpool had won their second League championship in 1906, a new stand was built along the Walton Breck Road
The Liberty Stadium is a sports stadium and conferencing venue located in the Landore area of Swansea, Wales. On opening, it had a capacity of 20,750, making it the largest purpose-built venue in Swansea and it is the home stadium of Premier League club Swansea City and the Ospreys rugby team. As a result of Swansea Citys promotion, the became the first Premier League ground in Wales. The Liberty Stadium had the second smallest capacity of the 20 stadiums in the Premier League for the 2016–17 season after Bournemouth AFCs ground Dean Court and it is the third largest stadium in Wales – after Millennium Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium. In European competition the stadium is known as Swansea Stadium due to advertising rights and it was funded by a 355,000 ft retail park on land to the east of the river. The final value of the development being in excess of £50m, on 10 July 2005, Liberty Stadium was opened and became the home to Swansea City and the Ospreys. On 23 July 2005, Liberty Stadium was officially opened as Swansea City faced Fulham, the match ended in a 1–1 draw with the first goal being scored by Fulhams Steed Malbranque. Swanseas Marc Goodfellow scored during the game to level the match, the first capacity crowd recorded at Liberty Stadium was on the 1 November 2006 when The Ospreys beat Australia 24–16. The stadium has hosted multiple Wales football internationals, listed below, seating at Liberty Stadium is often sold out during Swansea City football matches. Plans for a new McDonalds fast food restaurant to be opened near the stadium expansion plans into doubt. However, the application was withdrawn. In December 2013, it was reported by BBC News that the European Commission had requested details of the funding of the stadium, at the start of the 2014–15 Premier League season, a number of changes were made to the stadium. These included two new Jumbotron screens inside the north and south stands, measuring approximately 200 inches, due to sponsorship by LG all televisions in food outlets and concourse were replaced by 50 LG TV screens and the south stand renamed The LG Stand. New advertising boards with a crowd facing side were also added, expansions planned would expand the stadium to 33,000 with another expansion upgrading stadium to above the 40,000 mark. Making it into consideration for Wales National Football Matches, during its construction, a variety of names were suggested for it, most commonly used was White Rock stadium. However White Rock was only used as a name during its construction and when work was finished, the name was dropped. While sponsors were being searched for, it was called New Stadium Swansea, on 18 October 2005, Swansea-based developers Liberty Properties Plc won the naming rights to call it Liberty Stadium. In UEFA matches, it is called Swansea Stadium due to UEFA regulations on sponsorship, on 8 May 2015 the stadium was renamed The Katie Phillips Stadium for one night only
The Millennium Stadium, currently known for sponsorship purposes as the Principality Stadium, is the national stadium of Wales, located in Cardiff. It is the home of the Wales national rugby team and has also staged games of the Wales national football team. It also hosted six FA Cup finals and several other high-profile football fixtures while Wembley Stadium was being redeveloped, the stadium is owned by Millennium Stadium plc, a subsidiary company of the Welsh Rugby Union. The stadium was designed by a led by architects Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture. WS Atkins were the engineers, and the building contractor was Laing. The total construction cost of the stadium was £121 million, of which the Millennium Commission funded £46 million, with a total seating capacity of 74,500, it is the third-largest stadium in the Six Nations Championship behind the Stade de France and Twickenham. It is also the second-largest stadium in the world with a retractable roof and was the second stadium in Europe to have this feature. Listed as a category four stadium by UEFA, the stadium was chosen as the venue for the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, due to take place on 3 June 2017. In 2015, the Welsh Rugby Union announced a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Principality Building Society that saw the renamed as the Principality Stadium from early 2016. Until 1969, Cardiff RFC and Wales both played their matches on the same pitch at Cardiff Arms Park, but all this changed in the 1969–70 season. By 7 April 1984 the National Stadium was officially opened, however, in 1994, a redevelopment committee was set up to consider redeveloping the National Stadium, and by 1995 the WRU had been chosen to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup. France was also about to build the Stade de France, which would have a capacity of more than 80,000 for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The original capacity of the National Stadium was 65,000,11,000 of 53,000 capacity was on the East Terrace and the conversion to an all-seater stadium would have reduced the stadium capacity still further to just 47,500. It was only visible from across the River Taff in the west. Access to the ground was very restricted with the main entrance being a narrow opening in Westgate Street to the east which was shared by both vehicles and spectators alike. The options for the new stadium included adding a third tier to the existing National Stadium, the committee eventually chose a new stadium on the same site but with considerable increase in its capacity. It would also involve moving the alignment of the stadium from west-east to north-south and this was the option supported by the Millennium Commission. It would become the fourth redevelopment of the Cardiff Arms Park site and it was also decided that the new stadium should have a sliding roof to accommodate a multi-use venue, with a grass pitch for rugby and football
Ninian Park was a football stadium in the Leckwith area of Cardiff, Wales. The site is now a development with the same name. Between 1910 and 2009 the Ninian Park stadium was the ground of Cardiff City F. C. Ninian Park stadium was demolished and the site was redeveloped with residential housing. Ninian Park is named after Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart, son of John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, the ground featured large floodlights in each corner and a plasma-screen television showed highlights during the game. The stadium hosted a number of Welsh international fixtures, including the Wales v Scotland World Cup qualifier on 10 September 1985, at which Scotland manager Jock Stein collapsed and died. The last ever Cardiff City football match played at Ninian Park was a 3-0 defeat to Ipswich Town, the club relocated to their new all-seater stadium for the 2009-10 season, and the 99-year-old Ninian Park was demolished later in 2009 to make way for a housing development. This left Corneli Primary Schools manager, lifelong Cardiff fan Alex Clarke, the stadium featured four stands, the Spar Family Stand, the John Smiths Grange End, the Popular Bank and the Grandstand. The Grandstand was a two-tier, all-seater stand, with old-fashioned wooden seats in the upper tier and this stand also had several supporting poles holding up the roof. This stand also housed the area in which the player dressing rooms and tunnel were incorporated, as well as housing the dugouts, the V. I. P. area and the press/media benches. The Popular Bank had a mixture of covered seating to the rear of the stand and it also had several supporting poles, and one section housed the away fans. The away section had terracing to the back and seating at the front, in between the home and away fans was a gap separating opposing fans from home fans. There was also netting in the middle just in case anybody wanted to get to the side or throw anything. This gap in between the fans came in in 2005 where before there was just a metal fence separating home. It was officially opened on 1 September 1928 before a match against Burnley by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff. The area behind the goal where the stand was built was previously an earth embankment, in the 1946/1947 season a spectator fell through the roof of the Grange End during a game with Bristol City. The Spar Family Stand was a covered, all-seated stand with several supporting poles along the width of the stand. The club ticket office was located within this stand where an exterior entrance was provided
Parc y Scarlets
Parc y Scarlets is a rugby union stadium in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, that opened in November 2008 as the new home of the Scarlets and Llanelli RFC. The ground replaced Stradey Park, the home of Llanellis rugby teams for almost 130 years, the stadium complex includes facilities for matchday supporters and for non-matchday revenue generation, as well as a training barn and a training pitch with athletics track. The stadium also hosts some matches of the Wales national under-21 and senior football teams. Reserve Team played all of their fixtures at the stadium in the 2011/2012 season. The ground was built by Port Talbot-based Andrew Scott Limited on a site owned by Carmarthenshire County Council, the stadium was designed by specialist sports stadia architects, The Miller Partnership, whose designs include Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. Structural steelwork for the development was provided by Rowecord Engineering of Newport, the stands have a slight curvature to allow for better views. Having previously been known by the title of Pemberton Stadium. The approach to the stand is known as the Ray Gravell Legends Walkway paved with bricks naming each Llanelli RFC. Parc y Scarlets officially opened on 15 November to Llanelli RFC who played the first match at the stadium in a 32–3 win over Cardiff RFC in the Principality Premiership. The match was held before a limited to a maximum of 4,000 due to laws that require a stadium to host three events at restricted capacity before it can be authorised for its full capacity. The Scarlets hosted their first match at Parc y Scarlets on 28 November against Munster in the Celtic League with capacity limited to 9,000. The Scarlets first Heineken Cup match in the new stadium was on 12 December against Ulster, the official opening ceremony was held on 31 January 2009 when the Scarlets hosted the Barbarians, defeating them 40–24. It has also acted as home stadium for Llanelli A. F. C, when the facilities at their Stebonheath Park ground have not been sufficient, such as in European competitions. List of stadia in Wales by capacity Official site
The Racecourse Ground is a stadium located in Wrexham, North Wales. It is the home of Wrexham AFC, as of August 2016, the stadium has been known as My Racecourse. The record attendance at the ground was set in 1957, when Wrexham hosted a match against Manchester United in front of 34,445 spectators, the Racecourse Ground is the largest stadium in North Wales and the fifth largest in Wales. The ground is used by the FAW for Wales home international games. The ground has also used by North Wales Crusaders rugby league club, Scarlets rugby union club. In the early days, the ground was used for cricket, music concerts returned to the Racecourse in 2016 when the Stereophonics performed. Wrexham Football Club have played at the Racecourse Ground since being formed in the local Turf Hotel public house in October 1864, before the club was formed the ground was mainly used for cricket and occasionally, horse racing. 1952 saw the laying down of concrete terracing on the ever-popular Kop end, five years later was to see the largest ever attendance at the Racecourse when 34,445 people gathered to witness an FA Cup fourth round tie against Manchester United. On 30 September 1959 the Racecourse saw the switching on of the newly installed floodlights, after promotion to the old Second Division in 1978 the Border Stand was built, taking its name from the Border Breweries which owned the ground. This part of the ground is now known as the Eric Roberts Builders Stand, the impressive new structure was originally named the Pryce Griffiths Stand after the then chairman has a capacity of 3,500 and also contains hospitality and conferencing facilities. In 2002 then Wrexham F. C. chairman William Pryce Griffiths secured a 125-year lease on the Racecourse with Wolverhampton Dudley Breweries for £750,000, the club hosted TNS vs Liverpool in a UEFA Champions League qualifier in 2005. On 26 June 2002 the freehold to the Racecourse Ground was acquired by Wrexham A. F. C. from Wolverhampton Dudley Breweries for the sum of £300,000. On the same day the ownership of the freehold was transferred by the chairman, Alex Hamilton, from Wrexham A. F. C. to another of his companies, Damens Ltd, for a nominal fee. After this controversial change in ownership the 125-year lease on the Racecourse held by Wrexham F. C. was renegotiated. The new lease stated that Damens Ltd could evict Wrexham F. C. from the Racecourse Ground upon 12 months notice, the new lease also saw the clubs annual rent increase from £1 to £30,000. On 19 May 2014, work commenced at the Racecourse, this included, the medical and treatment facilities will also be upgraded, together with improved seating for disabled supporters, better floodlighting and removal of cambers at the ‘Kop’ end of the ground. The results mean the stadium has been reclassified to Category 3 level, with the clubs emergence from Administration in May 2006, ownership of the ground passed new company, Wrexham Football Club Ltd, owned by Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts. Thus the new company had two tenants for the stadium, the £40 million project would be developed in conjunction with Glyndŵr University to house over 800 students, and take place in two phases