CPD Porthmadog FC
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Cynghrair Undebol Huws Gray Alliance League

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FUTURE! – WHAT FUTURE? - from Porthmadog match programme - 15/12/12

During recent research into some of the less celebrated seasons in our club’s history I came across a report of the Porthmadog FC Annual General Meeting held on 24 June 1947. The meeting followed the calamitous season for the club in the Welsh League (North) when they finished 11th in the 12 team league managing only five wins in their 22 league games. They conceded 103 goals including a 13-1 defeat at Llanfairfechan. Despite this a committee of 22 was appointed at the AGM with the ability to co-opt further up to a total of 25. That is a remarkable number of people showing commitment to be involved in running the club. The club then had a first team operating in the Welsh League (North) and a Reserve side playing in the Lleyn League. How different things are now –at least here in Porthmadog. Today there are only five directors running the affairs of the club, stretched to the limit trying to run the club and hold down jobs and run businesses.

Recent appeals for help with the Academy at the start of the season and more recently for help with maintenance of the pitch have repeatedly fallen on deaf ears. Other appeals, for a programme editor, prior to the start of the season were met only by people who were already involved with the club. Apart from the directors there are a small band of people who help the club with its various events such as on match days, at the weekly bingo sessions and so on. Many who assist at the fund raising events have little or no interest in football but still help when required. Running a football club even at the second tier of Welsh football is a complex and time consuming matter; it would be ten times harder in the Welsh Premier League. Clearly at the moment Porthmadog FC do not have the infrastructure off the pitch to be able to consider trying to gain promotion. The personnel are not there regardless of what we could do on the pitch.

Apart from the historical comparisons there are also stark current comparisons which bring the current position at Porthmadog into sharp focus. Consider fellow Huws Gray Alliance club Penrhyncoch. The match programme for our recent visit to the mid-Wales club highlighted that the club ran 15 teams as it says “a complete package from cradle to .... well older. It has a general committee of 14 plus 5 club officials. Based on the most recent population figures Penrhyncoch with a population of about a 1000 and is a third of the size of Porthmadog, but clearly Penrhyncoch FC is light years ahead in the way the club is run compared to here in Porthmadog. Running 15 teams is a monumental effort for such a small village and they should be congratulated for their commitment to their football team and their community. Porthmadog run one team and two at Academy level. Both Academy teams are run by coaches and individuals from outside the Porthmadog area to whom we are immensely grateful.

But where are the people of Porthmadog? It seems that apathy is the prevailing mindset in the town and it really does beg the question of whether there is a future for the football club if the prevailing attitude is “we don’t care.” The people of this town need to wake up before their club sleepwalks into oblivion. There are plenty of examples of clubs that have done exactly this –think Cemaes Bay. Other clubs with a new set up like Conwy and Caernarfon can be resurrected phoenix like but I feel the clock is ticking for Porthmadog and we need to do something quickly to galvanise interest and commitment.
Gerallt Owen



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