Welcome to ‘My Year in the Welsh League’. Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog which aims to tell the stories of my adventures in the sometimes irreverent world of Welsh football.
For those who don’t already know me, my name is Nicky. I’m 33 years old and was born in Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valleys. I currently live in Porth, which is also in the Rhondda Valleys, with my wife Lara and our guinea pigs.
I started this blog and this whole voyage into Welsh football as some kind of reaction against what was happening at my boyhood club Cardiff City.
I held a season ticket at the club until the Summer of 2015. After a couple of years under the leadership of Vincent Tan things just stopped being fun and it began to get to the point where I felt like I was attending games for the sake of fulfilling my financial commitment to the club.
I attended my first football match in August 1990 as an 8 year old boy (0-0 vs. Scarborough at home). I was on the pitch when Cardiff were promoted from the old Division 3 in 1993, I was behind the goal when Nathan Blake sent Manchester City out of the FA Cup in 1994, I’ve been on the receiving end of more than enough Wembley defeats and was on the pitch again in 2013 when we were promoted from the Championship to the Premier League.
Before starting this blog, I was part of the problem with the Welsh game. A football supporter, living in Wales, throwing endless amounts of cash into the English game, only watching football in the English pyramid and naively thinking that life starts and ends with Match of The Day and The Football League Show, feeling that because I supported the Welsh national team I was doing my bit to support Welsh football.
In an effort to vastly increase the amount of live football I watch and to make some sort of commitment to grass roots football in my own nation I set myself a new year’s resolution to watch as much Welsh football as possible – whether this happens to be in the Welsh Premier League, the Welsh League, the Cymru Alliance, the South Wales Amateur Leagues, Reserve Leagues, Youth Leagues, Boy’s Club Leagues or even the Senior, Development and Academy squads of the big Welsh sides playing in the English pyramid. If the match involves a Welsh team, I’ll be there!
I’ve set myself a target of attending 100 Welsh football matches in the 2015 calendar year. It’s a long shot, but I reckon that’s about 11 games a month (with May, June and July being pretty much football-free). I know that for your average ground-hopper, 100 is a pretty easy, achievable target, but I’m new to this whole world and I’ve work in a pretty time-demanding industry (IT) and it sometimes makes things difficult. Limiting my games to only matches involving at least one Welsh side means I’m going to find this a bit of a challenge.
If I go to a match, I’ll blog about it – so please don’t get angry at me when some Cardiff City, Swansea City, Wrexham, Newport County or Merthyr Town blog entries make their way onto the page! You should find the vast majority of my entries are Welsh Pyramid related (as per the blog title!).
This blog is here to act as a diary of the grounds I visit along the way, the matches I watch, the games that get called off due to waterlogged pitches or teams struggling to find enough players, the stands and fences I sit and stand on, the characters I meet along the way and the quality of coffee and beer I find along the way. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not necessarily limited to the Welsh League (despite the title) and will include all games I attend in Wales, or involving Welsh clubs.
I hope you enjoy following my journey across the Welsh football pyramid. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to drop me an email.