How do the North East Wales Football League keep producing such amazing teams?
Cefn Albion are one of the greatest clubs to feature in the North East Wales League

Formed in 2011, the North East Wales Football League has developed a remarkable habit for producing teams which go on to bigger and better things.

Four out of eight NEWL champions have since won league titles at a higher level, with latest table-toppers Halkyn and Flint Mountain awaiting their opportunity to follow suit.

The FA of Wales decided on March 14, 2011 that all clubs then based in Flintshire would become part of the North East Wales FA from August 1, 2011. 

As a result the Clwyd Football League, formed in 1975, split into the Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League and Clwyd East League (for Flintshire clubs).

The Clwyd East League was renamed the North East Wales League in 2015.

Here is a look at the eight NEWL champions since 2011/12 and how they have fared since making their name in the tier-five league.

2011/12
FC Nomads of Connah’s Quay 

Played 18 Won 13 Drawn 3 Lost 2 Goals for 66 Goals Against 26 Points 42 (won title by 9 pts)

Nomads were the first team to be crowned champions of the new league, then known as the Clwyd East.

The Deesiders, formed two seasons earlier, had won the former Clwyd League Division Two and One titles back-to-back without losing a single game, recording 43 wins in 44 matches.

While they lost twice in 2011/12, they were still head and shoulders above the rest, winning their third consecutive league championship by a nine-point margin.

What have they done since?

Nomads were promoted to Welsh National League Division One, finished runners-up in their first season, and won the title in 2013-14 boasting a remarkable perfect record of 20 straight wins.

They lifted the Premier Division title in 2015-16, making it five league championships in seven seasons, and were only denied elevation to the Huws Gray Alliance on ground criteria issues.

Nomads have held their own in the Premier for the past three seasons.

2012/13
Point of Ayr 

Played 20 Won 17 Drawn 2 Lost 1 Goals for 92 Goals against 22 Points 53 (won by 8 pts)

Winners of the NWCFA Junior Cup in 2010-11, Point of Ayr dominated the Clwyd East League in 2012-13, losing just once in 20 matches and finishing eight points ahead of their nearest challengers.

What have they done since?

In their first season in Welsh National League Division One, the Ffynnongroew side finished runners-up, just four points behind champions FC Nomads, who achieved a perfect 20-0 record.

They struggled in Division One for the next three seasons, and sadly folded in 2017/18.

2013/14
FC Queen’s Park 

Queen’s Park in celebratory mood

Played 20 Won 19 Drawn 1 Lost 0 Goals for 118 Goals against 17 Points 58 (won by 15 pts)

Newcomers Queen’s were the first Clwyd East League champions to emerge undefeated through a whole campaign.

In a stunning first season in charge, Martin Ford and Kevin White guided the Wrexham side to the league title, President’s Cup, Horace Wynne and Clwyd Cup quadruple.

What have they done since?

Just like they won the Clwyd East League at the first attempt, Queen’s did the same in Welsh National League Division One, finishing champions in their debut campaign by two points and amassing 140 goals in 24 matches.

Park were third in the WNL Premier Division in 2015-16, but the following season finished top of the table to make it three league titles in four seasons.

After a disappointing one-season stay in the Huws Gray Alliance, Queen’s returned to the WNL Premier in style by lifting the title again.

2014/15
Cefn Albion 

Cefn Albion were almost unstoppable in 2014/15

Played 22 Won 21 Drawn 0 Lost 1 Goals for 150 Goals against 15 Pts 63 (won by 6 pts)

What an impact this team made in their first season.

Albion rattled up a stunning 150 goals in 22 matches to clinch the league title at the first time of trying.

Cefn were also unstoppable in scooping the Premier Cup, Presidents Cup and Horace Wynne Cup, completing a four-timer.

They were denied a full house on the last night of the season when pipped 2-1 by Aston Park Rangers in the Clwyd Cup Final.

Albion scored more goals in North Wales senior soccer than any other team in 2014/15 – a stunning 237 in just 37 matches.

Their top scorer was Nicky Williams with 59 goals, closely followed by Oliver Davies on 53.

What have they done since?

Albion’s first season in Welsh National League Division One saw them win the title by a single point.

They have yet to win the Premier Division crown, but in 2018-19 they landed the double of FAW Trophy and WNL Premier Division Cup, which they also won in 2016/17.

2015/16
Rhostyllen 

The amazing Rhostyllen team of 2015-16

Played 20 Won 16 Drawn 3 Lost 1 Goals for 121 Goals against 31 Points 51 (won by 13 pts)

The latest in a long line of cracking teams to win the North East Wales League were newly-formed Rhostyllen in 2015-16.

The Wrexham area side lost just once in 20 league outings and piled up 121 goals.

Not only that, they lifted four trophies, made it all the way to the FAW Trophy semi-finals and piled up 218 goals in 46 matches in all competitions.

Rhostyllen added the President’s, Horace Wynne and Clwyd Cups to their league title and en route to the FAW Trophy last four eliminated Welsh National League Premier Division sides Brymbo, Brickfield Rangers, Saltney and Ruthin Town

What have they done since?

In their first campaign in Welsh National League Division One, Rhostyllen finished runners-up behind Lex Glyndwr and bagged promotion to the Premier.
Their first two seasons in the top division have proved challenging so far.

2016/17
CPD Sychdyn 

Sadly Sychdyn folded a few weeks after landing the 2016-17 North East Wales League title

Played 26 Won 20 Drawn 4 Lost 2 Goals for 97 Goals against 21) Points 64 (won by 6 pts)

Part of the Clwyd East League on formation in 2011-12, Sychdyn looked set to fold in 2014/15 after a bottom of the table finish.

The 2015-16 season saw the villagers get back to winning ways and achieve a tremendous turnaround to seal second place in the league.

2016/17 will go down as the best in the club’s history as Shaun Antrobus’ side overcame all the odds to land Sychdyn’s first silverware after a drought of 32 years, winning both the North East Wales League title and Premier Division Cup.

What have they done since?

Sadly, Sychdyn’s ground did not meet Welsh National League criteria and they were refused promotion. The club folded before the start of the 2017/18 season, but the great news is they will return to the North East Wales League in 2019/20 after a two-year break.

2017/18
Plas Madoc 

Plas Madoc piled on the goals in 2017-18

Played 26 Won 23 Drawn 0 Lost 3 Goals for 130 Goals against 36 Points 69 (won by 9 pts)

Ryan Roberts’ Plas Madoc side followed in the footsteps of FC Nomads, Queen’s Park, Cefn Albion and Rhostyllen by winning the North East Wales League in their first season of competition.
The Wrexham side finished nine points clear at the summit, winning 23 of their 26 matches and banging in 130 goals.

The prolific Nicky Williams netted more than 50 times, including 10 in a single game.

What have they done since?

Plas took the Welsh National League by storm last season, winning the Division One title by a huge 19 points and not losing a single game. They also lifted the Division One Cup.

With stats like those, are they perhaps the greatest team yet to win the North East Wales League? All down to opinion.

2018/19
Flint Mountain 

Flint Mountain scooped four trophies in 2018-19

Played 20 Won 18 Drawn 2 Lost 0 Goals for 111 Goals against 20 Points 56 (won by 8 pts)

After making little impression since joining the North East Wales League, Flint Mountain really came into their own in 2018/19, winning the title by eight points and finishing the campaign unbeaten.

Like Cefn Albion and FC Queen’s Park previously, Mountain added three more trophies during the season and were one win away from a unique five-timer.

Mountain also lifted the President’s Cup, Horace Wynne Cup and Mike Beech Memorial Trophy, and were only denied a quintet after losing in the Goals Premier Cup final to Acton – their sole domestic defeat in 2018-19.

From this season, the club will be renamed Halkyn and Flint Mountain Football Club as part of ambitious plans to progress to as high a level as possible.

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