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In better times: Chirk AAA

Chirk AAA celebrate winning the 2017 FAW Trophy. Picture: Chris Howells

In the second part of a new series where we focus on clubs currently struggling but with an encouraging past they are looking to replicate, we turn the spotlight on CHIRK AAA.

It is so strange to see Chirk AAA struggling in the bottom three of the Welsh National League Premier Division at present.

The Colliers have nearly always been a club which more than holds its own among the very best.

Not since 1994/95 have they finished as low as third-from-bottom – and that was largely due to the fact they had nine points deducted.

This season they have mustered just eight points from 16 games. There is still a chance they can pull themselves higher up the table, but form must improve.

Chirk failed to register a league victory in their first 11 attempts, and although they have won two of their last five and suffered more than most with the winter weather with lack of games, they still have a lot of work to do to rise in the standings.

The Colliers last won the Premier Division title in 2012-13, and although they have been mainly mid-table material ever since, they’ve never looked in any danger.

Chirk’s history is immense.

They have won the Welsh Cup five times (the last occasion as far back as 1893-94) and celebrated four Welsh Amateur Cup/FAW Trophy successes, the most recent 2016/17.

In the Welsh National League, they have seven Division One titles to their name, plus one Premier Division crown. They have also claimed the Division Two championship twice.

Chirk have scooped the WNL Premier Division Cup a record four times, and boast the same number of successes with the Division Two Cup.

After finishing second in the WNL Premier in 1996/97, Chirk were promoted to the tier-two Cymru Alliance League, but only lasted there one season.

Chirk AAA celebrate winning the 2017 FAW Trophy with fans. Pic: Chris Howells

The club’s most recent major success at first team level was lifting the FAW Trophy in 2016-17.

Despite trailing 1-0 to Penlan Club in the final, Matty Thomas levelled to make it one-apiece at 90 minutes and Chris Bennion bagged the winner in extra time.

Perhaps Chirk’s biggest claim to fame is former Wales superstar outside right Billy Meredith, a legend in both Manchester United and Manchester City colours, was born in the North Wales town and began his career with the local football club.

The great Billy Meredith in action (left). Pic: Getty Images

Meredith made his debut for the Chirk first team in September 1892 and was part of the XI that won the 1894 Welsh Cup.

While Chirk AAA are struggling at first team level this season, the same can certainly not be said for their youngsters, who recently booked a place in the Welsh Youth Cup Final.

Two goals from Toby Nash secured Chirk a meeting with The New Saints on Sunday, April 26 – an outstanding achievement considering they are up against Welsh Premier League development sides in the competition..

To reach the final, Chirk have eliminated Lex XI (6-0), Bala Town (3-2), Llandudno (7-0), Pontardawe Town (1-0) and Newtown (2-0).

Awesome stuff which can hopefully inspire the first team to better times ahead.

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