Rhydymwyn FC have appointed a former Welsh Universities international as their first team coach for the 2020/21 season.
UEFA B Licence coach Rhys Cooper joins co-managers Anthony Weaver and Jordan Parry’s management team for the campaign ahead, bringing with him experience at a number of Welsh clubs.
Having played in the FAW’s academy system for The New Saints U16s and U19s as well as Bangor City’s U19s, Rhys went on to play for Denbigh Town and Saltney Town in the Cymru North and Welsh National League Premier Division respectively.
In 2015, the then Bangor University student was selected to play for the Welsh Universities football team in representative international friendly matches against Ireland and Scotland Universities.
As a coach, Rhys is set to embark on his fourth season at Airbus UK’s academy, and has spent two years at North East Wales Girls’ development centre as well as one campaign working at Swansea City’s Development squad.
Rhys has also studied football coaching at Glyndwr University, and gained his UEFA B Licence in 2017.
Upon joining Rhydymwyn, he said: “I’m really happy to be joining Rhydymwyn when the club is on the up and heading in the right direction, working as a coach at a senior level is something I’ve been itching to do for a while, and to get that chance here is thrilling.
“Anthony, Jordan and the whole team have got a great project going here and I’m looking forward to play my part in seeing the club rise through the ranks in the not too distant future.”
Anthony Weaver said: “The position of first team coach is crucial to us as managers, as we need someone dedicated to our cause and committed to every player’s development, and I’m glad to say we’ve found that in Rhys.
“He knows the game, and in particular North Wales football really well, and will no doubt be an asset to us as we look to push on and challenge further in the 2020/21 season.”
Jordan Parry added: “Having Rhys on board is a great boost to us, and further shows how we’re not resting on our laurels during this lockdown period. We’ve now made three coaching appointments with lots more going on behind the scenes to ensure we’ll be ready when football eventually returns.”
Rhydymwyn FC was formed in 1911 and played in the old Halkyn and Clwyd leagues before joining the Welsh Alliance in 1990.
The 90s were to prove a golden decade in the history of a club based in the village of Rhydymwyn, near Mold.
They were crowned Welsh Alliance champions in 1994/95 and won the FAW Trophy in the same season, repeating the feat the following campaign, beating Taffs Well and Penrhyncoch in the respective finals of the national knockout.
In 1997/98, Rhydymwyn lifted the Cymru Alliance title, but did not meet promotion criteria for the League of Wales.
When Ken Knowles, who had guided the club to many glories, stepped down as manager after 11 seasons in charge, Rhyd decided to appoint a player-boss from within their ranks, but the plan backfired and they had to resign from the CAL at the end of 1999/2000 due mainly to a lack of players.
The club dropped two levels to the Clwyd League and finished up Premier Division champions in their first season.
This brought promotion to the Welsh Alliance, where they landed the Alves Cup in 2003/04 and Barritt Cup in 2007/08, and eventually scooped the league championship in 2009/10.
Life back in the Cymru Alliance proved difficult, resulting in instant relegation in 2010/11.
However, Rhyd bounced straight back up from the Welsh National Premier, where they finished runners-up, and gained elevation to the league now known as the Huws Gray Alliance for 2012/13.
The next three seasons in the tier-two league were a serious struggle and led to temporary disbanding in 2014/15.
They returned in 2016/17 in Welsh National League Division One, where spent three seasons, finishing fourth, ninth and third, the latter achievement proving enough to secure them promotion to the Premier for 2019/20.
Rhydymwyn were 10th in the Premier at the end of the curtailed campaign.
They finished the season on a good note with a 1-0 home win over Penycae, and also reached the first round proper of the Welsh Cup.