Bala Town manager Colin Caton reaches another tremendous landmark

700-up for Colin Caton who took over as Bala manager in 2003

Colin Caton’s 700th competitive match in charge of Bala Town will not be remembered with much affection at Maes Tegid, but nothing can ever overshadow the success story the manager has delivered in 18 years at the helm.

Although Saturday’s 6-2 defeat at Barry Town United was reported as being game number 700 under Caton’s wing at Y Bala, by our records that landmark was reached the weekend before when the Lakesiders lost 2-1 at home to Caernarfon Town.

Either way, the event and number will quickly be forgotten, just to say the result at Barry saw only the third occasion that Bala have conceded six goals since joining the Welsh Premier in 2009-10.

The others were 6-3 reverses versus Bangor City and Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Caton has always set up his sides to be hard to beat, their record WPL defeat being a relatively moderate pair of 5-0 beatings against Bangor – a statistic not as severe for Bala than it is for many other clubs.

Enough gloom…..

Colin Caton has established himself as one of the best managers in Welsh domestic football history with what he has achieved since taking over as Bala boss when the club was in the tier 3 Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Premier Division back in 2003-04.

Having spent many years at Colwyn Bay as a player and manager, the more humble and less successful Bala was a whole new challenge for the big defender.

However, the WNL Premier Division title was won in Colin’s debut season at the helm.

Several cups followed and the Cymru Alliance championship was secured in 2008/09.

After a moderate start to life in the tier 1 Welsh Premier, the Lakesiders began to blossom, with a place in the Europa League captured after a play-off final victory in 2012-13.

Bala clinched runners-up spot in the top flight in 2014/15 and 2015/16 and then in 2016/17 came the coup de grace as Town landed the Welsh Cup for the first time in their history, beating a TNS side they had failed to conquer in 29 previous attempts 2-1 in the final.

Since then, the Lakesiders have remained high-flyers in the WPL with Caton continuing to maintain the club’s reputation as a major force.

In 2020-21, Bala won their first-ever European tie when they beat Valletta of Malta in a one-legged affair.

This is also the 12th successive season Colin has led the club in Cymru Premier.

Long may he reign.

Colin Caton’s record in competitive games as manager of Bala Town (2003/04 to March 27, 2021)

Played 701
Won 378
Drawn 112
Lost 211
Goals For 1365
Goals Against 910
Win percentage 53.92%

Welsh Premier record: P 369 W 169 D 75 L 125 GF 618 GA 508
Cymru Alliance record: P 166 W 95 D 32 L 39 GF 355 GA 190
WNL Premier Division record: P 26 W 18 D 4 L 4 GF 70 GA 25
Welsh Cup record: P 49 W 33 L 16
Europa League record: P 12 W 4 L 8 GF 8 GA 21
Irn Bru (Scottish Challenge) Cup: P 1 L 1 GF 2 GA 4
Domestic cups record: P 78 W 59 D 1 L 18

BALA TOWN’S TROPHY RECORD UNDER COLIN CATON

2003/04

Wrexham Area Premier League Champions; North East Wales FA Challenge Cup winners.

2004/05

Huws Gray Alliance League Cup winners.

2006/07

Huws Gray Alliance League Cup winners; North East Wales FA Challenge Cup winners.

2007/08

Huws Gray Alliance League Cup winners; North East Wales FA Challenge Cup winners.

2008/09

Huws Gray League Champions; Huws Gray Alliance League Cup winners.

2012/13

Europa League Playoff Final winners.

2016/17

JD Welsh Cup winners.

Trophies won: 11

Welsh Premier League placings

2009/10 – 11th; 2010/11 – 11th; 2011/12 – 5th; 2012/13 – 7th; 2013/14 – 8th; 2014/15 – 2nd; 2015/16 – 2nd; 2016/17 – 3rd; 2017/18 – 4th; 2018-19 – 6th; 2019-20 – 3rd.

Cymru Alliance placings

2004/05 – 4th; 2005/06 – 7th; 2006/07 – 2nd; 2007/08 – 2nd; 2008/09 – 1st

Welsh National League (Wrexham Area) Premier Division placings

2003/04 – 1st

Six campaigns in Europe (all in Europa League)

2013/14: Levadia Tallinn (Estonia) – 1-0 (h); 1-3 (a); aggregate 2-3
2015/16: Differdange (Luxembourg) – 1-3 (a); 2-1 (h); aggregate 3-4
2016/17: AIK (Sweden) – 0-2 (h); 0-2 (a); aggregate 0-4
2017/18: Vaduz (Lichtenstein) – 1-2 (h); 0-3 (a); aggregate 1-5
2018/19: Tre Fiori (San Marino) – 1-0 (h); 0-3 (a); aggregate 1-3
2020/21: QR 1 Valletta (Malta) 1-0; QR 2 Standard Liege (Belgium) 0-2
Played: 12 Won 4 Lost 8 Goals For 8 Goals Against 21

Irn-Bru Cup

2016/17: Bala Town 2 Alloa Athletic 4.

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