There is a new North Wales football club in the wings – but plans to become so much more.
CPD Gronant will replace the former Llanelwy Athletic and plan to take their bow in the 2022-23 season.
While the tier 5 North Wales Coast East Division One side operated under the Llanelwy (St Asaph) name, they did in fact play their home matches at Gronant, Flintshire.
Now the plan is to launch CPD Gronant not just as a football team, but a community hub to breathe fresh life into the village.
The chairman of the new club is a former joint-owner of tier 2 Prestatyn Town.
Dave Farrell was one of a consortium who helped Prestatyn win the Cymru North League title in 2019-20, with the legendary Neil Gibson at the helm.
Now Farrell has hopes and aims of building a community-widespread hub for everyone in the rural village of Gronant.
Plans are in motion for the newly-formed club which have already started to develop, but most are being kept under wraps at this time.
The club is fortunate in its geographic location bordering Denbighshire and Flintshire as it can play its new CPD Gronant development squad in the Flintshire Development League.
A great move to have a pathway for under-16 players looking to carry on the beautiful game.
Chairman Farrell said: “After a lot of talking these past few months, there was a lot to take in as I had to weigh up my own options before I could commit.
“After some meetings and conversations, this was the right move. The decision was made by myself, vice-chairman and also ex-Prestatyn Town secretary Paul Fazackerley and manager Sandy Malone. We agreed we would build a proper community hub in the village of Gronant, after homing ourselves there last season.
“We want to be more than a football club; we want to offer Gronant kids and adults a centre where they can feel safe and enjoy sport. With drop-in sessions for mental health along with active sessions, such as youth clubs, being involved in school sessions in sports is a must and a regular thing in time.
“Already we have educated and qualified people in place to start this. Once we have the opportunity to chat to the school again, we will look forward to delivering free sessions. At this time, we look at a 5-year plan to be capable of having a criteria to carry us up the tiers and to be able to look after our own players. but it won’t come any faster than what we are trying to build off the field, which has to come first. Being that village hub is important to us.
“Plans are in motion and though things take time, we-re in no rush, we want to do it correct through proper channels.
“We have a strong back-room team working along myself and Paul, working on a pathway into senior football. We see that is the way forward to hopefully producing first team regulars in time to come through or moving on to higher league clubs.
“With the experience of coaches we have, I feel it’s a great project and one we can build for everyone.”
Farrell added: “Sandy has committed long term and is right behind the project. His background experience will be invaluable and integral to our progression. With adding Wayne Jones and Dylan Evans we now have the local knowledge of youth players, both having coached successful junior sides, with Dylan already involved in senior football from last season.
“Head coach for the development squad is Wayne Williams, who will take our first year development squad.
“It’s a long road ahead and we’re constantly looking to progress. We will achieve the aims and become a hub the village can use and feel proud of.”