The boys are back in town this weekend!
Llandudno Football Club will make a much-awaited return to the OPS Wind Arena, Maesdu Park, after more than a year’s absence when they host Chirk AAA on Friday, November 10, in the JD Cymru North League, kick-off 8 pm.
A new £200,000 4G surface has been laid and the club is close to raising enough money to meet the full cost.
Tudno have not played a home match at the venue since September 30, 2022, when they lost 1-0 to Porthmadog.
Shortly after, the deteriorating 3G surface at Maesdu was inspected by UEFA and the FAW, who informed the club there was a “slight health and safety issue in one area of the pitch” which meant it could not be used for matches.
Since then, Llandudno has been forced to play all games away from home.
Last season, their ‘home’ matches were mainly at Nantporth Stadium, Bangor, and this term they have chiefly hosted teams at Y Morfa, Conwy.
The club’s women’s team, who like the men play at national Tier 2 level, have also had to use alternative grounds including Y Morfa, Nantporth and the Flyover, Llandudno Junction.
Maesdu Park’s artificial pitch was built in 2015 with a 10-year lifespan, but within seven years it had become unfit to stage matches. This left the club three years short of money to replace the surface.
In July this year, the Seasiders suffered a major blow after an application for Welsh Government funding to assist the project was denied. The club also lost Academy status during the summer.
Nonetheless, Llandudno pressed on with its own fund-raising ventures and in August revealed it had successfully secured the initial deposit for a replacement state-of-the-art 3G pitch.
A statement at the time from Llandudno FC added: “Although we’ve taken this crucial step of placing an order for the new pitch, we have had to do so without having the full amount required to make the final payment on completion of the works.
“We have made this decision as if we were to delay the order of the pitch any further then it would become impossible, due to weather conditions, to lay the pitch in 2023.”
The club said it was confident it could secure 100% of the funds needed.
“After securing the required funding to complete the pitch project, Llandudno FC will be working to raise further funds to carry out upgrades and repairs to our ground in line with FAW licensing requirements,” it added.
The club website today reveals it needs to raise £200,000 for the new pitch and is close to its target with £188,050 already in the pot.
A Pitch Bond scheme has been backed by 87 supporters and brought in £23,050.
When the 3G pitch was officially opened by former Wales manager Chris Coleman in August 2014, the future looked bright for the coast club.
After winning the 2014-15 Cymru Alliance title, they were promoted to the top-tier Welsh Premier for the first time.
They finished third in their debut season, qualifying for Europe, but lost top flight status by the end of 2018-19.
Llandudno have since remained in the Tier 2 Cymru North and last season finished a commendable third despite not having a home for the majority of the campaign.
This season has proved a struggle, with many top players leaving and a new squad having to be built, but under young manager Jordan Hadaway, the team is fighting hard to save its Tier 2 status and last Friday came back from 2-0 down to beat Prestatyn Town 3-2 at Y Morfa to record their second league triumph of 2023-24.
Now the OPS Wind Arena is ready for action again and the big unveiling takes place on Friday night.