Tag Archives: Bangor City Football Club

Bangor City Football Club looking to trial safe standing next season

The Football Supporters Federation and the Safe Standing Roadshow gave an exhibition at Bangor City Football Club today that could shape the future of how spectators watch the game in Wales.

The Citizens welcomed the exhibition to Nantporth Stadium today as supporters, politicians and a number of people from the club’s hierarchy made the trip to see what was on offer to the club.

The focal point of the day was a demonstration of a new innovation called rail seats, which enable football stands to be converted from seating areas to standing areas with the turn of a key.

Rail seats, which are very popular in Germany are more durable and more compact than the plastic seats you’ll find at football grounds across Britain and meet all of the necessary safety regulations.

Safe Standing Roadshow representative Jon Darch demonstrated the product today and was adamant that whichever club used rail seats first would see a massive increase in media attention.

He said: ‘What I feel is that I’m very excited Bangor City seem so keen to be the very first club in the UK to install rail seats. If they are to do that, the media coverage they get will be out of this world,

‘All of these people will be here again but so will Sky, The BBC, ITV, all the papers – everyone will be here – there will be coverage for whoever it is and that coverage will be a huge benefit to any club.’

Bangor City FC Chairman Dilwyn Jones expressed his satisfaction with the exhibition and gave brief details with regards to when Bangor City fans might be able to expect this innovation at Nantporth.

‘Things have been moving very, very quickly since we moved to Nantporth with the 3G pitch finished now, and we’re hoping to have this safe-standing project done over the summer.’ He said.

Jones also outlined how the move to increase Nantporth’s capacity might be necessary sooner or later anyway due to the European footballing body’s regulations with regards to stadium capacities:

“We can hold around 1100 right now but we need 1500 by 2016/17 because at the moment the FAW are getting special dispensation from UEFA to reduce their regulations to 1000 seats,

‘One day UEFA are going to stop being so generous and we’re going to suffer for it if we haven’t sorted it out because we will have been benefiting from that dispensation for a long time.

Mr Jones made it clear that the club’s intentions are to have one stand prepared over the summer, but admitted that the stumbling block of another stand being built the following summer is funding:

‘It’s all down to funding, whether or not we do one side this summer and one side next summer. Grants are a struggle because stands don’t have a community benefit.’

Alun Pugh, former Welsh Assembly Sports Minister and current Welsh Labour candidate for Arfon was pleased but said if he were still Sports Minister he would want to be reassured of its safety.

He said: ‘Naturally, I would want to be convinced on the safety of this, especially since obviously we’re meeting in the week of when the Hillsborough inquest is taking place.

‘The presentation was a very powerful one and certainly the Bundesliga in Germany don’t take risks with the safety of their fans, where this system works, so yes I would like to see this made available.’

Mr Darch understood the comparisons with Hillsborough but said that its difficult to compare the two scenarios as where in some ways there may be links, in others there definitely aren’t:

‘It’s a new product – it is the introduction of a brand new form of standing which is a lot safer. I know in many ways Hillsborough and this are linked but in other ways they aren’t linked at all.

‘Clearly Hillsborough was failings of stadium maintenance and crowd management; not the fact that they were going into a standing area. People link the two things but in reality there is really no link.’

For more information on the Football Supporters’ Federation’s Safe Standing Campaign, click here and for more information on Bangor City Football Club you can find that here!

 

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Bright future for Conwy despite Cup exit

Bangor City Football Club proved too good for their Welsh Cup opponents Conwy Borough this afternoon as they ran out 3-0 winners at the Nantporth Stadium.

Bangor have been struggling throughout the season and currently sit in the relegation zone of the Welsh Premier League whereas Conwy are faring much better in the division below.

Conwy have been going through a restructuring period this season and the club’s assistant manager and academy director, Chris Whitley said the future looks very bright for the club:

‘This was a really good learning exercise for us – we’re restructuring for next season and Bangor are where we want to be so it was good to face them.

‘Particularly the last week gives us confidence that we’re on the right track. We left all our best players out against Guildsfield in the last game and dominated despite their better league position.’

Positive Season

  • Conwy have found some real consistency at various points this season, frequently going on four-game and six-game undefeated streaks.
  • Whitley’s arrival has seen Conwy develop a new academy set-up, something that is required if they are to gain promotion which speaks to their ambitions going forward.
  • High profile figures in the Welsh game such as Wales Manager Chris Coleman and Technical Director Osian Roberts have visited and been very complimentary of the club and it’s setup

Challenges Ahead

Conwy started very brightly, playing a very attacking system and pegging Bangor back for a lot of the first half and although Whitley acknowledged this, he believes improvements still need to be made:

‘We thought we’d go with an attacking system because it was the best way to negate them but the problem for us then was our fitness levels which weren’t good enough to last the ninety minutes.

‘This game has been a big plus in moving the players on really because they needed this experience. It’s a challenge to pick the players up now though, being the first time they’ve lost two on the trot.’

Bangor face their own challenges too as they have a handful of games left to save their Welsh Premier League status and having watched them in action, Whitley thinks they’ll escape the drop:

‘I spoke to Neville before the game and I think they’ll be ok, the clean sheet today will do them good too. They have very, very good spirit which is very important but they are vulnerable at the back.’

Powell Praise

After a 3-0 win, Bangor City manager Neville Powell expressed his satisfaction towards the result but praised Conwy and said that it wasn’t as straightforward as the score-line may have suggested:

‘We knew Conwy were a useful outfit with a lot of Welsh premier League experience so we had to do a professional job and it was key that we didn’t concede in the first 20 minutes.

‘The timing of the goals on our part was crucial, scoring just before half-time and just after, but they gave us a hell of a tough game and all credit to them for their performance on the day.’

Powel also noted that he could see Conwy, as well as some other clubs from the Huws Gray Alliance making a successful jump to the Welsh Premier League but noted that finances might be a problem:

‘There’s some good sides in that next division, seven or eight of them, and Conwy are definitely one of them. The Welsh Premier League is getting harder every year, financially more than anything.

‘As far as playing style and ability they won’t have a problem but financially it is so difficult to get into our division and stay there with the money it takes to assemble these squads nowadays.’