Wednesday, March 01, 2017
By Organic Bull
Seven years ago Merthyr was close to folding, today it is pushing for promotion in the Southern League Premier Division.
And some of the credit has to go to the Supporters Trust.
"It is time to end the culture of living hand to mouth, of only just getting by. The fans and community of Merthyr deserve better," they said
And also to a Welsh Government £1.8M investment which helped fund a brand new club house which has offices, hospitality areas, brand new changing rooms and two function rooms.
But most to the people running the club.
"I think there’s a sense we’re all in it together now," said chairman Meurig Price.
"I think people can see we’re doing it differently here than in the past. People know when they put their money in, that no-one will take it out unless it's going on the club, the team or the community."
Perhaps surprisingly there are seven full time posts at the club.
Philip Jones is their business development manager. He says the club is now a business hub.
"We’re trying to bring people together through the football club, be it the community in the town or businesses in the area," he said.
The 3G pitch helps. Grants of close to £500,000 made it possible.
"It is so much more than the senior side and boys football in the academy," said community development officer Elliott Evans.
"There is a thriving girls football set-up where there was no provision for it before, there is disability schemes, mental health, walking football.
"We’re giving opportunities for those to play football and feel part of the club in a way they couldn’t before."
Former Hereford United midfielder Gavin Williams is manager. He was appointed after former manager Steve Jenkins joined Peter Beadle at Hereford.
"This club means everything to me and not everybody gets the chance to manage their hometown team and feel that connection," said Williams.
"The people in the crowd are the same ones you see in the street every day and giving something back to them is special."
Supporter Ian Landers summed it up.
"It’s exciting coming here now," he said.
"But it’s not just because the team are doing well, it’s because of the way the club is. The people running the club will listen to fans, you know they are there for you and care about the club and the town."
Read the full article written by Chris Wathan at: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/how-valleys-football-club-rose-12672613