For decades, many Welsh football fans have travelled across the border to follow some of the huge clubs in England’s major cities. Still to this day, thousands of fans travel to watch clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool or Everton in the English Premier League.
However, in more recent times, we have seen people put off by the commercialisation of the English game and that has coincided with a huge rise in interest in Welsh football, with clubs like Colwyn Bay, Caernarfon Town and Flint Town United attracting crowds of over 1,000 people at games.
Here, we look at why – for a great football day out – there’s no need to leave North Wales.
The sense of community
One thing that can’t be underestimated is the sense of community which plays a huge part in the survival and growth of some of our more rural clubs.
Teams from smaller communities like Llansannan, Llannefydd, Bontnewydd and Aberffraw couldn’t survive without the help and support of locals.
This often galvanises clubs such as these and often results in large crowds at games.
Keeping a club alive is often a thankless task and many hours of hard work from volunteers sometimes goes unnoticed, but it’s this community spirit that makes our game and our clubs so special.
The passion of the supporters
It’s true to say you get passionate supporters all over the world but, if you’ve ever been to a Caernarfon Town vs Bangor City or a Holywell Town vs Flint Town United game, then you’ll know that fans of those clubs are as passionate as any.
Yes, the attendances may not resemble those at a Merseyside or Manchester derby, but to those present it means everything.
Local bragging rights and a healthy rivalry between clubs who are often just a few miles apart is often a catalyst for a brilliant atmosphere and only recently we saw four-figure attendances at Colwyn Bay vs Llandudno and Flint vs Connah’s Quay Nomads just a few days apart.
The social aspect
Could you imagine watching Liverpool play Manchester United and then have a pint or two with Jurgen Klopp or Cristiano Ronaldo after the game? It would never happen.
But that’s one of the great things about our game. The players and management of both sides will happily mix and chat with supporters over a pint and discuss the game.
Most grounds in the top three tiers have bar facilities and also serve hot food so you can enjoy the game with a pint or two, sometimes even from the warmth of the social club!
Some of the most stunning scenery you’ll see anywhere in the UK or even the world is often the backdrop to some of our grounds here in North Wales.
From the Pontcysyllte Viaduct towering over Acrefair’s pitch to Manod Mawr overlooking Blaenau Amateurs’ Cae Clyd, there are some beautifully picturesque football grounds in our area.
Where better to enjoy a game of football than with the rugged mountainous terrain of Eryri as a backdrop.
Unlike professional football in most countries across Europe, a day out at a North Wales game won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
In fact, you could probably go to any Cymru Premier game with £15, have a couple of pints and come home with change.
You could even go and watch most fourth and fifth tier games free of charge.
The great thing about North Wales football is that they really appreciate your support so you’ll more than likely receive a warm welcome at the turnstile.
What do you love most about North Wales football? Let us know in the comments sectionInternet Explorer Channel Network