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On the trail-er for Europe?

Published date: 13 December 2012 |
Published by: Shaun Davies
Read more articles by Shaun Davies


 

A FOOTBALL club's quest for European glory has been boosted by the continent's biggest trailer maker.

High flying Bala Town have secured sponsorship from Ifor Williams Trailers for what's being billed as the biggest game of the season.

The Gwynedd derby against Bangor City will take place at Maes Tegid on Saturday, December 22.

However, before then Bala will be aiming to continue their promising run against familiar opponents.

The Lakesiders faced Llanelli on five occasions last season, memorably beating the West Wales side on penalties in the Welsh Cup, while Llanelli came out on top against Bala in the Welsh Premier League’s European play-off final.

Llanelli currently find themselves struggling in the bottom-three of the table and Bala need the three points to cement their top-five position.

This game is followed by a trio of matches which could define whether Bala will again be battling for a European spot.

After the home game against Bangor, Town have a festive double header against defending champions The New Saints.

Park Hall is the setting for the Boxing Day meeting between the clubs, while Maes Tegid hosts the return fixture on New Year’s Day.

Bala manager Colin Caton said: "Last season we had the most successful season that the club’s ever had and finished fourth.

"This season we had a bad start but we are currently lying in fifth spot and things are looking good.

"Everything is improving slowly and we’re looking to kick on now and the Bangor City game being sponsored by Ifor Williams Trailers will be the highest attended game here this season.

"Bangor always bring a massive following and it’s always a good atmosphere when
they come. It’s the most attractive fixture in the Welsh Premier.

"Sponsorship is vitally important, it's the be all and end all. Without sponsorship and impetus and rewards from local businesses, we wouldn’t be able to compete at this level."

He added: "I think what we’ve achieved in the three years we’ve been in the Welsh Premier League has been a massive success. As a club, Bala has been the most progressive and the most ambitious in Welsh football in the last seven or eight years."

As part of the sponsorship package, five members of staff whose names have been drawn out of a hat, along with a guest, will be given VIP treatment on match day
Ifor Williams Trailers spokesman Daniel Burton said they were delighted to have the opportunity to sponsor such an important game. He said: "Bala Town are a club that's really going places - and, given the nature of our product, that's something we can really relate to.

"With our headquarters in Cynwyd, the company has its roots in this part of rural North Wales."

The club's twin ambitions this year are to win the Welsh Premier League and to qualify for Europe after last year's heartbreak when they narrowly lost out on a Europa Cup spot.

According to Caton, the first couple of seasons in the Welsh Premier League were a struggle because of financial constraints caused by the need for ground improvements.

But the Lakesiders have come a long way since he took over 10 years ago.

Caton added: "When I came here, Bala Town was just an open playing field really but there’s been a lot of work being put in by everybody doing paths and stands and floodlights and the like to meet the ground criteria.

"Our aim is to get into Europe. We were nearly there last year."

The club's commercial manager Gareth Moon, who started out as a fan, said: "I’m delighted with the progress we've made as a club, it's great for the town, great for businesses and great for the everyday football fan that follows us.

"It’s put Bala on the map,"

Any other companies interested in sponsoring Bala Town can visit www.balatownfc.co.uk

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