THE 2020/21 season will see Bala Town Football Club return to European football after a season out of it.

Following a curtailed 2019/20 campaign, Colin Caton's side finished third in the Welsh Premier League table, securing them a place in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds.

Historically speaking, The Lakesiders have been around since 1880 (although there is some evidence to suggest they may have been around a few years earlier than this).

Bala North End, Bala South End and Bala Thursdays merged together in 1880 to form Bala Town as we know it today.

However, the first official league records for Town can only be found from the 1921-22 season, when the club was playing in the Welsh National League North Division Two.

Bala moved to their current home ground, Maes Tegid, in the 1950's and joined the Wrexham Alliance around the same time.

However, it wasn't until the turn of the century they really began to climb the Welsh football pyramid system and enjoy some real success.

They were promoted to the second tier, the-then Cymru Alliance at the end of the 2003–04 season. Then, after only four seasons in that division, The Lakesiders sealed promotion to the Cymru Premier, where the fairytales really began for the club.

In 2014/15, the club finished as runners-up meaning they had earned themselves a European spot for the following season.

They faced Luxembourg side Differdange 03 and despite a 3-1 loss away from home in the first leg, they fought back well in the return leg at the Belle Vue stadium in Rhyl.

Goals from Conall Murtaugh – now a first-team fitness coach with Premier League champions Liverpool – and Ian Sheridan had given the Lakesiders a 2-0 lead heading into stoppage time. However, heart break ensued as a late, late Omar Er Rafik goal gave Differdange the win.

A few years later, in April 2017, came what is arguably the club's greatest achievement to date when they won the Welsh Cup in true underdog fashion, beating The New Saints for the first time in 30 attempts.

Jordan Evans and Kieran Smith scored two late goals to see The Lakesiders come from behind following Greg Draper’s opener to seal a fantastic victory for Bala Town.

Fast forward to the upcoming 2020/21 season and Bala Town have secured what will be their sixth European campaign in just 12 top-flight seasons.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Manager Colin Caton (above), who is heading into his 18th season in charge of the first team, has worked wonders at the club over the years.

When the 49-year-old took over way back in 2003, not many would have imagined the glory days that have since followed for the club.

But, with another season in Europe now secured, it's fair to say that there could be many more successes on the cards for both Caton and Bala Town in the not-so-distant future.