A village football club is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its rebirth in style.
Coedpoeth United has clinched a sponsorship deal with the award-winning Village Bakery which was founded in nearby Park Road.
The club’s under 11s team will be stepping up to the under 12s age group next season when they will be playing in a competitive league for the first time – proudly wearing the bright green and yellow kit bought by the bakery and bearing its name.
It’s one of 15 teams at the thriving community-based club, with sides ranging from the under sixes to the veterans’ walking football team which has members in their eighties.
The current success of the club is a far cry from the dark days of the 1980s when it folded.
The adult section was reformed in 1999 when it joined the Welsh National League.
Among those who is proud of how Coedpoeth United have prospered since then is Kerry Wilson, the pie room manager at the Village Bakery.
Kerry, who is based at the family firm’s bakery in Minera, played for the club as an attacking midfielder in his younger days.
He said: “Although the Village Bakery has grown immensely since it was founded more than 80 years ago, we are still very much a community-based company and we are hugely proud of our roots.
“I am really delighted that the Village Bakery is sponsoring next season’s under 12 team.
“After I finished playing my step son Josh Lock played for Coedpoeth. He’s moved on to TNS now and he also plays for Wales but it all started here.
“When Josh first started here he was a centre forward and he scored 250 goals in one season but he’s dropped back into midfield now and plays in my old position.
“It’s a really good, well-run community club which has overcome the difficulties that it had and is now at the centre of village life once again.
“As somebody who works for the Village Bakery, this is a really proud day for me and hopefully some of the youngsters will progress and go through to the first team in the years to come.”
The players’ player of the year last year was Cavan James Jones,11, whose mum Claire works for the Village Bakery as the sales office supervisor.
Cavan said: “I’m looking forward to next season and I think the new kit is the best. I think it looks really good. We’re going to look really smart when we’re playing next season.”
Mum Claire added: I feel particularly proud because it’s good that a local business like the Village Bakery is supporting children in the local community.
“Cavan loves football. It’s a huge part of his life and he always really enjoys coming, gives it a 100 per cent, and now he can wear the Village Bakery on his shirt as well which is brilliant.”
Under 11s manager Kevin Edwards will stick with them next season when the go to the higher age group.
He said: “Coedpoeth is my local club. I started coaching this team from when they started as under 8s, and hopefully I’ll progress with them right the way through up until adulthood.
“The under 11s have just finished their season which went really well. We were in the last year of what we call mini football, so we didn’t record results or have league tables.
“I was particularly proud that last season we won the sportsmanship award for the third year running and that’s based on three things, the attitude of the players, parents and coaches.
“Next season we will be in a competitive league for the for the first time, moving from the smaller pitches to full sized pitches and from eight a side to 11 a side in the Wrexham and District Youth League.
“It’s a massive step up and thanks to the Village Bakery the team will really look the part. We have a kit to be proud of. It’s a top quality kit and we are going to play our hearts out in it.
“The Village Bakery have invested a lot into us so we need to wear the kit with pride and perform for them.”
Club chairman Mark Hughes said: “We’ve had a few years of struggle but we’ve come on a lot and we now have 15 teams in all. We’re a really thriving club and it’s an important part of village life.
“We’re very grateful to the Village bakery and for their sponsorship of the kit for the under 11s.
“We’re absolutely delighted because it’s an expensive kit and it looks the part.
“It’s fantastic to be associated with the Village Bakery and they’ve always been very good to the club. They’ve been brilliant for the whole community.”
Village Bakery managing director Robin Jones said: “We are a family firm which was born and bred in Coedpoeth and we are delighted to have the opportunity to support the club once again.
“The club plays an important part in village life and we will be rooting for the under 12s next season when they will be playing in a competitive league for the first time. We wish them and the rest of the club every success.”