Cymru Alliance is a challenge too far for Rhayader Town

By Twm Owen in Football

Rhayader Town have resigned from the Cymru Alliance League because their players are unwilling to commit to the traveling involved.

The former Welsh Premier League side won the Spar Mid Wales League Division One last season and with it promotion to the second tier Huws Gray Alliance north Wales league.

Their promotion had been in jeopardy over worries its Weirglodd ground wouldn’t meet the criteria for the second tier league they were last relegated from in 2015.

But those issues were resolved and the Red Kites were accepted for promotion and due to kick off their campaign at another former League of Wales side, Flint Town United, on August 12.

However the club confirmed today it has withdrawn from the league in which it would have been the most southernly based team.

A statement released by the club said: "Rhayader Town Football Club have unfortunately had to withdraw from the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance.

"This is a decision that hasn’t been taken lightly and we have explored every avenue to try and fulfil our commitments to the league.

"For several seasons travelling commitments in this league have become a burden and this year it has come to a head and the realisation that players do not want to travel what can be 324 mile round trips to play a game of football.

"We apologise to all the clubs that our decision has affected but we will comeback stronger and accept any punishment that the league and FAW sanction. Whatever happens we will still be playing football this season."

The league has said Rhayader has informed it they are resigning from the league "due to their failure to raise a team for the 2017/18 season".

Last week Rhayader defeated Herefordshire League Premier Division side Holme Lacy 4-1 but it is unclear at what level they will be able to play this coming season.

Their resignation means the Huws Gray Alliance is left with just 15 teams. Winning the Huws Gray brings with it promotion to the Welsh Premier League and the league this year features Airbus Broughton and Rhyl who were both relegated from the top flight last season. Airbus had also played in the Europa League qualifiers as recently as 2015.

Rhayader, who themselves played in the Welsh top flight from 1997 to 2002, would have faced lengthy journeys to the north of Gwynedd, Anglesey and Wrexham in the Huws Gray.

Their nearest rivals would have been Montgomeryshire sides Guilsfield, Caersws and Ceredigion-based Penrhyncoch.

Rhayader are the second Powys club this summer to pull out of a league due to travelling commitments.

In June Hay St Mary’s dropped down to the Spar Mid Wales League Second Division due to the travel involved in Division One.

The Hay-on-Wye-based team said players were unwilling to commit to the long journeys involved and were looking to join clubs elsewhere.