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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 12:07 GMT
Village team rivals soccer champs
TNS' Treflan ground in Llansantffraid
TNS currently play at Treflan in Llansantffraid
Football fans in a village which is home to Welsh Premier champions The New Saints (TNS) are looking to set up a rival team.

TNS currently play in Llansantffraid, near Welshpool, but they intend to switch to Oswestry, Shropshire, and a new 3,000-seater stadium by 2010.

This has prompted locals to establish Llansantffraid Village FC, and they hope to challenge TNS in the future.

The team has applied to join an amateur league, but will start at the bottom.

The new club is also looking to form a constitution, and part of it is designed to prevent sponsors from altering its name should it reach the heights of the Welsh Premier League.

A decade ago TNS were known as Llansantffraid FC, but they changed their name following a sponsorship deal with Shropshire-based IT firm Total Network Solutions.

Llansantffraid
Llansantffraid is less than 10 miles from Oswestry

Ray Jones, manager of Llansantffraid Village FC, said: "TNS are going to move to Oswestry, but there are lads in the village who want to play football.

"TNS' reserve side (who play in the Spar Mid Wales League) are made up of youngsters from Walford College (near Oswestry) and are not from the village.

"We have applied to join the JT Hughes Montgomeryshire Amateur League and hopefully within about two to three years we could be playing in the Spar or Cymru Alliance."

Llansantffraid Village FC's application to join the league will be discussed in the summer.

European matches

Mr Jones added that there was no animosity towards TNS, and said some of the club's old committee members were now helping to manage the new village side.

Ian Williams, TNS' general manager, said the club did not "have an issue" with the villagers' plans.

"Something we have to resolve is the usage of the pitch (in Llansantffraid)," he added.

TNS' new stadium is earmarked for a 24-acre site known as Oswald Park, less than 10 miles from Llansantffraid.

The ground will allow TNS to stage European matches.


SEE ALSO
TNS redevelop old Park Hall home
13 Jun 06 |  League of Wales
TNS convert to saintly new name
02 Jun 06 |  League of Wales
Saints go marching across border
26 Sep 05 |  Mid Wales
Village pride as Saints march in
14 Jul 05 |  Mid Wales
Villagers prepare for big clash
13 Jul 05 |  Mid Wales

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