The History of gap Connah's Quay Nomads FC
The first Connah's Quay club was founded in 1890, playing in the Golftyn area of the town close to the present stadium. The club reached the Welsh Cup finals of 1908 and 1911, losing respectively to Chester and Wrexham, but was disbanded soon afterwards. A new club, Connah's Quay & Shotton, was formed in 1920, renting land at the rear of the Halfway House hotel from the Northgate Brewery, and becoming members of the Welsh National League (North), as a fully professional outfit, in 1922.
In 1928, the club moved to Dee Park, Shotton and won both the Welsh National League (North) championship and the prestigious Welsh Cup in 1929. In the final they defeated First Division Cardiff City 3-0 at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground. Cardiff's team, incidentally, contained several players who had beaten Arsenal in the 1927 FA Cup final. Six months later, however, Connah's Quay & Shotton folded with debts totalling more than £1,000, leaving Connah's Quay Albion to carry the town's soccer banner through the second war.
Formed in July 1946 as Connah's Quay Juniors, the present-day club was the brainchild of the Everton and Wales centre-half Tommy (T.G.) Jones (pictured), a native of the town. Attracted by the reputation of the famous international, the Deeside youngsters flocked to join the new team which quickly became a major force in North Wales youth soccer, winning the Welsh Youth Cup in 1948.
By natural progression a senior team was formed and joined the Flintshire League in 1948. Success soon followed and Connah's Quay Juniors reached the final of the Welsh Amateur Cup in 1950/51. Prior to the 1952/53 season, the club's suffix was changed to Nomads and the team ventured into the Welsh League (North).
Though unsuccessful in their challenge for the league title, Connah's Quay once again contested the final of the Welsh Amateur Cup, this time winning the trophy against Caersws Amateurs. The club also reached the semi-final of the Welsh Senior Cup before going down to Football League side Chester at Wrexham's Racecourse ground. Despite winning the North Wales Amateur Cup three times in the 1950s, Nomads' fortunes took a dip and the club moved into local football for seven years prior to rejoining the Welsh League in 1966, twice finishing as runners-up at the start of the 1970s.
In 1974, however, the club joined the newly-formed Clwyd League and spent more than a dozen seasons at this level, winning the championship twice. Without doubt, Nomads' most successful season was 1980/81 when they won seven trophies including the Welsh Intermediate Cup, beating Newport YMCA in the final, and the Clwyd League without losing a game. Following three successful seasons in the Welsh Alliance, Connah's Quay became founder members of the Cymru Alliance in 1990 and the League of Wales two seasons later.
Finishing 8th in the new national competition in 1992/93 was a fine achievement after a poor start as was Nomads' appearance in the semi-final of the Welsh Cup despite the disappointment of a 2-1 aggregate defeat against Clwyd rivals Rhyl. Neville Powell joined the club in the summer of 1993 and steadily built up his team into one capable of challenging for a European place. Within twelve months of Neville's arrival, Nomads won the North Wales Coast F.A. Cup and, in 1995/96, battled through to win the League of Wales League Cup, beating Ebbw Vale in the final at Caersws.
The 1997/98 season was one of the most successful as the club finished seventh in the League of Wales, thus gaining entry into the FAW Premier Cup, and also reached the final of the Welsh Cup for the first time. Unfortunately, Nomads missed out on a European venture when Bangor City snatched a last-minute equaliser and won the cup in a penalty shoot-out. The club's home since 1946 was the Halfway Ground, but in July 1998 Nomads moved into the newly-constructed Deeside Stadium. Eighteen league victories during 2002/2003 saw Nomads reach the giddy heights of fifth place in the table, just a point off a 'top four' spot and looked to be a good bet to improve on that the following season though they failed to live up to expectations finishing in a disappointing 12th place - repeated a year later despite a dreadful start to that season. In 2006/2007, however, while ground-sharing with Flint Town United, Nomads almost qualified for Europe but had to settle for fifth place once again.
Yet, soon after the campaign ended, manager Neville Powell left for Bangor City taking his entire backroom staff and seven players with him. Londoner Jim Hackett was installed as manager and, aided by his assistant Andy Lee, immediately set about bringing new players to the club. Despite a number of setbacks during the campaign, relegation was avoided and Connah's Quay remained one of only five founder members of the League of Wales (Welsh Premier) to have unbroken membership over the seventeen seasons of its existence.
Nomads were taken over by gap personnel in June 2008 and former Caernarfon Town boss Steve O'Shaughnessy was installed as the club's new manager. But, at the end of the following season and despite a ninth-placed finish, the club parted company with O'Shaughnessy and Jim Hackett was recalled for a second spell on Deeside. After a month, Hackett moved to Hong Kong and Nomads appointed current Player/Manager Mark McGregor at the start of season 2009/10.
Mark is an experienced English Football League player with over 400 Football League games to his credit - most of which came for Wrexham, but he also counts Blackpool, Burnley, Port Vale and Altrincham among his former clubs.
Ably assisted by Ken Price, the duo oversaw shock wins over Rhyl, The New Saints, Llanelli and Neath at the Deeside Stadium but could not prevent Nomads slip into the Huws Gray Alliance following the Pyramid re-shuffle. This despite a respectable 14th-placed mid-table finish.
The Nomads were Champions of the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance in 2010/11, but failure to obtain a domestic license ruled out promotion. Following a league record breaking successive Huws Gray Cymru Alliance Championship in season 2011/12, The Nomads obtained a domestic licence and returned to the top flight in 2012.
The 2012/13 season saw The Nomads unfortunately miss out on the top 6 for the second half of the season due to an administrative error which saw Lee Davey come on as a substitute against Carmarthen Town, playing for his third club in one season, a breach of FIFA Regulations. This saw The Nomads suffer a points deduction which saw them miss out on the Top 6 narrowly. This didn't deter The Nomads however, and they ended up finishing the season in the Europa League Playoffs, narrowly missing out through a late penalty at Bala Town.
The 2012/13 season also saw The Nomads' Academy product Rhys Healey signed by Cardiff City following a run of 30 goals in 24(+27) appearances at Deeside. Healey went on to make his Cardiff City debut against Chelsea in the final game of the 2013/14 season.
2013/14 saw a complete re-brand of the Club with a new club crest and colour scheme, with the home kit changing from white to red, while the away kit became yellow. This was to tie the Club's colours in more tightly with the Connah's Quay community, whose Town crest features red and yellow sails on the boat included. The side started the season well, going five games unbeaten at the start, however shortly after, the side went on a run of 10 consecutive defeats. Fortunately, a number of new signings in January made a valuable impact in the second half of the season and The Nomads picked up six wins from their final 10 games, including an 8-1 final day victory over Afan Lido, which secured The Nomads' place in the top flight of Welsh Football for the 2014/15 season.
The 2014-15 pre-season saw The Nomads host a number of high profile European friendlies against Ludogorets Razgrad and Dinamo Bucharest before embarking on the league campaign. The start to the season was less than glamorous with an early exit from theWord Cup and picking up small amount of points in the opening games. It took until October before The Nomads started to record a couple of victories, however things continued to look bleak and just after Christmas, the Club parted ways with Mark McGregor and appointed Allan Bickerstaff and Jay Catton in charge of first team activity. Their first game in charge saw a 3-2 defeat at home to Newtown, however following this, The Nomads would go on to only lose three more competitive games in the remainder of the season. One at home to TNS in the Welsh Cup and one away to Cefn Druids. This run of form saw The Nomads dramatically squeeze in to the Europa League Play Offs where they met Aberystwyth, only to have their place in the Play Off final snatched from them in the 93rd minute as Aberystwyth won 3-2 at Park Avenue.
The 2015-16 season saw heavy investment in the squad, and a poor start to the season saw Allan Bickerstaff leave his role as Manager in late October. Jay Catton took control of three games on an interim basis, before Andy Morrison was appointed as the new manager ahead of the clash with Carmarthen Town - a game which was won 4-0 by The Nomads.
Morrison revived the side and in the final game of the first half of the season, The Nomads needed to defeat the unbeaten Champions, TNS to qualify for the Play Off Championship - this was achieved with a 2-0 victory and The Nomads went on to defeat TNS again in the second half of the season by a scoreline of 2-1. The season saw The Nomads reach the semi final of both theWord Cup and the FAW Welsh Cup, before finishing fourth in the league. The fourth placed finish ensured that The Nomads qualified for the Europa League Play-Offs. A 2-0 victory over Carmarthen Town setup a final clash with Morrison's former side, Airbus at Deeside Stadium in a game which saw a late Wes Baynes strike secure European football for the first time in the Club's history.
The 2016-17 season thus started early due to the UEFA Europa League qualification, with a two legged First Qualifying Round clash with Norwegian side, Stabæk. The Nomads held Stabæk to a 0-0 draw at Rhyl before travelling to Fredrikstad, Norway where an early Callum Morris strike secured an historic 1-0 victory for The Nomads.
Ray Jones (1992 - May 1993)
Nev Powell/Phil Evans (May 1993-May 1995)
Nev Powell (May 1995 - May 2007)
Jim Hackett (May 2007 - May 2008)
Steve O'Shaughnessy (June 2008 - to June 2009)
Jim Hackett (June 2009 - July 2009)
Mark McGregor (July 2009 - January 2015)
Allan Bickerstaff (January 2015 - October 2015)
Andy Morrison (November 2015-Present)