2024 FAW Youth Cup final preview: Barry Town United v Briton Ferry Llansawel

There will be a new name etched onto the FAW Youth Cup on Sunday as Barry Town United and Briton Ferry Llansawel go head-to-head at Latham Park in Newtown (KO 16:00).

The New Saints have won the competition for the last two seasons but were eliminated at the quarter-final stage by Flint Town United. Now South Wales duo Barry Town United and Briton Ferry Llansawel have the opportunity to experience the same level of success in a competition that has established itself as the showpiece event in the domestic youth football calendar. 

Barry Town United eased their way into the competition this season with a 4-0 win over Chepstow Town back in October at Jenner Park as Frazer Herbert scored either side of half-time before Keaton Cooke and substitute Drew Perrett completed the scoring. Callum Huggins was at the double against Pontardawe Town in the next round with Finn Roberts and Joseph Rees also on target in a 4-2 victory. 

Haverfordwest County were up next and provided tougher opposition at the Bridge Meadow Stadium, but goals from Cooke and Rees ensured the side would progress to the last eight with a 2-1 win.

Penalties were required to eliminate Llanelli Town in the quarter-finals, but the experience proved valuable as the semi-final against Pontypridd United would also be decided on spot-kicks, with Barry eventually claiming their place in the final following a 2-2 draw at the SDM Glass Stadium.

It has already been a successful season for Briton Ferry Llansawel with the senior side claiming the JD Cymru South title to earn promotion to the domestic top-flight

Meanwhile, a hat-trick from Morgan Bates headlined an opening 8-0 victory over Aberbargoed Buds at the start of the campaign as the Ferry made their FAW Youth Cup intentions clear, while four different goalscorers in Kieran Evans, Ricky-Lee Owen, Caleb Demery and Keelan Dowley ensured a comfortable 4-1 win over Penybont in November. 

A 3-0 victory at Vale United continued their fine-form in the competition and setup a quarter-final tie away to Connah’s Quay Nomads. A double from Mason Giles together with goals from Bates and substitute Jacob Penhale proved sufficient to book their place in the semi-final with a 4-2 win as the side prepared to head to Aberystwyth for the challenge of Flint Town United. Two early goals from Giles and Nathan Crisan quickly settled any Ferry nerves and Demery ensured victory as he added a third to make it 3-0 in the final 15 minutes of the match. 

Although Barry Town United and Briton Ferry Llansawel are yet to lift the trophy, there have been nine different winners of the FAW Youth Cup since the competition was introduced in 1990, with Swansea City lifting the trophy on 13 occasions since their first victory over Caernarfon Town in 1999.

The young Swans won the competition for ten seasons in succession, a run that started in 2010 with a 2-1 win over Wrexham, and they have also been runners-up on six occasions. 

Cardiff City have won the competition eight times, with their most recent success coming in 2006 with a 5-2 win over Aberystwyth Town. The Bluebirds were also the inaugural winners back in 1990 when they defeated Swansea City 5-0 at Merthyr Tydfil.

Wrexham and The New Saints are the only other clubs to win the competition more than once, the former enjoying success in 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1996 before the Saints won the last two editions. 

Llanelli, Hereford United, Pontardawe Athletic, Newport County and Merthyr Tydfil have also claimed victories over the course of the last four decades, while West End, Caernarfon Town, Aberystwyth Town, Cardiff College Celts, Taffs Well, Flint Town United and Penybont have all reached the final without lifting the trophy.

The 2024 FAW Youth Cup final between Barry Town United and Briton Ferry Llansawel takes place at Latham Park in Newtown on Sunday 14 April (KO 16:00).

Entry is £2 for adults and free for concessions. It is cash only on the gate and the price also covers admission to the Bute Energy U16s Cup final earlier in the day.

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