Rival football clubs from Barry build bridges

FOOTBALL: Manager Wayne Hopkins (left) with the Island Marine FC team.

FOOTBALL: Manager Wayne Hopkins (left) with the Island Marine FC team.

First published in News by

Two former rival football clubs have joined together to form one team at Barry Island.

Island Marine FC have merged with Barry Island United FC and will be competing in the Vale of Glamorgan Football League Division Two in the forthcoming season.

New player-manager Wayne Hopkins, who has already signed 20 new players for the forthcoming season, was optimistic for the future of the club.

"It’s a good thing for the Island," he said.

"We have been battling against each other for the last 20 years and now we have joined together."

"We are looking forward to challenging on all fronts this forthcoming season," he added.

Mr Hopkins, 30, used to play for Barry Island United FC himself and coached them during the 2006-2007 season.

They later disbanded because of a lack of sponsorship and financial support.

Wayne, who has been playing senior football for 12 years, added: "95% of our squad live on Barry Island and it will be great for the community to finally have a decent side to represent the Island and join both sets of fans together and put many years of arguing and nasty tackles behind us."

Phyllis Street resident Wayne added: "The Island Marine team have been running for over twenty years now and have several kids teams, a very good setup and are the only senior team that runs from Barry Island itself.

"Special mention must go to Martin Byrne, without whom this team would have folded years ago."

Wayne, who works for DSL scaffolding, was also delighted with the clubs new kit.

"I would like to thank Richard Belby, manager of Forest Products, and Barry Island Sports and Social Club for supplying training equipment and after match food," he added.

Island Marine FC train every Tuesday and Thursday night at 6pm at Maslin Park. If you would like to join the team contact Wayne Hopkins on 07826501293.

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