Airbus Broughton

Post code:
CH4 0DR
Contact:
ehannah19@btinternet.com
Web site:
Short name:
Air
Club Colours:
All Blue
MANAGER - Steve O'Shaughnessy

A Uefa Pro licensed-coach, the 49-year-old former midfielder was most recently on the coaching staff at Bala Town, having previously managed Caernarfon Town, Cefn Druids and Gap Connah's Quay. Wrexham-born O'Shaughnessy started his career as an apprentice at Leeds United before moving onto Bradford City and then Rochdale, where he enjoyed arguably the most successful spell in his career, scoring 16 goals in 109 League appearances.

O'Shaughnessy earned the nickname the "Master Blaster" for his skill at taking long distance free-kicks. In July 1991, he joined Exeter City for a fee of £10,000 but, after a disappointing three-game spell, joined Darlington in January 1992.

In 88 League appearances for the Quakers, O'Shaughnessy became captain before being released at the end of the 1993/94 season, with his final Football League appearance coming in May against Bury.

After spells with Stalybridge Celtic and Buler Rangers in Hong Kong, he returned to Wales and made 140 (+16) appearances for Inter Cardiff, Barry Town, Holywell Town, Rhyl, Caernarfon, TNS, Bangor City, Oswestry Town and Druids, scoring 14 goals.

In 2000, O'Shaughnessy was appointed player-manager of Oswestry Town but, after an excellent start which saw the club rise to as high as second in the league, the club's form faded and they just stayed-up after an 11-game losing streak. Despite this, it came as a surprise to many observers when O'Shaughnessy was sacked, joining Druids as manager in June 2001.

He guided the club to their first Welsh Cup semi-final in 98 years before losing 5–0 to Bangor City at Belle Vue.

In April 2004, O'Shaughnessy was sacked and coached at Wrexham's Centre of Excellence, joining the Canaries as manager in September 2006.

He joined Connah's Quay in June 2008, leaving after one season in charge, returning to the Welsh Premier with the Lakesiders in 2015.

O’Shaughnessy was appointed Airbus manager in November 2017.

FOUNDED                                                                                                                1946

WITH changes in the factory name the football team has followed suit, being known at various times as Vickers-Armstrong, de Havilands, Hawker Siddeley, British Aerospace, BAe Systems and Airbus UK. The club is now firmly established as Airbus UK Broughton and, until the end of the 2003/04 season, played its football in the Huws-Gray Fitlock Cymru Alliance, the second tier of the Welsh soccer pyramid.

The club was formed 1946 and has played in both Chester & District League and the Welsh National League (Wrexham area). Their last move, into the Welsh pyramid system, saw them canter to the Welsh National League (Wrexham area) Division Two title during the 1991/92 season winning it by a clear nineteen points from Gresford Athletic Reserves. In that season they won 28 of their 34 matches and scored a remarkable 130 goals, an average of almost four goals per game. They also reached the NEWFA Challenge Cup final losing narrowly to Gresford Athletic.

They then spent four seasons in Division One, the first two seasons finishing sixth then, in third season, two places better in fourth. Season 1995/96 saw a further promotion, finishing runners-up behind Wrexham Colts at the end of the campaign: enough to see them move into the Premier Division of the Welsh National League along with the divisional champions.

Once again they spent four seasons at that level, the first two witnessing steady consolidation, finishing seventh and sixth respectively. In 1998/99, the side pushed hard for the championship but could only finish runners-up once again, a mere two points behind eventual champions Corwen Amateurs.

At last, in 1999/2000, British Aerospace went one better and won the title with 21 victories from thirty matches, finishing their programme four points ahead of Ruthin Town and Penycae. This success meant promotion once again, into the Cymru Alliance league and to coincide with the promotion the club changed its name from British Aerospace to Airbus UK.

Their first season in the Cymru Alliance was something of a struggle, eventually finishing in a creditable eleventh place with ten wins and fourteen defeats. Unfortunately, the campaign was badly affected by the outbreak of ‘foot and mouth’ disease which disrupted much of life in Wales.

Continuing the pattern seen after previous promotions, the second term saw a steady improvement and in the 2001/02 Airbus UK finished in eighth spot with sixteen wins. The club was clearly ambitious and again showed signs of progress in the 2002/03 season, achieving their highest ever finish of fifth spot in the Cymru Alliance and reaching the NEWFA Challenge Cup final, losing narrowly on penalties.

2003/04 was tremendously successful when Airbus UK took the Cymru Alliance title with considerable ease, winning it by nineteen clear points from closest rivals Buckley Town, and thus gained promotion to the national competition, the Welsh Premier.

‘The Wingmakers’ as they are known carried out steady improvements to their ground sited just inside the massive Airbus Works in Broughton, near Chester. A new stand was built with a pavilion incorporating changing rooms being completed early in 2004 and this year another impressive stand has been constructed on the opposite side of the ground. The pitch has been enclosed and is surrounded by hard standing. Floodlights were installed in time for the beginning of the 2004/05 season in the Welsh Premier League.

In 1992, the club introduced a reserve side which still operates in the Welsh National League (Wrexham Area), and is well established in Division One, winning the Division One Cup in both 2000/01 and 2001/02 seasons.

The first two seasons in the Welsh Premier League were a bit of a struggle as Airbus UK came to terms with the higher standards. The club battled hard to avoid relegation and appointed the former Wrexham midfielder Gareth Owen as player-manager following two seasons at nearby Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Performances have gradually improved and The Wingmakers finished 12th in 2006/07 earning a spot in the FAW Premier Cup for the first time. Last season was the club’s best-ever in the Welsh Premier as eleven victories and 42 points saw them finish in 11th place.

Gareth Owen moved to Rhyl during the 2008 close season and the former Middlesbrough player Craig Harrison took over the managerial reins having previously been assistant to Owen at The Airfield.

However, after three and a half years, Harrison moved on to TNS and was replaced by Andy Preece as director of football.

The new management team of Preece and ex-Football League defender Andy Morrison led the club to a Welsh Cup semi-final and seventh place in the WPL after their first half season in charge. But, in the following campaign, the Wingmakers finished in a highest-ever second place to qualify for Europe for the first time in their history.

Preece and Morrison repeated the success the following season, again finishing in the runners-up spot and qualifying for another Europa League campaign, where the Wingmakers were narrowly beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Norwegian full-timers FK Haugesund.

In 2014, the playing surface at the Hollingsworth Group Stadium was converted to synthetic 3G and Airbus went on to secure European football for a third consecutive season, losing on aggregate to NK Lokomotiva Zagreb of Croatia, securing a creditable 2-2 draw in the away leg.

In 2015/16, the Wingmakers ended the season in sixth place, defeated 1-0 in the Europa League play-off final but reached the Welsh Cup final for the first time in the club’s history.

Preece departed just days before the next campaign to be replaced by ex-Airbus defender Andrew Thomas and Airbus finished adrift of the pack and were relegated back to the Huws Gray Alliance after 14 seasons in the top flight.

LEAGUE RECORD

Season Pos Pl W D L F Ags Gd Pts
2017/8 3 28 17 3 8 67 42 25 54
2003/4 1 32 27 4 1 88 31 57 85
2002/3 5 32 17 5 10 70 50 20 56
2001/2 8 34 16 6 12 55 55 0 54
2000/1 11 31 10 7 14 54 63 −9 37
Total   157 87 25 45 334 241 102 286