–An Aberystwyth Town Legend having made over 350 appearances in the Welsh Premier League. Has now been Manager since 11/12 season – a UEFA A Licence holder Gari is also the Director of Aberystwyth Town Academy. Never say die attitude and leads from the front. Gari is a local Penrhyncoch lad born and bred and is proud to manage his local village
Penrhyncoch were formed as recently as 1965 and have now established themselves as one of the leading mid Wales clubs outside of the top flight. The village lies five miles north west of Aberystwyth between the Afon Stewi and Nant Seilo rivers. Penrhyncoch started to develop at the end of 18th century, but major growth did not occur until the 1940’s, following the break-up of the Gogerddan estate. The village was the birthplace of poet Dafydd ap Gwilym and home to hydrographer Lewis Morris. The Roosters initially joined the Aberystwyth and District league in 1965/66 and claimed their first major honour just four seasons later when they lifted the League Cup. The following campaign saw the Cae Baker club retain the League Cup and they also claimed the South Cards Cup after overcoming Ffostrasol Wanderers in the final. Twelve months later, in what was only their seventh season since forming, Penrhyncoch were champions of the Aberystwyth and District League, finishing four points clear of local rivals Aberystwyth Town Reserves.
The Roosters were unable to retain the title, as they finished runners-up to Phoenix, one of several clubs operating in the league around that time based at Aberystwyth University. The Cae Baker men did have the consolation of claiming the North Cards Cup in the 1972/73 season. The following campaign saw Penrhyn end the season as runners-up again in the league, this time finishing four points behind Llanilar, but they did beat St Dogmaels in the South Cards Cup final. The Roosters regained the league championship twelve months later, as they dropped just a single point in the whole campaign, and overcame Aberystwyth Town Reserves to retain the South Cards Cup. The Cae Baker club were now on a roll as they retained the title, finishing six points clear of Machynlleth, and completed a hat-trick of SouthCardsCup successes with victory over Newcastle Emlyn in the final. It was not long before Penrhyncoch had Secured their third successive league title, when they dropped just one point during the season, finishing seven points ahead of Tregaron Turfs. It was an extremely successful season,as the League Cup, North Cards Cup and South Cards Cup all found their way into the Cae Baker trophy cabinet.
By now, Penrhyncoch were the dominant force in the Aberystwyth and District League, as they secured their fourth championship in a row, when they finished eight points clear of Byncrug in 1977/78. The Roosters also managed to retain the North Cards Cup that season for good measure. The Cae Baker club’s run of success in the league finally came to an end in the following campaign, when they finished runners-up to AberAC, but they did have the consolation of lifting both the League Cup and the Ceredigion Cup, where they beat Llanon in the final. The 1979/80 campaign saw Penrhyn finish runners-up to Bryncrug but they managed to retain the League Cup and also lifted the North Cards Cup. The following season saw the Roosters miss out on the league title to Dolgellau by a single point and they also went down to Newtown Reserves in the final of the Central Wales FA’s prestigious Emrys Morgan Cup. After the campaign concluded, Mike England, the then Wales manager, opened a new clubhouse at Cae Baker in July 1981.
After missing out on silverware in the previous campaign, Penrhyncoch defeated New Quay in the South Cards Cup final, which was their sixth success in this competition in the space of twelve seasons. Despite not winning the title, the Cae Baker club decided to take he step up to the newly-formed Mid Wales League Second Division in 1982/83, which they managed to win, by finishing three points clear of Aberystwyth Town Reserves.
The Mid Wales League reverted back to a single division for the following campaign, 1983-84, and Penrhyn would finish in the lower-half of the table for the next three seasons. After three successive top-six finishes in the ensuing campaigns, the Ceredigion outfit finished third in 1989/90, finishing behind Welshpool Town and champions Caersws. With the landscape of Welsh football changing at the begining of the 1990’s, Penrhyncoch decided to join the newly-formed CymruAlliance, which meant a new stand with sixty seats being built at Cae Baker and a barrier installed around the pitch.
The Roosters had a tough baptism during their opening season at the higher level, as they finished bottom of the Cymru Alliance, but were saved from relegation as the league was extended to sixteen teams in 1991/92. Penrhyncoch’s fortunes improved over the folowing three seasons, as they secured mid-table finishes, but the 1994/95 campagin saw the club finish bottom of the league, when they were deducted 39 points for fileding a player who had signed for three clubs at the same time. At the league AGM, clubs voted to save the Ceredigion outfit from the drop and relegate Mostyn instead, who subsequently appealed to the FAW against the decision. The FAW upheld the Maes Pennant club’s appeal, which appeared to relegate Penrhyn on the eve of the new season, but the CymruAlliancedecided that both clubs should retain their membership of the league.
The 1995/96 season was much better for the Cae Baker men, as they secured a mid-table finish and also reached the FAW Trophy final, before going down to the holders Rhydymwyn in the Latham Park final. TheRoosters managed to secure some silverware twelve months later, when they defeated Penycae in the League Cup final, but were unable to complete a cup double, when they went down to the Cymru Alliance champions Rhayader Town in the Central Wales Challenge Cup final. After a sixth placed finish in the following campaign, the club took the decision to withdraw from the Cymru Alliance on the eve of the 1998/99 season and re-join the Spar Mid Wales League, due to financial constraints and the large amount of travelling to North Wales, and they finished fourth in their first season back. By now Penrhyncoch had installed floodlights at their ground, as well as other improvements to their Cae Baker home.
The following campaign saw the Roosters finish as runners-up to Carno and they were also beaten by Welshpool Town in the Central Wales Challenge Cup final. The Cae Baker outfit had the consolation of lifting the League Cup by overcoming Guilsfield on penalties in the final. Penrhyncoch also had their best ever run in the Welsh Cup that season, when they reached the last eight of the competition, following victories over Welshpool Town, Llanidloes Town, Blaenrhondda and Amlch Town. The Ceredigion club were drawn at Barry Town in the quarter-finals but found the Welsh Premier champions too strong as they lost 5-0. The teams met again in the third round at CaeBaker, less than twelve months later, where the Dragons came away with a norrow2-1 victory. The 2000/01 campaign was curtailed by the foot and mouth outbreak but the Roosters retained the League Cup, which was completed in the following season, when they overcame Prestigne on penalties.
Penrhyncoch ended the 2001/02 season as champions, by finishing three points clear of Carno, to claim their first ever league title in senior football. The Cae Baker outfit retained their crown twelve months later, finishing ten points ahead of Aberystwyth Town Reserves, and completed a double by lifting the Central Wales Challenge Cup for the first time. The Ceredigion outfit defeated Spar Mid Wales League rivals Kerry 3-0 in the final. Penrhyn were unable to complete a hat-trick of league titles, as they ended the 2003/04 season a single point behind their local rivals from Park Avenue, who also claimed the championship that season. The Cae Baker club had decided to apply for promotion and made a return to the Cymru Alliance in 2004/05 after seven season away from the second tier. Penrhyncochalso entered into a joint venture with local rivals Aberystwyth Town, whereby the Roosters would be able to use players from Park Avenue, when they were not required by the Seasiders’ first team. The Ceredigion outfit club just about avoided an instant return tot eh Spar Mid Wales League, but they did negotiate their way through to the League Final, where they lost 3-2 to Bala Town.
The 2005/06 campaign saw a slight improvement in the Cae Baker outfit’s fortunes, as they finished in a mid-table position, but the next three seasons saw Penrhyncoch involved in what was a constant battle to avoid relegation from the Cymru Alliance. Gavin Allen decided to resign as player/manager in December 2008, with the Roosters floundering in the lower reaches of the Cymru Alliance, and was replaced by Kevin Jenkins who managed to guide Penrhyn to safety. With the Welsh Premier clubs voting to reduce the size of the top flight to twelve teams from August 2010, and the Cymru Alliance also reducing to sixteen teams that season, the Cae Baker club knew they would require a much improved campaign this term to retain their status. The Ceredigion outfit have enjoyed their best season in the Cymru Alliance since 1997/98, figuring in the top-six for most of the campaign, and look on course to retain their membership of the league next term. Despite being dumped out of both the League Cup and Central Wales Challenge Cup, within the space of a fortnight, the Roosters appear likely to be renewing acquaintances with Caersws and Technogroup Welshpool next season.