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It’s in the cards by Marc ap Dafydd

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There are not many tangible links with our decade of membership in the Football League available to us at Merthyr Town. The holy grail of a home match  programme  continues to elude the museum project, there are always a few Merthyr Town issues  up for  auction  but their rarity means that their reserve prices are always way outside our budget. We’ve got a few away game  programmes  in the collection in preparation for future  exhibitions  but a copy produced and sold at  Penydarren  Park escapes us.  However around 100 years ago our squad of players preparing for a season in the Football League alongside teams such as Watford, Watford and Millwall were photographed  for inclusion in one of the great  promotions of the age; the cigarette card. The cards were originally included in the packaging as “stiffeners” to prevent the cigarettes from bending or breaking but very soon became collectors ’  items  in their own right and  another way to advertise the brands in a very crowded tobacco

A Safer Space by Marc ap Dafydd

  The recent  Sgorio   piece on our game v Weston Super Mare gave the club an opportunity to express everyone’s frustration with the Covid-19  restrictions imposed by our very own government. That game ,  in particular , seem s  the most ridiculous of the two games played behind closed doors. The “Boxing Day” game would have seen a crowd possibly close to 1,000 fans which is sadly unusual for us in recent seasons, a day of reunions as exiled fans return home to celebrate Christmas with loved  ones, a slice of Valleys life concentrated into a football ground. There would  of course  have been  cwtshes  all around the terraces  on that day  so maybe a note of caution over the festive period was warranted  but the next home game with no fans seemed absurd to everyone at  Penydarren  Park when the S4C cameras came to film our empty terraces.  Our average home crowd is about 400 fans these days and let’s be honest we can probably provide any authority in the land with a map of where each of

Why do we live this way by Konrad Bartelski

  Have you ever thought about the way we live? The reliance on the ability of a dozen or so semi-professional or maybe that should be semi-amateur players to complete our week’s endeavors with a competent game of football and if we’re lucky three points . It all  seems a bit ridiculous .  I’ve thought about this for a long time, it’s getting on for 43 years now, and I’ve come to the realization that it’s not absurd for us to believe in a football team to make us happy. Why shouldn’t we? We live in the Valleys, the most hedonistic part of the UK.  The most ludicrous fans hav e got  to be those from the big cities where there  must  be more to life than football, haven’t they got more there after all? They do, we don’t ,  but we  certainly  live life to the full. That’s the  big  difference  in  how we live our lives. Belgrade is a great city. There are more than a few Merthyr fans who have been there to watch Wales over the years and every one of them will tell you that it’s a great cit

A bleak midwinter By Konrad Bartelski

My wife reckons that summer officially starts on the day after the winter solstice, I think she’s clutching at straws but to be fair the days will become longer as we head into 2022 and the second half of this intriguing season which was full of hopes of consolidation but has become more of a fight of attrition against relegation. It’s never been easy to be a Martyr, that goes without saying, but we are about to be tested  once again  with  our club’s fight for survival in this our spiritual home in the top division of the Southern League. A season in hibernation within a global pandemic  has required us to basically start a football club all over again.  Thankfully we were able to keep the off-field business alive albeit in much reduced circumstances, the Wales matches in the Euro2020 tournament  certainly helped raise both funds and morale at  Penydarren  Park especially with  TalkSPORT  basing their coverage at our ground.  The ever - present uncertainty over Covid restrictions ensu