In The Beginning
Cwmbrân Town was formed in 1951 when Whiteheads AFC disbanded. After playing in junior leagues the club switched to the Welsh League in 1960, moving to Cwmbrân Athletics Stadium in 1975.
In 1978 Cwmbrân finished bottom of the Welsh League Premier Division and were relegated, in 1981 the Crows finished 16th but in 1982 won promotion to the Premier Division. In 1986 Cwmbrân became full members of the FAW and were chosen as one of 14 Welsh clubs to participate in both the English FA Cup and FA Trophy.
The League of Wales Era
It was not until November 1991 that the club made a substantial move forwards in appointing Tony Willcox as manager. The Town were then founder members of the newly formed League of Wales, and went on to win the Championship at the first attempt in 1993. As champions they represented Wales in the European Champions Cup - the only League of Wales side to do so – losing out to Cork City on away goals.
In 1998 Cwmbrân again qualified for Europe as Welsh Cup finalists, meeting Romanian side Nationale Bucerusti. The following season they went one better reaching the UEFA Cup by finishing third in the Welsh Premier League to set up a two legged encounter with Glasgow Celtic.
In 2002/03 Cwmbrân Town reached the Welsh Cup Final narrowly missing out after a penalty shoot out with Barry Town. Sadly during the 2002/03 season the club lost one of the most respected managers throughout the Welsh football, with the sudden death of Tony Willcox, known affectionately as “Mr Cwmbrân”.
Despite this loss, and as a result of finishing runners up in the Welsh Cup in 2002/03 the club qualified for the UEFA Cup and were drawn against Maccabi Haifa from Israel, who in the 2002/03 season beat Manchester United in the Champions League. The 2003/04 season saw the introduction of a new manager, Mr Brian Coyne, who had previously managed Newtown. Brian’s reign as manager was short lived however, and during the 2004/05 season after the resignation of long term Chairman Mr John Colley, Brian also decided to step down as manager due to financial reasons.
For the remainder of this season Cwmbrân were managed by former player Sean Wharton. For the next two seasons, in difficult circumstances Sean looked to local talent in an attempt to avoid relegation, but unfortunately at the end of the 2006/07 season Cwmbrân were relegated for the first time from the Welsh Premier League into the Welsh Football League. It was at this time that Sean felt it was time for a change and resigned at the end of the campaign.
A Club on the Brink
Season 2007/08 saw the club install a new manager, Guillermo Ganet and his reign was short lived, only staying with the club for one season and then leaving by mutual consent. A year later saw the introduction of the experienced Gary Proctor as manager, but relegation from Welsh League Division 1 followed.
For the 2009/10 season the club had a new management team of Barrie Hughes and Gareth Kedward. With a completely new squad the team finish fifth from bottom in Division 2, and because of the league restructure, demotion to Division 3. Unfortunately, another relegation followed at the end of the 2010/11 season with Hughes resigning mid-season.
The Gwent County League
Manager Mark Parfitt and assistant Jamie Jenkins built a new squad for 2011/12 using local players and managed a creditable 3rd place in Division 1 of the Gwent County League. Season 2012/13 started in promising fashion but a few games into the season Parfitt stepped down and Jamie Jenkins took the hot seat, finishing the long hard season near the bottom.
The following season Jenkins was joined by his brother and ex-Crow Daniel Jenkins and the pair oversaw a good run of results that saw the team fighting for the league championship until four defeats in the last five games resulted in a 7th place finish.
The Crows appointed former Cwmbrân Celtic manager Steve Morgan for the start of the 2014/15 season but a bad run of results with no wins in the first eight games saw Morgan resign. First Team Coach Andrew Howells stepped into the manager position and was joined by former PILCS manager Matthew Ryder with a third of the season remaining. Together they steered the team to the safety of 14th place.
In his first full season in charge Ryder took the Crows to 12th position on the newly-laid 3G surface at the stadium. The following season saw improvements and 8th place was achieved. The Crows ending as the division's leading scorers with 98 goals while Owen Llewellyn scored a club record 33 league and cup goals in the process.
A promising start to the 2017/18 season took a turn for the worse and Ryder resigned after losing three consecutive matches over the festive period. Assistant Gareth Hinwood took control until the final three games. A new coaching team of ex-goalkeeper Nicky Church and local legend Della Cheedy was assembled and they saw the Crows to a respectable fourth place finish.
Season 2018/19 will be the management team's first full one and with additions to the squad there is renewed optimism that the club can get back to the Welsh League, ideally in time for the forthcoming dramatic FAW pyramid restructuring.