A FOOTBALL club in Wrexham that battled vandalism for years, announced they have moved grounds due to their lofty ambitions.

Gresford Athletic FC dealt with several vandalism incidents at their ground on Clappers Lane in recent years, including seats being ripped out of stands, dugouts being smashed, and tyre marks being left across the pitch. 

Following a string of incidents last year, which the club described as "soul-destroying", they confirmed they were looking at trying to move away from their current ground.

That move has now materialised, as at the end of February, Gresford announced they had agreed a deal with Cefn Druids to ground-share at The Rock.

However, the move comes as part of the club's ambitious plans to reach Tier two requirements. 

The club in the JD Cymru North, which is the second tier of Welsh football, and with increasing standards, say that it was becoming "increasingly difficult" to reach those criteria at Clappers Lane.

Issues with overlapping cricket seasons, the ground being open to the public, and floodlight requirements posed the threat of relegation. 


A spokesperson said: "These are some of the reasons that would soon not allow us to use the ground and they continue to add up. Given that these potential issues are almost certainly unavoidable at Clappers Lane, the only real option was to leave the ground and find a new home.

"Failure to meet the criteria could result in a rejection of a Tier 2 license, which would then result in relegation for Gresford Athletic and the inability to be promoted unless the requirements were met.

"We are a small, committee-led club, but also an ambitious club and are constantly looking for ways to progress and improve. Disqualification from Tier 2, relegation, and no route back up the leagues was ruled out as an option by the club and a move was the step that we felt we had to take."

The club say options within the village were looked at, but none were viable, and also reassured fans that there was no possibility of a merger between the clubs. 

The spokesperson added: "There have been no discussions regarding a merge of the two clubs and the groundshare is simply that – a groundshare.

"Gresford Athletic and Cefn Druids will both play at The Rock, but will continue to be separate football clubs and operate independently on all things outside of matters regarding the groundshare.

"This is a big change for all of us and we understand the confusion that people may have. We hope that we have answered some of the common queries and that people can feel that they now have some more clarity regarding the move."