Community Bank is on the ball for young Penrhiwceiber soccer stars

Community Bank is on the ball for young Penrhiwceiber soccer stars

Two-year deal: Allyssia Hargraves (Left) , team captain Kayla Davies with Smart Money Cymru Manager in Aberdare branch Eleri Walters

A rapidly growing soccer club has signed a two-year sponsorship deal with its local Community Bank to kit out its younger players.

Smart Money Cymru Community Bank, and other sponsors, have helped AFC Penrhiwceiber Minis and Juniors provide matchday playing kits for 280 enthusiastic players in girls and mixed teams. 

Chairman of the Minis and Juniors section of the club, Mathew Hargraves is delighted: “Many thanks to Smart Money Cymru and our other sponsors for their generosity which has enabled the club to provide these kits ensuring the teams look the part on matchdays. It is a great boost for the club and the players, and we are very grateful. Without their help many of the things we do would not be possible.”

Smart Money Cymru recently opened its first branch in Rhondda Cynon Taf at Hwb Cana in Penywaun, Aberdare, offering banking and financial services to the local community. Manager Eleri Walters said: “We at Smart Money Cymru are proud to sponsor AFC Penrhiwceiber Minis and Juniors. It is very encouraging to see so many young people, both boys and girls, taking part and we wish them all good luck in their matches.”

The role of community banking is becoming increasingly important as traditional banks close their branches, she said. “We have a considerable presence in South and Mid Wales with around 15,000 members using our network of branches to access banking services. We encourage people to visit our new branch at Hwb Cana to see what we can do for them,” she added.

AFC Penrhiwceiber Minis and Juniors was formed in 2016 by Mathew Hargraves, Peter Taylor and David Matthews alongside the two senior teams already in place, to cater for the demand for mixed junior football in the village. The section grew rapidly, and in 2022 a girls section was added, proving very popular and drawing in players from around the nearby valleys.

The Minis and Juniors section has proved a great success, said Mr Hargraves. “We offer mixed groups from under 6 to under 14s, and girls only soccer for under 8s to under 15s and last year we decided to purchase kits for all the teams,” he said.

“We approached local businesses to advertise on the shirts to generate funds so we did not need to ask parents for money, especially in view of the high cost of living these days. We were also pleased to promote Cerebral Palsy Cymru on the shirts as they have supported players over the years.”

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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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