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Club bids switch from Welsh to English non league pyramid

A newly set up club have put forward bids to switch from Welsh to join the English non league pyramid after holding discussions.

Morda United have set their sights firmly climbing the leagues, hoping to replicate and reach the level FC Oswestry Town got to before they ended up folding in 2020.

Who are Morda United you ask? They are a team based in Shropshire, though just 13 minutes drive from the Welsh border, who reformed at the start of the season following three years of their being no club in a village synonymous with its football club.

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They previously targeted a place in the Welsh system, only to be frustrated by the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and their cross border rulings, so have now set their eyes on England.

“It is going to be one step at a time,” chairman Matt Williams told freelance journalist Jonny Drury. “We want to re-establish Morda as the number one club for the people of Oswestry to play for. We have big ambitions and we want people to come back and play for the club.”

Morda are known to have previously been among the top clubs in the area during the 70s and 80s, with Williams hoping that the current club would be able to bring back the good times with similar success but over in England.

Williams said: “We’ve got an ambitious team behind the scenes, we’ve got a management team together and we’ve got people who want to push the club on.”

The North West Counties League (step 9 of English football and level 5 of non league) is the aim for this ambitious club, hoping to match rivals St Martins and Ellesmere Rangers.

“We want success in Shropshire and that is what we have to do first, we have got to become stable and have a good structure to the club,” said Williams.

“I am aware you need that first before moving to a higher level, and we don’t want to try and move too fast. “Once you get the structure, the facilities and the team right then that is enough to progress and challenge in a higher league.”

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The committee has been launched with a handful of people and Williams, who was formerly part of the now defunct FC Oswestry Town knows all too well how difficult it is to run a club at this level.

“I was involved at Oswestry so I know how tough it is to get people involved and for them to have the time,” said Williams. “When I heard Morda had re-formed I wanted to get involved, and we now have a proper committee.

“I think the last 12 months and what is going on has shown people want to watch football and local football.

“If you watch a big club you don’t have that affiliation with the club as much as you do, and people want to be part of something.”

Impressively, Williams was part of a team of volunteers who worked hard to get FC Oswestry Town into the North West Counties League, and they were challenging up the top when the league, getting as high as second place, was curtailed last season.

Following that it was no longer financially viable to keep the club going and with no end to the pandemic in sight, the club folded.

Williams is now eager to get involved with Morda, mainly for his love for local football following the collapse of FC Oswestry.

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He said: “All our hard work was decided by null and void and it annoyed me for a long time but I wanted to carry on and get involved with something like this.”

Rather surprisingly, there haven’t been too many clubs folding at that level of football, but Williams believes there may be a few more names to fall due to the pandemic with majority of non league football declared null and void for a second time within a year.

He said: “Around here lads are itching to play football and if clubs have been run well locally, they I think everything will take off again.”

“There is a huge potential here, that was shown by our crowd recently,” explained Williams.

“It shows that local people want to watch local players and that is something we want to provide.

“Oswestry is a footballing town but the majority of players play elsewhere and that is something that has bugged me for a long time.

“We want to get everyone back playing for a team in Oswestry, and make that side really successful.”

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The village is on the outskirts of the town of Oswestry, Shropshire, England, located very close to the border of England and Wales.

The village is named after the River Morda, a tributary of the River Vyrnwy, whilst the location’s history includes coal mining and brick making.

Several mills were established for the printing and dyeing of calico.

The village is home to the football club Morda United, which plays home matches at the 1,000 capacity Weston Road Ground.

The club was first founded as Morda FC in the 1800s, but folded in the mid 1900s.

The club was reformed in the 1970s under the name of Morda United FC and played throughout central Wales and the West Midlands for more than 40 years.

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Notable success came in 1991, when the club became Mid Wales Football League champions.

Morda United were dormant from 2017, before then setting up and reforming again at the beginning of the 2020/21 season with exciting plans for English football after getting nowhere with the Welsh FA amid intentions to play in the Montgomeryshire League (fifth and sixth tier of Welsh football).

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