The new JD Cymru Premier season kicks-off with a full round of opening day fixtures on Saturday, 12 September, as Connah's Quay Nomads begin the defence of their title against Bala Town live on S4C Sgorio (5.45pm).
Andy Morrison's side were crowned league champions for the first time in their history last season as the curtailment of the campaign added a new name to the trophy. Top of the table when the domestic game came to an early end, the Nomads finished above champions The New Saints with a points-per-game formula used to determine the final placings.
“It's fantastic, it's great and it's nice to have that title,” explained Morrison to FC Cymru following the decision. “We were in an incredibly strong position when the season was curtailed. The work that goes on behind the scenes by so many different people is huge, so it's a reward for a lot of hard work, not just this season, but for a few seasons now.”
But while their attentions will be on domestic matters this weekend, Connah's Quay Nomads, The New Saints and Bala Town are all still competing in the UEFA Europa League, and all three clubs return to the European stage on Thursday, 17 September with their respective 2nd qualifying round ties.
Newcomers Flint Town United and Haverfordwest County are both at home on the opening day of the new season as they take on Newtown and Cefn Druids respectively. Earlier this week, the Druids confirmed the appointment of Portuguese Bruno Lopes as their new Head Coach, and the former Portimonense interim boss and U23 Coach will be desperate to make the right impression in first competitive match.
Former champions The New Saints face a difficult trip to fellow Europa League qualifiers Barry Town United, while new Aberystwyth Town manager Gavin Allen will be keen to get off to the right start as his side welcome Cardiff Met to Park Avenue. The opening day action is completed at the Oval where Caernarfon Town take on Penybont. All games will kick-off at 2.30pm apart from the live Sgorio fixture that will kick-off at 5.45pm, while all fixtures will be played behind closed doors.
While Connah's Quay Nomads will remember the 2019/20 season primarily for their title success, it also saw Morrison's team lift the Nathaniel MG Cup and claim a famous scalp by knocking Kilmarnock out of the UEFA Europa League. But it is the JD Cymru Premier title that Morrison and his side will treasure the most, so here we take a look back at five key victories from that successful campaign:
Bala Town 0-1 Connah's Quay Nomads - 30th August 2019
Although this was the fourth JD Cymru Premier League game of the season for Connah's Quay Nomads, the side were still yet to record a victory as the focus returned to domestic matters following a successful European campaign. A header from veteran striker Michael Wilde midway through the 2nd half eventually proved to be the difference between the two teams, while it was also a memorable evening for defender John Disney as he made his 100th start for the club in the victory.
Barry Town United 0-4 Connah's Quay Nomads - 9th November 2019
League leaders Connah's Quay Nomads made the long journey south to take on their closest rivals as Barry Town United occupied second place when the two sides met at Jenner Park. However, the result was rarely in doubt for Andy Morrison's side as a brace from Michael Wilde either side of a superb goal from Jamie Insall opened up a commanding 3-0 lead at half-time against the 10-men of the home side. Insall then added his second of the match to complete the scoring soon after the restart to ensure the Nomads remained in pole position.
Airbus UK Broughton 0-4 Connah's Quay Nomads – 30th December 2019
The final match of the decade marked a return for manager Andy Morrison to his former club. The Nomads had edged the Boxing Day fixture between the two teams 2-1 a few days before, but went into this return match without goalkeeper Lewis Brass as he was ruled out through injury. Teenager Eric Merner was drafted into the starting line-up for his debut and kept a clean-sheet as the Nomads claimed a convincing win. Danny Holmes and Priestley Farquharson both scored their first goals for the club, with Michael Wilde and a Jamie Insall penalty ensuring that the Nomads would end the year in style.
Connah's Quay Nomads 4-0 Caernarfon Town - 14th February 2020
A crucial weekend in the JD Cymru Premier title race saw Connah's Quay Nomads move above champions The New Saints with this comprehensive victory over Caernarfon Town. George Horan opened the scoring inside the first two minutes of the match and added a second midway through the opening half, while late goals from Craig Curran and substitute Michael Bakare doubled the score before the final whistle in this Friday evening fixture. Meanwhile, The New Saints were held to a 1-1 draw against Bala Town. The result moving the Nomads to the top of the table ahead of a crucial match between the two teams the following weekend.
Connah's Quay Nomads 1-0 The New Saints - 21st February 2020
The defining match of the campaign was decided by a solitary goal from Craig Curran deep into 1st half injury time, and it proved to the goal that would land Connah's Quay Nomads the JD Cymru Premier title. Andy Morrison's side welcomed the champions to Deeside with a single point advantage at the top of the table, but the lead had increased to four points by the time the final whistle blew on a wet and windy night that made it incredibly difficult for either side to play their preferred style of football. However, it was the victory that mattered the most in this decisive fixture, and it was the Nomads that celebrated a crucial result.
Bala victorious over 10-man Nomads in Deeside
The Nomads were reduced to 10-men after George Horan brough down Dave Edwards outside the box. Edwards converted the resulting free-kick for The Lakesiders.Read more
Goytre seal last minute win against Afan LidoRead more
Rhythm, surpassing expectations and a new era for Met – Adam Roscrow discusses the Archers
We caught up with Cardiff's star forward to discuss all this and more!Read more