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TNS - Oswestry town merger
Oswestry Town FC have agreed a merger with their near neighbours, Total Network Solutions FC.
Talks between the two sides have resulted in an agreement for the clubs to join forces, playing in the Welsh Premier under the Total Network Solutions banner.
The amalgamation will allow the strengths of the two clubs to be combined, with a view to building a modern super stadium in Oswestry and developing a first class professional set-up between the two locations.
The long and proud history of Oswestry Town, one of the three longest established clubs in Britain, and Llansantffraid will be united under TNS with the aim of putting the new club firmly on the international soccer map.
TNS managing director Mike Harris has been searching for a site suitable for a new stadium capable of staging European matches, but has been denied the chance to build in Oswestry as the Football Association of Wales would not allow the Llansantffraid team to play outside Wales.
However, as a founder member of the FAW, Oswestry Town has a dispensation to represent the principality in European competition and is just the ticket Harris needed for the project to go forward.

UEFA demands
The latest UEFA criteria for playing Premier League football in any country is putting vast demands on clubs' facilities, including an increase in seating, enhanced floodlights and many other technical and constructional improvements. The cost of improving Oswestry's Park Hall stadium would be prohibitive for Owestry Town, while TNS believe a new stadium in Llansantffraid would not be viable commercially.
"It will now be full steam ahead to develop a ground for the merged club within the town of Oswestry," said Mike Harris.
"Oswestry has the largest population catchment area locally and the TNS company is one of the town's major employers."

Football factory
The merger will create a 'football factory' with facilities in Llansantffraid and Oswestry to develop players through the youth academy, so that in the future, TNS will be at the forefront of football in Wales and the Marches.
The clubs' two boards will combine, as will the respective club committees. The Oswestry Town social club in Gobowen Road will be retained and refurbished. The new set-up will adopt both clubs' first team strips, starting next season in Oswestry's traditional blue as the home kit and TNS' green and white for away games.


Next season's plans
Because Treflan is in a better state of repair than Park Hall, the club will play at Treflan for the next two seasons while a new stadium is being built.
A new reserve side and a merged youth academy will operate from Park Hall, to bring on the best footballing talent in the locality.
Oswestry have struggled in recent years, only avoiding relegation on goal difference on the final day of last season. Both clubs are hoping the merger will bring renewed interest in soccer for supporters of Town and for fans across a wide area.
"Complying with the implications of the new UEFA licensing regulations will prove difficult for a number of clubs," says Mike Harris.
"With TNS pioneering the way forward, this merger of two ambitious clubs will perhaps act as a catalyst for other Welsh Premier outfits."
Oswestry Town chairman, Bill Jerman says: "While we appreciate there will be no first team football in the town for a couple of years, we believe the longer term vision we have for football in the community will benefit everyone."