PICTURE by Wynne Evans.
AS WE approach the midway point in the footballing season and Christmas spirit begins to swing into action, I figured that now would be a good a time as any to give my mid-season review for each of the Kon-X Anglesey League sides.
Who’s done well? Who’s stood out? Who needs to do better? This article sums up just how each team has performed so far and who has made the biggest impact in their campaigns.
READ on to find out what I have made of what has been an interesting season to date …
After making the decision to move from Sunday League football to take on the challenge of Saturday League football back in the summer, it’s fair to say that Kevin Jones’ (pictured above) men haven’t done too badly for themselves.
Initially, cup matches seemed to help them improve as a team and grow in confidence and they have gone from strength to strength since then.
They recently picked up their first six points of the season with a hard fought 5-3 win over Llangoed Reserves and an impressive 8-0 win over Llandegfan. You can see that they have become stronger as a unit.
Kevin Jones is a good manager who knows football inside out and I think with a bit of time, effort, commitment and a signing or two, they could potentially become a very good team within two or three seasons perhaps.
STAR MAN: Scott Hughes
Having played under manager Kevin Jones for three seasons now, Hughes (picture left) made the step up from playing Sunday League football to Saturday League with Arriva this season and he certainly won’t be regretting that decision.
The talented striker has 19 goals to his name so far this season and he’s single-handedly boosting the Bangor side’s chances of having a decent finishing position this year.
SPECIAL MENTION TO:
Ben Hulse and Kieran Davies, who have also been very useful players for this Arriva side this season, having scored three goals each.
Daniel Jones also has two goals to his name and Matty Jones recently hit a hat-trick against Llandegfan.
After a pretty abysmal start to the campaign, Bodorgan seem to be picking up the pace a little bit now, especially since some new faces signed on at Cae Cob.
Having been many people’s favourites to finish bottom of the league this year, after struggling during last campaign, the club has bounced back in style to claim a couple of wins recently.
A strengthened midfield has seen them tighten things up in terms of conceding goals and with Allaway up front, their always guaranteed goals.
They have proved that they won’t be the whipping boys of the division and will no doubt be aiming to finish above the likes of Llandegfan, Pentraeth Reserves, Llangoed Reserves and Arriva Bangor this season.
STAR MAN: Luke Allaway
Tall striker Allaway (pictured on the right) has certainly been Bodorgan’s stand out man so far this season, scoring 14 goals for the club.
Even when things weren’t going so well for the club, he stood out and scored goals.
Now, with a stronger squad and sense of belief, I’m certain that he can reach 20 goals this season.
SPECIAL MENTION TO: Forward Danny Connolly joined the club after being part of Huws Gray Alliance side Holyhead Hotspur’s Reserves set up. He has since scored eight goals for Bodorgan.
Sam Hallas (pictured below) has been one of their standout players in the midfield and grafts hard in every game.
This season’s surprise package, the Bulls have been unstoppable at times and have become masters of the comeback/late winners.
Having previously been a Sunday League up until around two years ago, Bryngwran have certainly come along way in such a short space of time.
Richard Owen’s men are now genuine title contenders in the league, sitting in third at the moment (with games in hand) and are doing well in their domestic cup competitions too.
As a team, they are playing very well, with players such as Tony Meyer, Dale Jones and skipper Andrew Bailey running the show in midfield, whilst the likes of Matty Roberts and Hari Jones have kept things tight at the back.
Of course, it also helps that they have one of the league’s top scorers in their ranks too, with the prolific Jamie Ryan having already netted 22 goals this season.
STAR MAN: James Ryan
The Bulls have worked well as a team during this campaign but there’s no doubting that there’s one man who’s truly stood out for them.
Striker Ryan has been in fine form right from the very start and his 22 goals to date just go to show that he knows how to score goals – and some have been brilliant.
The real question now is: Can he continue his form through into 2018 and help keep the Bulls pushing on for the title/promotion?
SPECIAL MENTION TO: Captain and veteran goal scorer Andrew Bailey who has ten goals to his name (including a fine hat-trick when he played up top against Bodorgan) and Iolo Jones has been creating a lot of chances for his side.
Matty Roberts has grabbed himself nine goals so far too and midfielder Tony Meyer has also been a bright spark, scoring seven goals and looking lively in the centre of the park.
Caergybi may have been newcomers to the league last summer, but their current form is that of a highly experienced Kon-X Anglesey League side and they have certainly surprised many with their performances.
Dale Moffat’s side were unbeaten from September until just two weeks ago when they lost to Mynydd Tigers and have looked a very strong side at times.
The likes of Glenn North, captain Dewi Thomas, Konner Druce (before his departure to rivals Valley), Elliot Patterson and Kurt Harris have all stood, as has the acquisition of the prolific Gary Jo Owen up top.
They have certainly made their mark as genuine title contenders early on in the season, but the real question is, can they keep up with the likes of Valley, Bryngwran and Mynydd to truly compete during 2018? I think they’ll certainly give it a good go.
After a recent win at Llandudno Athletic, they’re also still in the prestigious North Wales Cpast FA Junior Cup, so I would be very surprised if they go without winning some sort of silverware this season.
STAR MAN: Gary Jo Owen
Owen (right) has been playing in the lower realms of Wales for quite some time now and has always been one to provide the goals for whichever side he has played for.
He started 2017/18 in blistering form for Valley Athletic and after controversy ensued on and off the pitch for them, he switched to playing for their rivals, Caergybi, where he has once again been banging them in – hitting 24 goals to date.
When playing in the Anglesey League for Holyhead-based Morawelon in 2013/14, Owen hit 57 goals and I have no doubts that he will reach at least 35 this season. Caergybi have got themselves a very useful player there.
SPECIAL MENTION TO: Captain Dewi Thomas (far left) who has scored his fair share of goals from the midfield (ten to be exact) and has been a standout star for the club.
Winger Elliot Patterson (also on left) has also been lively, scoring seven goals to date and Kurt Harris is their second top scorer behind Gary Jo Owen on 10 goals.
Having been without a team for around four years now, it was always going to be hard for Llandegfan to come back into the league and compete this year.
The one thing you can say is that, despite being on the receiving end of some pretty heavy score lines this season, all those involved at the club can be very proud of the way that they have kept going and refused to give up.
With some new faces recently introduced to the club and committed players staying on, it can only be a matter of time before results start to turn more in their favour.
Their realistic aim this season will be to not finish bottom of the table and with Bodorgan currently on three points, just as they are, and Llangoed Reserves and Arriva just above on six points, there is still hope that that target can be achieved with a bit of hard graft and determination.
STAR MAN: Jordan Love
Player-manager Love was the man who got the club back together over the summer and he’s also been their star player on the pitch too.
Playing up top, he’s netted five goals so far this season and was instrumental in helping Llandeg earn their only three points – scoring two goals in a 3-2 win at Pentraeth Reserves.
SPECIAL MENTION TO: Ashley Jones who battles hard in midfield in every game he plays for the club. His commitment to the cause is clear to see.
Dale Rowlands has worked hard for the team time and time again too, as has defender Matthew Roberts who has earned quite a few Man of the Match awards by throwing his body on the line in games.
Veteran goalkeeper Hywel Hughes also has to be commended for the brilliant saves that he has made at times this season.
LLANGOED & DISTRICT RESERVES
After the senior side were promoted to the Gwynedd League as runners-up in the Kon-X Anglesey League last year, Llangoed’s Reserves side are now plying their trade in the division in their place.
Managed by Dewi Williams (pictured below), it’s fair to say that they have certainly given it a fair go so far this season, but the reality is that there are too many stronger teams in the league at this moment in time for them to be truly competing.
Having said that though, they’ve shown real signs of promise and I think that realistically this season they’ll be aiming to finish as close to the “Big four” as they possibly can.
The one problem for them as a reserves side is that they always face the possibility of losing players who are doing well to Llangoed’s first team squad. For example, Ben Wright, who signed from Bodorgan played only two games for the reserves before he was called up to the first team and has gone on to do well there.
The good news on the other hand is that they do have promising youngsters coming through from the junior team as replacements. Jay Finter has scored 18 goals for the juniors so far this season and has shown serious signs of potential with his ability to play with both feet and his speed .
Nathaniel Evans is a central midfielder who’s assisted most of the goals for Finter with his passing and strength in the middle of the park. He holds the ball up well and never stops running.
It looks as though their could be promising times ahead for the club, as they will nod doubt make the most use out of them they can before they’re promoted to the first team.
STAR MAN: Arwyn Morris
The main man for Llangoed’s Reserves side has undoubtedly been Arwyn Morris (right) who has been firing them in this season.
His 11 goal tally, past experience and leadership have all been a major boost to Dewi Williams’ side.
The highlight of his season came as he completed his hat-trick (and secured a 3-2 win) at Llandegfan with a thunderous volley in the dying moments of the game.
SPECIAL MENTION TO: Goalkeeper Lee Heywood (pictured grabbing the ball to the left) has improved for the simple reason that he is getting the chance to play in the reserves side, having previously found it hard to replace Rhys Owen as number one in Llangoed’s first team.
Now, he can step in to the first team when he’s ready to do so and feel more confident in himself after putting in some fine performances for the Reserves this season.
Luke Roberts is another one who’s proved his worth to the club as. The centre back has been a really strong player for his side.
Despite it being their first season of playing in the Kon-X Anglesey League, Mynydd Tigers currently find themselves at the top of the table heading into 2018 and have blown teams away at times this season.
The youthful side may have been underestimated by some critics before the season began, but they certainly won’t be taking them lightly now.
Top of the table at Christmas is a great achievement of course, but they will no doubt want to push on in the new year and claim that title.
The management team have previously said that their objective for the Tigers at the start of the season was to challenge for the league title and push for promotion.
They also knew that this would be difficult primarily because the majority of the squad are very young – nine of the players featured this season are 16 or 17 years old. However, they seem to have matured very quickly and have been helped by the more experienced players at the club.
They have a long second half of the season ahead, but they should definitely be up there at the end of the season.
STAR MAN: Herbie Hofsteede
To be fair, I think there’s a number of players you could have selected for Mynydd in this category, but for me Hofsteede is the one who has really stood out and make things tick for the league leaders.
Signed a few games into the season from Caernarfon Town where he played for the U19s and was on the fringes of the 1st team, Hofsteede (pictured right) has gone on to score 13 goals in just nine games for Mynydd.
A creative attacking midfielder with a cultured left foot, he’s a real coup for the club and the league overall and as a 17-year-old possesses huge potential. Playing at this level will help him improve as a player.
SPECIAL MENTION TO: Club captain Mike Williams who has been a rock at the back for the Tigers and has also popped up with a few goals of his own too.
Irishman Ciaran O’Brady has impressed with his performances, as has 17-year-old attacker Adam Evans, who joined the Tigers from Bangor City in October, where he had spearheaded the attack of last seasons title winning Reserves and U19s Academy teams. He has scored nine goals in just five games so far.
16 year old Dafydd Williams is another one of their many stars. He has scored five in three, however his progress was hindered by a knee injury, which he has only just come back from.
Having played in the division for a number of seasons now, the Pentraeth Reserves side are no strangers to the Kon-X Anglesey League and have established themselves as a steady mid-table side.
Justin Gallagher’s (pictured left) side are often unpredictable, but on their day they are capable of playing some very good attacking football, particularly as they have pacey players in their side.
Currently sitting in fifth on seven points, with four teams above them and four teams below them, they’re in a strong position to finish above the likes of similarly ranked teams such as Llangoed Reserves and Bodorgan, but they know that they will have to work hard after Christmas to secure that place at the end of the season.
The gap between the “Big Four” in the league and the other five teams is currently enormous, but if Pentraeth Reserves can finish in fifth then I would say that they have had a very good season.
STAR MAN: Jack Diamond
The appropriately named Diamond has been Pentraeth Reserves’ standout star so far this season and if a goal is scored it’s likely to be him who pops up with it.
The pacey forward has netted six goals to date and will no doubt add to that as the matches continue into 2018.
SPECIAL MENTION TO: Diamond’s partner up top Jon Morton who has also had his fair share of the goals.
Central midfielders Urien Elfyn and Tom Adamek have also performed well for the club this season, working hard in the centre of the park to break up the opposition’s attakcs and set-up their own.
When it comes to scoring goals, you can’t find a team better at doing so than Valley in the Kon-X Anglesey League, having hit 60 already and currently enjoying a +47 goal difference.
With three players just shy of scoring 20 goals each this season and many others contributing close to double figures, it’s not hard to see why they are near the top of the table and are very much fancied to challenge for the title.
They may have had their controversies this season, with some top players leaving the club, but that hasn’t stopped them from bouncing back and competing and that has to be applauded.
This experienced group of players knows how to, not just win matches, but to well and truly put them to rest too and that is the sign of true champions. Can they take the title this year is the main question?
STAR MAN: Mike Williams
As with Mynydd, there are many players who could take the star man prize at Valley too, but I’ll have to go for their top scorer in this one.
Tall striker Williams (left) is enjoying a phenomenal season for the club this year having already hit 19 goals before Christmas.
Using his strength in the air and down on the ground, he’s bossed most defenders he’s come up against.
SPECIAL MENTION TO: Fellow attacker Justin Williams (right) has been just as prolific as Mike, being just the one goal behind him on 18.
New signing Konner Druce is a handful too, he’s hit two hat-tricks since arriving from rivals Caergybi (where he scored 11) and has 17 goals to his name in total. Out wide, he’s one of the best in the league in my opinion.
Attacking midfielder Jordie Lees has also proved that he is a top talent, creating space for his team mates, as well as creating the chances.
All stats correct as of Wednesday, December 20, 2017.
I would like to personally thank all of the players/managers/people in general who have helped me with the progress of my blog over the past few months (you know who you are).
From keeping me up to date with the scores to letting me know who scored the goals and who assisted them, you have all been a great help to me, so thank you.
Also a big thank you to Wynne Evans, who’s photos I have used consistently in my articles, for allowing me to use them.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all and I’ll be ready to do it all again in 2018.