PICTURES by Wynne Evans.
AS 2018 BEGINS to creep in, competitions in several domestic leagues all across the world will reach their conclusion at some point over the next few weeks and months.
I’ve had the pleasure of keeping a close eye on my local division – The Kon X Anglesey League for the past three to four months now and it’s fair to say that it’s been very entertaining at times.
Such is my focus on the division, that I have been able to put together a 1 to 11 of the best players in the league so far during the 2017/18 campaign.
Using the 3-5-2 formation, I’ve gone for the following team …
Goalkeeper – Lee Heywood (Llangoed & District Reserves)
Perhaps a bit of a surprise inclusion on first glance, but the truth is Heywood has made a huge improvement this season since dropping from Llangoed’s first team to the Reserves.
He has put in some stunning performances and earned himself his side’s Man of the Match award on six occasions too.
On paper, he may not be the strongest candidate for the number one spot, but he’s proved his worth to both the club and the league this season and I think it’s only fair to include him in this special starting eleven.
Centre back – Mike Williams (Mynydd Tigers)
The youthful squad at Mynydd are currently sat at the top of the table and the defensive side of their game has helped them along the way to doing just that.
Just 15 goals conceded so far and Williams in particular has stood out for me at the back.
As club captain, he leads the back four’s line well and gets stuck in when he needs to.
However, he’s also popped up with a few goals of his own for his side along the way, so he’s definitely a star turn in this side who are aiming to win the title come the end of the season.
I would probably go with him as captain of this fantasy team too.
Centre back – Ashley Hughes (Valley Athletic)
Valley have conceded the least amount of goals in the division so far (14) and Hughes has been a huge reason for them having that impressive record.
Strong in the tackle and calm on the ball, he’s a great defender who surely has to be one of the first names onto the team sheet for his club.
Valley’s attacking style of play gets all the credit, but it’s fair to say that their defence isn’t so bad either.
Centre back – Hari Jones (Bryngwran Bulls)
Ever-present in the heart of the defence, Jones has been phenomenal for the Bulls this season as they continue to challenge for the title.
The tough tackling defender has been awarded three man of the match awards and has scored a few goals too.
Tall and commanding, he’s the perfect example of what a traditional centre back should be and I’m sure that he’ll continue to perform for Richard Owen’s side during 2018.
Right winger – Matty Roberts (Bryngwran Bulls)
Bryngwran Bulls have been very strong at times this season and they’ve certainly showed signs of gelling well together as a team.
Matty Roberts has looked very lively throughout the opening months and has scored nine goals to date, as well as setting up some of his team mates along the way too.
Out wide, he’s most certainly been one of the league’s “ones to watch” and his creativity has been vital to this Bulls side over the past few months.
Central midfielder – Dewi Thomas (Caergybi)
Caergybi’s club captain has been in inspired form at times this season and has well and truly orchestrated things in midfield for Dale Moffat’s side.
Thomas has hit double figures from the centre of the park already and has been one of the most talked about players in the league this year thanks to his brilliant performances.
He’ll have a truly vital role to play in Caergybi’s push for the title during the second half of the season.
Central midfielder – Herbie Hofsteede (Mynydd Tigers)
Without a doubt the best young player in the league at the moment in my opinion.
18-year-old Hofsteede was snapped up by Mynydd in the summer, having previously been on the fringes of Caernarfon Town’s first team.
The attacking midfielder possesses a wicked left foot and has scored 13 goals in nine matches for his side so far, looking a class above the rest at times.
Even if Mynydd end up not going up this season, I would be very surprised if he himself didn’t make a move up the league’s next season. He has bags of potential.
Central midfielder – Jordie Lees (Valley Athletic)
Valley are on the up once again after their blip early on in the season and look as though they could go on to win the title this year, having recently moved up to second in the table.
Midfielder Jordie Lees has been instrumental in the middle of the park for Barry Rowlands’ side, creating so many opportunities for those around him with his great vision and passing abilities.
It’s little wonder then that Konner Druce (17 goals), Mike Williams and Justin Williams (19 goals) continue to consistently find the back of the net when they have a creative player like Lees playing behind them.
He may not have been mentioned much over the course of the season, but he’s been quietly effective and brilliant.
Left winger – Konner Druce (Valley Athletic)
As mentioned before, winger Druce has hit 17 goals so far this season (for both Caergybi and now Valley).
He has really stood out in an attacking sense, not only scoring goals but setting them up for his team mates too.
Upon making his move to Valley from rivals Caergybi, he hit two hat-tricks in his first two matches for the club and instantly became one of the first names on the team sheet.
Valley could be in for a very productive second half of the season with Druce alongside Mike and Justin Williams up front. The trio are all just shy of 20 goals at the midway point – so they could all realistically hit over 30 each by the end of the campaign.
Striker – James Ryan (Bryngwran Bulls)
The Bulls’ main man in front of goal has been in prolific form so far this season – hitting 22 goals.
Ryan has looked sharp and with creative players such as Tony Meyer, Andrew Bailey and Matty Roberts all around him on the pitch it’s easy to see why he’s been given the chance to go on through on goal so many times already.
He has a natural goal scoring ability and will no doubt be using that to try and fire the Bulls to unexpected glory this season.
Striker – Gary Jo Owen (Caergybi)
Owen has become a veteran of the Anglesey League over the past few seasons and is certainly no stranger to a goal or two (or three or four even!)
Currently the league’s top scorer, the Caergybi hitman has 24 goals to date (for both Caergybi and Valley previously).
When playing in the Anglesey League for Holyhead-based Morawelon in 2013/14, Owen hit 57 goals and I have no doubts that he can reach at least 35 this season as Caergybi look to challenge for the title.
Many would argue that Owen has all the attributes needed to be playing in the league above, but for now he’ll be fully focused on firing Caergybi up to the Gwynedd League instead.
David Ball (Mynydd Tigers)
Ball is a top, top keep and is in his final season of playing football, so he’ll certainly be hoping to end it on a high.
The 41-year-old has had a great playing career over the years with the likes of Glantraeth (in the Cymru Alliance), Bethesda, Mynydd Llandegai and Llanrug and is now looking to help Mynydd reach the Gwynedd League next season.
John Jones (Bryngwran Bulls)
An underrated defender in my opinion and one who works really hard for his side.
Right back Jones has played most matches for the Bulls this season and has impressed, picking up two Man of the Match awards.
Colm Foley (Caergybi)
A solid centre back who is great in the air, Foley has also captained Caergybi on several occasions this season.
He’s another player who has worked tirelessly for his side in the first half of the season.
Marc Wilson (Valley Athletic)
30-year-old Wilson has been ever-present and ever-reliable in Valley’s starting line-up and is pivotal in the centre of the park. He has scored seven goals so far.
Andrew Bailey (Bryngwran Bulls)
Anglesey League veteran Bailey is having yet another season to remember. The Bulls’ captain has hit 10 goals so far – which included a fine hat-trick against Bodorgan when playing as a stand-in striker.
Dale Jones (Bryngwran Bulls)
One of the surprise stars of the season, Jones has put in a real shift for the Bulls, who themselves have become the league’s dark horses. The midfielder has earned himself four Man of the Match awards.
Scott Hughes (Arriva Bangor)
Having been with Arriva and played for manager Kevin Jones for the past three seasons as a Sunday League club, Hughes is finally getting his shot at the Saturday League and he’s on fire. He recently hit his 20th goal of the campaign against Bryngwran Bulls.
Mike Williams (Valley Athletic)
19 goals for Mike Williams so far this season. The tall striker uses his natural strength to claim the ball in the air and causes havoc for defenders with his height and physical presence.
Justin Williams (Valley Athletic)
Williams’ strike partner of the same has also recently reached 19 goals for the season. Being the “little man” in the pairing, he’s often seen running onto the end of a through ball and finishing well.
AGREE with the team picked? Or have I left someone out? Who’s been your star of the season so far? Let AFEFootballNews know in the comments section below …