PICTURE by Wynne Evans.
WELL, here it is – the official culmination of what’s been a truly fantastic season of football on Anglesey.
From controversial and bizarre moments to questionable refereeing and wonderful goals, we’ve seen it all during 2017/18.
To mark a truly memorable campaign in style, I have selected my AL Team of the Season along with why he’s chosen each of those players included in the squad.
In admiration for the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia, here’s the 23 MAN SQUAD I’d choose if the Anglesey League were to be represented at a tournament …
Lee Heywood (Llangoed Reserves)
Llangoed Reserves’ number one has been a mainstay in their starting eleven since the start of the 2017/18 campaign.
Over the course of the season, you can see that he has grown in confidence as a player and has relished the chance to be a starting keeper after dropping down from Llangoed’s first team.
His performances at times have kept Dewi Williams’ side in games and he thoroughly deserves to be in the Team of the Season in my opinion.
Hari Jones (Bryngwran Bulls)
Tough-tackling Bulls centre back who helped the club on its way to winning the double of Lucas Oil and Dargie Cups so far this season, even scoring a goal in the final of the latter.
Jones has formed a formidable partnership with Henry Caldecott in the heart of that Bulls defence which has become very hard to break down at times.
With the final Anglesey League fixture on May 26 set to decide who wins the title (Bulls or Tigers), Jones’ performance could be vital.
Mike Williams (Mynydd Tigers)
Mynydd Tigers’ club captain has enjoyed a fine campaign this year and has been solid at the back for Mark Hughes’ side.
He has led their back-line well and has become a vital part of their starting eleven.
The Tigers have lost both cup finals they’ve been involved in so far this season to The Bulls so Williams will no doubt be looking to lead them to the ultimate revenge in the Anglesey League title showdown on May 26.
Henry Caldecott (Bryngwran Bulls)
Other half of the Bulls’ solid centre back pairing, Caldecott has been a welcome addition to Richard Owen’s side this season.
He has slotted in well alongside Hari Jones at the back (and has also impressed in a back 3) and has been vital in big matches against the likes of Valley and Mynydd Tigers.
A couple of Man of the Match performances and two cup victories later (with a chance of two more), it looks as though both he and The Bulls will end up enjoying an incredible season.
Dewi Thomas (Caergybi)
Cybi’s skipper has been instrumental to his side’s great performances this season and has been quietly brilliant in the centre of the park.
Thomas has pulled the strings in Dale Moffat’s side’s midfield play and has also popped up with 15 goals of his own.
The Anglesey League newcomers have settled into life in the division well and Thomas will be looking to help them add the Megan Cup and Car Boot Trophy to their top four finish now.
Andrew Bailey (Bryngwran Bulls)
Bulls captain has undoubtedly been one of the best midfielders in the Anglesey League this season.
Bailey, who has also deputised as a striker, has been ever-present in Bryngwran’s starting eleven and has made his mark on the division with his physical and determined approach to the game.
Having helped his side lift the Lucas Oil and Dargie Cup’s so far, he’s also been successful on a personal level too – claiming many MOTM awards for The Bulls and scoring 20 goals.
Herbie Hofsteede (Mynydd Tigers)
This season’s Anglesey League Young Player of the Year (in AFE’s opinion) has been on fire throughout the campaign.
The 18-year-old former Caernarfon Town youth player has certainly stood out from the crowd at times and his passing and presence on the counter-attack has been clear to see.
Hofsteede has enjoyed a remarkable debut campaign in the AL, notching up 30 goals to date and will no doubt be hoping that he can be the man to help his side claim the title on the final day.
Matty Roberts (Bryngwran Bulls)
Hard-working winger who has had a brilliant campaign for Bryngwran this year and has probably been the division’s stand out wide man.
Roberts has often looked dangerous when The Bulls break on the attack and so it’s no surprise to see that he’s scored 15 goals himself during 2017/18. He gets in behind defenders time and time again and finishes well.
One of his finest moments came when he scored in the club’s 3-0 Lucas Oil Cup final win over Mynydd Tigers in March.
Scott Hughes (Arriva Bangor)
One of the most consistent scorers in the Anglesey League this season who is certainly grabbing the opportunity to play Saturday League football with both hands.
Having spent a few years playing Sunday League football with Arriva, Hughes has enjoyed a phenomenal debut campaign in the AL with Kevin Jones’ side this year.
The lively forward has hit 44 goals so far this season in a year that has seen his club win the Elias Cup. Although he’s unlikely to end up as top scorer now, it’s fair to say that Hughes could still end up adding more goals to his tally as Arriva still have the Benllech Car Boot Trophy final to look forward to.
James Ryan (Bryngwran Bulls)
Ryan has been on fire in front of goal for The Bulls this season and has just always looked like scoring no matter how big or how little the occasion is – bagging 52 goals to date.
He scored 9 goals in one game (the most of any player this season) against Llandegfan and also scored in Bryngwran’s Lucas Oil Cup final win, claiming the MOTM award in the process.
His performances have put him a cut above the rest at times this year and his phenomenal form has put The Bulls on course for an incredible quadruple this season.
Gary Jo Owen (Caergybi)
Yet another Anglesey League striker who has been bang in form this year, Gary Jo is currently the leading scorer in all competitions after his hat-trick v Arriva on Saturday took his tally to 54 goals.
Having started the season at Valley (where he scored 13 goals), Owen made the switch to local rivals Caergybi early on during the campaign.
His move to Millbank has seen him add a further 38 goals to his name, establishing himself as the main man in Dale Moffat’s side.
Owen’s form in 2018 has been formidable, as he hit 18 goals in just 3 matches between March and April.
Having previously topped the goalscoring charts for Morawelon (with 57 goals), can the Cybi hitman beat that record with 2 games to spare this season? I personally think he can.
The rest of the squad …
Goalkeeper – David Ball (Mynydd Tigers)
Veteran goalkeeper who has been great for The Tigers in what is looking like being his last season in football.
The 40-year-old, who has formerly played at higher levels for clubs like Glantraeth and Llanrug, has shown no signs of stopping down though – making some fine stops along the way during Mynydd’s title charge.
John Jones (Bryngwran Bulls)
Highly reliable full-back who never stops working hard for his side.
Jones, who recently turned 21, is an underrated member of that Bulls squad who deserves more recognition for his performances in my opinion.
Colm Foley (Caergybi)
Solid defender who has been the main man at the back for Cybi this season.
His physical presence and tough-tackling approach have made him stand out as one of the best defenders in the league.
Ashley Hughes (Valley)
Strong in the tackle and calm on the ball, Hughes has become one of Valley’s best defenders over the course of the season.
Barry Rowlands’ side’s attacking style of play gets all the credit, but it’s fair to say that their defence isn’t so bad either.
Mutsu Oyama (Arriva Bangor)
Another underrated player in the Anglesey League.
Much like Scott Hughes, Japanese full-back Oyama is another member of the Arriva squad who is thriving under the pressure of playing at a higher level now.
He never stops running for his side and has impressed many with his performances to date.
Liam Patrick Williams (Caergybi)
One of the league’s most creative players, Williams has been phenomenal at times for Cybi.
The attacking midfielder, who is the younger brother of Gary Jo Owen, has shown that he belongs at a higher level due to his vision and passing which has seen him rack up over 70 assists (for Valley/Cybi) this season.
Kieron Bullock (Mynydd Tigers)
Youngster who has stood out in that youthful but lethal Mynydd Tigers midfield this season.
Bullock, who’s usually deployed out wide, has hit a total of 17 goals in what has been a memorable debut AL campaign for both himself and the club.
Konner Druce (Valley)
Wide man who has impressed with his attacking qualities this season, linking up well with fellow forwards Justin and Mike Williams.
Having started out at Caergybi (where he hit 12 goals), Druce then made the move to Cae Mwd with Valley, where he has since hit a further 11 goals, racking up a total of 23 this season.
The multi-talented winger has also deputised (and impressed) in goal on a couple of occasions this year. VERSATILE.
Ciaran O’Brady (Mynydd Tigers)
Yet another Mynydd man who has been exceptional at times during 2017/18 – despite missing a lot of matches in the first half of the campaign.
Since returning though, Irishman O’Brady has slotted in well into that Tigers midfield and has popped up with 15 goals throughout the campaign too.
Iolo Jones (Bryngwran Bulls)
Another member of that Bryngwran squad who has been quietly consistent and fantastic for his side.
Jones (I’m sure if they had surnames on their shirts at Bryngwran it would be a nightmare!), is a hardworking midfielder who has battled time and time again for his side this season.
Justin Williams (Valley)
Valley may have fallen off the pace since Christmas (dropping from 1st to 4th), but that hasn’t stopped their main up top continuing his goalscoring run.
Pacey striker Williams has been a handful to deal with in front of goal this season, hitting 36 in all competitions and has been one of the league’s best strikers.
Luke Allaway (Bodorgan)
Bodorgan have improved greatly his season and Allaway has provided the goals for them during their surprising resurrection.
The tall striker has netted 28 goals in a highly impressive season for himself and the club who have both shown signs of growth in terms of quality.
Alongside striker partner Danny Connolly, who was brought in from Holyhead Hotspur Reserves, Allaway has thrived and the two have clicked to form a formidable partnership.
And finally, the manager …
Richard Owen (Bryngwran Bulls)
No real contest on this one for me. Whilst it’s fair to say that Dale Moffat (Caergybi), Mark Hughes (Tigers) and Kevin Jones (Arriva) have all done well in their debut seasons in the AL and the Bodorgan management team have improved things at Cae Cob, Bulls manager Owen has just gone that one step further.
Having managed the club for many years now (including at Sunday League level) it’s fair to say that he’s assembled a very strong side together at Bryngwran and that has certainly shown this year.
With the Lucas Oil and Dargie Cup’s already claimed by his side this season, Owen still has a chance to add both the league title and the Megan Cup to his collection before the campaign ends. He deserves the Manager of the Season award in my opinion.
Can I just once again thank the people who have helped make the running of my blog that little bit easier and say that I’m looking forward to next season already!
From the players and managers at each of the nine clubs involved in the division to the photographers and fans who have helped too, thanks again.