Kon-X Anglesey League: Managers review the season

PICTURE by Wynne Evans.

WITH the Kon-X Anglesey League now well and truly done and dusted, it’s time to hear what the division’s managers have to say about what has been a truly entertaining season.

Mynydd Tigers were eventually crowned champions after enjoying a phenomenal debut campaign, capped off with a memorable 4-2 in over runners-up Bryngwran Bulls on the final day of the season.

I recently asked each of the nine gaffers involved in the league this year a couple of questions each and here’s what they all had to say. Enjoy!

Kevin Jones (Arriva Bangor)

Trophies won this season: Elias Cup and Car Boot Trophy.

Final league position: Fifth.

Image may contain: 1 person, playing a sport, stadium and outdoor
PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

AFE: Hi Kev, who’s been the Player of the Season for Arriva this season?

KJ: I would have to pick Mathew Williams.

He’s played in every position except for goal keeper. He has a first class attitude and never moans ether.

His attendance is good, he will run every game and play anywhere, he excels in every position and always wants to help the club.

AFE: Who would you say has been the most improved player at your club?

KJ: Kieron Davies for sure. He only missed one game all season and that was due to a holiday!

He scored some vital goals and is always willing to learn and listen. He worked hard on his positional play. He played as a holding midfielder and in our last two games he played at right back .

He played at right back in one of our cup finals too. All I can say is that he has a quality attitude and has made a massive improvement to this team.

AFE: What about Player of the Season from any other side in the division?

KJ: Herbie Hofsteede of Mynydd Tigers.

AFE: What was the best moment of this season for you?

KJ: The highlight has been playing in two cup finals and coming away from the as champions of both.

AFE: You’ve had a pretty impressive first season in Saturday League football. What are your hopes for 2018/19?

KJ: We will be trying to do better than we have done this season.

I don’t like to get too cocky about these things but we will do our best!

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John Webster, Dave Webster (below) and Robin Griffiths (Bodorgan management team)

Final league position: Seventh.

Runners up in Elias Cup.

Image may contain: 6 people, people standing, child, grass and outdoor
PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

AFE: Hello. Who’s been your Player of the Season at Bodorgan this year?

Management team: I think it would be really unfair to pick out one specific player if were honest.

So many of them have been huge for us this season right from Arwel Griffiths at the back to Luke Allaway up top.

AFE: What about the most improved player at your club?

MT:  We would have to go with Dyfed Williams at left back on this one as he hasn’t missed a single minute this year.

AFE: What about the Player of the Season from any other side in the division?

MT: Herbie Hofsteede (Mynydd Tigers). He has caused carnage every time we have faced them this season.

AFE: What was the inspiration behind the turnaround in Bodorgan’s performances this season (without giving too much away of course!)?

MT: Five new signings in Aron Owen, Luke Gardner, Darragh Byrne, Steve Davies and Danny Connolly definitely  gave the whole team a lift and added a lot of quality to the squad too.

However, the whole squad deserves the credit really.

AFE: What’s been the highlight of this season for you?

MT: I think it has to be beating Bryngwran Bulls in extra time and making the Elias Cup final.

Although to be honest it’s a tough one between that and our come back against Valley in the Megan Cup, when we went on to beat them on penalties.

AFE: What are your hopes for next season?

MT: I think it would be brilliant to go one step further and actually win a cup but with talk of many new teams entering the league it will be very tough.

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Richard Owen (Bryngwran Bulls)

Trophies: Lucas Oil Cup and Dargie Cup.

Final league position: Runners-up.

Runners-up in Megan Cup.

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PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

AFE: Hi Richard, who’s been your Player of the Season for the Bulls this year?

RO: This award was a real difficult one this year with so many lads being stand outs over the course of the campaign.

Obviously the likes of James Ryan would usually walk the award having scored over 50 goals but for me our brilliance started from the back and both Hari (Jones) and Henry (Caldecott) were outstanding in several games and so they split the award.

AFE: Who would you say is the most improved player at your club?

RO: This one was Matty Roberts no doubt.

He was mainly used on the left and had a fantastic season scoring 16 and bagging a good few man of the match performances too.

AFE: What about the Player of the Season from one of the other sides?

RO: Best player for the opposition was Lee Heywood (Llangoed Reserves goalkeeper), hence why we have now signed him!

I also have to give a mention to Ciaran O’Brady (Mynydd Tigers) but also Kev Arriva (Arriva Bangor manager) who himself played 20 mins against us and was a handful!

AFE: You’ve been managing the Bulls for a long time now, was this one of your best seasons with the club?

RO: It’s hard to compare the Bulls’ Sunday teams to our Saturday team as I was basically borrowing players from other teams in the Sunday’s and never really knew what you had as a squad until they had played their matches on Saturday’s with injuries or lads going out on the beer getting in the way.

However, no doubt last seasons success felt like our own and therefore I would say that it was my most enjoyable one so far.

AFE: You have made some great signings already this summer. Will there be a few more through the door?

RO: New signings were a must as we knew a few were going to be moving on and few retirements were also taking place so moving quickly to snap players up was key.

You can expect a few more in for sure as training started last week and the numbers were good so hopefully there’s another big one in the locker.

AFE: Finally, what was the overall season highlight for you and The Bulls?

RO: The best moment was definitely winning the Dargie Cup after coming from a goal down and winning it in extra time. The feeling was was unreal.

However, we also can’t forget about our very first trophy in Saturday football (Lucas Oil Cup). Both trophies sit nicely on the bar in the Iorwerth Arms with me on most weekends!

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Dale Moffat (Caergybi)

Trophies: Megan Cup.

Final league position: Fourth.

Runners-up in Benllech Car Boot Trophy.

Moffat
PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

AFE: Hi Dale, who has been your Player of the Season for Caergybi this year?

DM: It has to be Gary Jo Owen as he has scored so many goals for us this year (58 for Valley and Caergybi this season).

Not only that, but he’s done it when we needed it most, getting us vital goals in semi finals and the Megan Cup final too.

AFE: Who has been the most improved player at your club?

DM: Luke McKittrick. At the beginning of season Luke played as a winger but we found he was all over the plac,e always out of position and leaving space for the opposition to break through.

However, when we moved him to centre mid, he has never looked back and keeps getting better and better with every game.

AFE: What about the Player of the Season from any other side in the league?

DM: The best player from another club has to be James Ryan for me. Every time we played Bryngwran Bulls, we had a game plan to try and stop him scoring but he always ended up finding the net anyway.

He’s a very good player and he’d be closely followed by Scott Hughes who I personally think makes Arriva a totally different team to play against when he’s in the side as he creates so much for them.

AFE: What was the highlight of the season for you?

DM: Highlight for us as a club has to be winning the Megan cup in our first ever year in the Anglesey League. What an achievement it was.

Plus – to be in another final and two semi-finals as well, I have to say that the lads have done so well this year.

AFE: What are your hopes for next year?

DM: For next season we are strengthening in areas I feel we lacked last season. We always needed somebody to come off the bench and change the game, so squad depth is highly important.

Last year, which was our first year as a club, we were always learning and never really knew what to expect so this year we will be even more ready for the challenge I feel.

AFE: Finally, what have you learnt as a manager this season?

DM: Personally, I have learnt so much and it was my first year coaching adults.

I’ve done coaching before, but that’s for my under 7’s, so it was a completely different experience for me. Every game I got more experience under my belt as well as knowledge of learning how to get the best out of the players.

I did my best to motivate the players and give them the drive to do well. I couldn’t be prouder of my debut season as a coach and to win a cup right at the end really topped it off for me.

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Jordan Love (Llandegfan)

Final league position: Ninth

Jords
PICTURE: Richard Gregson.

AFE: Hi Jordan, who’s been the Player of the Season for Llandeg this year?

JL: I have a few players that have performed well this season, however, the one that stands out the most is our centre back – Matthew Roberts.

He takes control in the back, and is never scared to put his body on the line either. He’s a very good player who is determined to do well for this club.

AFE: Who’s would you say has been the most improved player at your club?

JL: There’s only one that comes to mind. Neil Gillard.

When Neil came to the club he was quite shy, and hardly spoke. After getting used to the good lads that we have at Llandegfan, he completely opened up and his drive and passion for football started to show.

There’s still work to do with Neil, however he has done himself and the club proud this season.

AFE: Who would you pick as Player of the Season from another side in the league?

JL:  Well… I’m not gonna go for a prolific goal scorer for this one. I’m going to choose Mutsu Oyama – the left back from Arriva Bangor.

I’ve watched many games when Arriva have been playing this season and I have to say that he’s a brilliant player and doesn’t get enough praise in my eyes because of other big names within the team.

He always moves himself into space and will always track back. Being a good player doesn’t mean being league top goal scorer, much more to it than that.

AFE: It’s been a tough old season for Llandeg coming back into the league. How are you going to make sure things improve next year?

JL: It has been tough, but we have enjoyed it.

Next year we need to cancel out the “we are gonna lose” attitude against more established teams and focus on the basics. Training sessions will be targeting different aspects of the game where during the season we were failing.

We have a batch of new players joining next year that’ll bring more experience into the squad. Hopefully next year we can make an impact on the league.

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Dewi Williams (Llangoed Reserves)

Final league position: Sixth

Image may contain: 4 people, people playing sport, grass, outdoor and nature
PICTURE: Dewi Williams.

AFE: Hi Dewi, who has been your Player of the Season for Llangoed Reserves this year?

DW: Cameron Slater – one of our centre back’s.

AFE: Who’s been the most improved player at your club?

DW: Lee Heywood – our Goalkeeper.

Playing every Saturday has helped him a lot with his confidence. The first few games were hard for him but as soon as he came out of his shell he has kept us in games on a number of occasions.

He’s made a name for himself in the Anglesey League.

AFE: What about Player of the Season from one of the other sides?

DW: Scott Hughes of Arriva Bangor.

He caused us all kinds of problems in our games against them this season and he’s a player I would love to have in my team.

AFE: You seem to be a big fan of giving the younger players a chance at your club. Who’s stood out in that area this year?

DW: Hard to choose between Jay Finter and Nathaniel Evans to be honest.  They have both never looked out of place in the senior games this season despite still being very young.

They have turned up with the right attitude every week and they have both scored goals and assisted a few as well so I really couldn’t split them!

AFE: As a Reserves side, has it been hard losing players to the first team or is that something you get used to?

DW: For the team it has been hard, especially in terms of having the same starting 11 week in, week out.

However, for me myself i knew what it was going to be like and without a first team there is no reserves. Really I set up the team because I wanted to give the lads who eren’t getting games in the firsts a chance to play football.

It was never going to be all about winning every week.

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Mark Hughes (Mynydd Tigers)

Final league position: Champions

Runners-up in Lucas Oil Cup and Dargie Cup too.

MH
PICTURE: Mynydd Tigers FC.

AFE: Hi Mark, who’s been your Player of the Season for The Tigers this year?

MH: Even though we were a newly formed team we stated at the very outset that our objective was to win the league in our 1st season. That wasnt being arrogant although it meant we were there to be shot it, it was merely based on the fact we knew we had the quality within the squad and that we are ambitious to hopefully progress up the pyramid

AFE: What about Player of the Season from one of the other sides?

MH: There are a few candidates in this case. Our stand out performers have included Herbie Hofsteede who has been incredible at times and finished as our top scorer.

Ciaran OBrady also had an excellent season in midfield despite missing large chunks of the season.

But if I had to single out one player it would have to be Kieron Bullock, who didn’t turn 17 until the season had ended, and played literally every position other than in goal.

AFE: Who’s been the most improved player at your club?

MH: Again a tough one as the young lads in particular have come on leaps and bounds over the past few months. However, I’ll have to go with Tom Eames as he has progressed so much since last August.

He’s technically excellent but he’s now managed to marry that side of his game with that tenacity and determination which is needed at any level of football.

AFE: Before the start of the season, did you envisage yourselves winning the league?

MH: Even though we were a newly formed team we stated at the very outset that our objective was to win the league in our first season.

That wasn’t us being arrogant or anything, it was merely based on the fact we knew we had the quality within the squad and that we are ambitious to hopefully progress up the pyramid. It did mean we were there to be shot at though!

AFE: You’ve been playing quite a few matches this season, will you continue playing yourself next season into your 40’s?

MH: To be honest, Ive been finished for the past 4 or 5 years and certainly had no intention of playing this season never mind next!

However, there was a stage during the season whereby I had to play as we had so many young lads in the team and they were being bullied at times.

Never say never but no, I would say that I’m 99% retired now.

AFE: Finally, what are your hopes for next season?

MH: With one or two additions there’s no reason why we cant compete at the top of the Gwynedd League similar to how Holyhead Town have done in their first season.

We also intend to field a reserve team in the Anglesey League so all round it’s a very exciting, and busy, time for the club.

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Justin Gallagher (Pentraeth Reserves)

Final League position: Eighth

JG
PICTURE: Pentraeth Reserves FC.

AFE: Hi Justin. Who’s been your standout star at The Reserves this season?

JG: Jack Diamond. The whole point of a reserves team is to produce players and get them ready and able for the first if possible.

The way Jack played for us first half of the season, and for the first the second half, is exceptional. His attitude and commitment is spot on.

AFE: Who’s been the most improved player at Pentraeth Reserves this year?

JG: In terms of a player I had with me during both my seasons with the club, I’d say Rob Barker.

Anyone who’s been to a training session with Rob knows how good he can be, but he just couldn’t replicate it in games for a long time.

More and more as the season went on, he started to show that potential in games as well, and I think he’ll have a very strong season next year if he carries on.

AFE: Which player from another team in the league would you have in yours if you had the choice?

JG: In my head, before I know I was leaving, there was a few lads I was interested in trying to bring in next season, from a realistic point of view.

I really rate Ashley Jones and Dale Rowlands at Llandegfan and I think Steve Davies, Sam Hallas and Luke Allaway at Bodorgan are quality players too.

AFE: What has been the highlight of the season for you?

JG: For me, it’s been seeing the number of youngsters who we’ve given first seasons to and a few lads going on to play for the first team too, permanently in Jack Diamond’s case.

The majority of the squad were under 21 this season, and despite the results, I think the benefits of that will be seen a few years down the line at the club.

AFE: You’re moving onto different challenges in the footballing world now. As a manager, what are the main things you can take away from your time at Pentraeth?

JG: There’s so much. If I have to pick one main thing, I’d say how important attitude and commitment is.

I’ve seen players who are technically brilliant, all the skill in the works, but because the attitude and commitment isn’t there, they don’t reach their full potential, which is a massive shame.

Again though, I’ve learned hundreds of things, I’d just pick that as a main one.

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Barry Rowlands (Valley Athletic)

Final League position: Third.

BarryRowlands
PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

AFE: Who’s been the Player of the Season at Cae Mwd this year?

BR: That’s a tough question to be honest but for me three people stood out – Mike Williams, Jordan Lees and Justin Williams.

AFE: Who’s been the most improved player at your club?

BR: Again it has to be Justin Williams.

He’s been good previous seasons but this last season I think he found his feet and his ability to what he can do shone threw. And where hoping he can step up to the mark again this season should he stay at valley

AFE: What about the best player from another club in the division?

BR: I Would have to go with Ciaran O’Brady who plays for Mynydd Tigers.

I would say that he’s probably the only player to pull Valley apart on his own this season and he did so with his passing and movement.

AFE: What was the highlight of the season for you?

BR: Highlight has to be our Junior Cup run.

Shame how it all ended but we didn’t lose a game in it before we were chucked out and made it further than the club ever had done before by getting to the semi finals. We were very happy with it but again it’s just a shame about what happened after our win over Bontnewydd.

AFE: “Mr Valley” himself Marc Wilson has decided to stay on for at least another season. How much will having him around benefit you as a side?

BR: Having Marc around the club not only as a player but as a person is important because he does more than anybody to make sure games go ahead and literally does everything for us.

However, this season we hope he enjoys his football more and the burden of doing everything is taken off him by other helpers within the club.

AFE: What are your hopes for next season?

BR: Our biggest hopes are that the club can gain further stability for the future and be in the running for some trophies too.

We also hope that everybody involved at Valley gets some enjoyment out of it.

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Thanks to all managers for taking the time to answer my questions and for their co-operation throughout the season too couldn’t have kept the blog running so smoothly without all the support.

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