WITH the 2018/19 season creeping upon us day by day, I thought that now would be as good a time as any to give you the lowdown on the Isle of Anglesey clubs who will be competing in various division within the Welsh Pyramid system this year.
With Trearddur Bay announcing that they’re “taking a break” and Llanfairpwll appealing to play in the Anglesey League after dropping out of Welsh Alliance Division Two, it seems to be troubling times for the island.
The likes of Llangoed Reserves and Beaumaris have also left us but others such as Cefni FC make their debut and the likes of Cemaes Bay and Glantraeth will start again. Holyhead Hotspur are the most prestigious club on the island at this moment in time in terms of league ranking, plying their trade in the Huws Gray Alliance and their reserves are one of the new teams to join the Anglesey League for 2018/19.
So, without further ado, here’s the lowdown on the clubs who will be attempting to once again put Anglesey on the map in various competitions this season …
HUWS GRAY ALLIANCE (CYMRU ALLIANCE)
- Home ground: The New Stadium
- Nickname: Hotspur
- Manager: Darren Garmey
- Captain: Alex Jones
- Star man: Mel McGinness
- One to watch: John Littlemore
- Big signing: Harry Galeotti (from Llangefni Town, below)
- How they got on last season: 12th in the HGA
- 2017/18 top scorer: John Littlemore
Anglesey’s “Premier” side at this moment in time are a prime example of what can be achieved when a lot of time, effort and money is put into running a club.
Their season in the Huws Gray Alliance last year started off with a bang but a long and tough streak of losing and drawing games in the middle saw them end up settling for 12th place. Can they do better this time around in a league that will feature the mighty Bangor City?
WELSH ALLIANCE DIVISION ONE
- Home ground: Cae Ty Cristion
- Nickname: Green Army
- Manager: Ricky Williams
- Captain: TBC
- Star man: Steven Whittaker
- One to watch: Shaun Jenkins
- Big signing: Jack Griffiths (from Amlwch Town)
- How they got on last season: Take Stock Van Hire Cup winners, Runners-up in Welsh Alliance Div Two
- 2017/18 top scorer: Steven Whittaker (38 goals)
Make no mistake about it, Ricky Williams is in the process of building something special at Cae Ty Cristion.
Everywhere you look in this current Bodedern side, there’s talent. From the likes of Shaun Jenkins, Gareth Torr and Keenan Downey to new boy Jack Griffiths and prolific goal machine Steven Whittaker, a goal could come from anywhere. Question now is – can they mount a real challenge in Welsh Alliance Division One following their impressive promotion campaign last season?
- Home ground: Cae Bob Parry
- Manager: Chris Roberts
- Captain: TBC
- Star man: Gari Owen
- One to watch: Steven Sinclair
- Big signing: Liam Morris (from Aberffraw)
- How they got on last season: League runners-up
- 2017/18 top scorer: Iwan Jones (15 goals)
Arguably Anglesey’s second biggest team at this moment in time and one of only two teams from the island (the other being Cemaes Bay) to have played in the Welsh Premier League in the past.
Llangefni are a well-supported club and have made some top signings already this summer with the likes of prolific scorer Alan Mark Owen and talented attackers Marvin Pritchard and Liam Morris joining the club. Fan favourites such as Dan Thomas, Steven Sinclair, Gari Owen and Paul Rowlands have re-signed and that puts the club in even better stead for the 2018/19 season.
They’ll be favourites for that Welsh Alliance Division One title this time around having narrowly missed out to Conwy Borough last season.
WELSH ALLIANCE DIVISION TWO
- Home ground: Cae Gynlas
- Nickname: Berffro
- Manager: Gerallt Roberts
- Star man: Nathan Moore
- One to watch: Iwan Roberts
- How they got on last season: 9th in the league
- 2017/18 season: Nathan Moore (25 goals)
Berffro had a decent campaign last year and striker Nathan Moore led the way in terms of goals for them. The good news for the club is that he has re-signed for 2018/19.
John Earnshaw, who played for Bryngwran Bulls (Anglesey League) last season has joined as Gerallt Roberts’ assistant manager and will add a wealth of knowledge to that side of the club. They’re a strong side and should be aiming for another top 10 finish this season.
- Home ground: Lon Bach
- Manager: Ryan McKean
- Star man: Luke McGivern
- One to watch: Ryan Folksman
- Big signing: Matty O’Hara (from Llanerchymedd)
- How they got on last season: 5th in the league
- 2017/18 top scorer: Luke McGivern (14 goals)
It’s hard to believe that a club as big on the football scene as Amlwch and with such an illustrious history as them is struggling to find players ahead of the 2018/19 season.
Club officials sent out an urgent plea via social media this week in order to try and find new players for the forthcoming season. The positive news is that they have signed lively forward Matty O’Hara from Llanerchymedd and talented midfielder Ryan Folksman. Hard to predict what kind of season the Town will have at this moment in time, but I for one really hope things work out for them.
- Home ground: Lon Groes
- Nickname: The Auctioneers
- Manager: Peter Jones
- Star man: Darren Lewthwaite
- One to watch: Llion Vaughan
- Big signing: Danny Connolly (from Bodorgan)
- How they got on last season: 8th in the league
- 2017/18 top scorer:
Gaerwen have been very busy re-signing last season’s squad this summer and have also added several new faces.
They have bolstered their attack big time by bringing in the likes of Danny Connolly, Darren Lewthwaite and Llion Vaughan. Having players such as Shaun Monument, Iwan Jones and Connor Gordon back will only boost the squad further too. They enjoyed a decent campaign last year and will be looking to build on that this time around.
- Home ground: Millbank
- Nickname: The Harbourmen
- Manager: Nick Murphy
- Star man: Asa Thomas
- One to watch: Sion Davies
- Big signing: Barry Haigh
- How they got on last season: Champions of Gwynedd League
- 2017/18 top scorer: Asa Thomas (45 goals)
One of the most exciting and well-followed clubs on the island right now, The Harbourmen are certainly a club that’s on the up.
Impressive back-to-back promotions from the Anglesey and Gwynedd Leagues have seen Nick Murphy’s side head into Welsh Alliance Division Two for the 2018/19 season. Can they cause a stir in there too?
With the likes of Barry Haigh and Dewi Thomas already signing on the dotted line, there could be a good chance of them at least achieving a high finish in the table.
- Home ground: Tan Parc
- Manager: Meirion Grieves
- Captain: Callum McCormack
- Star man: Mark Jones
- One to watch: Gavin Sharpe
- Big signing: Deion Evans (From Bodedern)
- How they got on last season: 14th in the league (second bottom)
- 2017/18 top scorer: Jerome Sillence
It was a disappointing season for Llan last time around and so they’ll most certainly be looking to finish higher this time around in what is a very tough league at this moment in time.
Hometown hero Deion Evans has returned to the club for the 2018/19 season though having spent time with Bodedern and the talented Gavin Sharpe has also joined Meirion Grieves’ side, adding even more quality to it. They have a decent side together at Tan Parc at the moment and so they should spring a surprise or two.
- Home ground: Bryniau Field
- Manager: Mat Parry
- Captain: TBC
- Star man: Ryan Wood
- One to watch: Dylan Jones
- Big signing: Iwan Williams (from Llanfairpwll)
- How they got on last season: 12th in the league
- 2017/18 top scorer: Ryan Wood (12 goals)
It’s hard to know what to expect from Pentraeth at times but they are a strong side on their day and also have a strong Reserves side to call upon too if needs be.
Talented attacker Ryan Wood seems to be their go to man in terms of goals (having netted 12 last season) and they do have some exciting young players coming through the ranks too such as Dylan Jones and Dyfed Alston. They’re unlikely to be high up the table this season though and will most probably finish in a similar position to last year.
- Home ground: Cae Nerys
- Nickname: Bro
- Manager: Lee Potter
- Assistants: Alan Gray and Arwel Parry Hughes
- Star man: Andy Williams
- One to watch: Jac Thomas
- Big signing: Jamie Ryan Jones (from Amlwch Town)
- How they got on last season: Gwynedd League runners-up, Bob Owen Memorial Shield winners, Meditel Gwynedd Cup runners-up
- 2017/18 top scorer: Andy Williams (27 goals)
Bro will most likely be favourites to go on and win the Gwynedd League this season and with good reason too having missed out on the title by just the one point last year and having to watch Holyhead Town clinch promotion instead.
That agony should be enough to spur them on to glory this season and with a group of passionate, committed and determined players and coaching staff involved at the club, They have a good crop of young players (Jac Thomas, Jordan Edney, Rui Da Silav etc) and experienced ones too (Taylor Jones, Jonny Sweetser, Andy Williams etc) and so I fully expect them to claim the title this time around. It won’t be easy, but I think they will get the job done.
Confirmed squad for 2018/19 (so far): Jonny Sweetser, Gareth Owen, Jordan Edney, Stephen Hughes, Dan Jones, Matthew Roberts, Liam Thomas, Paul Williams, Dylan Jones, Gareth Jones, Robert Tiesteel, Richard Williams, Sam Carter, Owain Griffiths, Jamie Jones, Tam Morton, Liam Griffiths, Sam Regan, Rui Da Silva, Dan Fairhead, Connor Jones, Callum Thomas, Taylor Jones, Andy Williams and Jac Thomas.
- Home ground: Cae Glantraeth
- Manager: Warren Gibbs
- Star man: TBC
- One to watch: Kieren Jeffreys
Much like Cemaes Bay, Glantraeth are also having to rebuild from scratch and start over again.
Having been one of the teams to watch in the 2016/17 season, being denied promotion to the Welsh Alliance Division One last season hurt them big time and having lost several players – including the talismanic Corrig McGonigle, the club decided to take a season out of the game.
Warren Gibbs is the man taking charge in a season that could be make or break for a club that has always been known to produce the goods when it matters.
- Home ground: Cae Maes Meurig
- NIckname: Gwalch
- Manager: Martin bach
- Captain: Craig Evans
- Star man/one to watch: Craig Evans
- How they got on last season: Fifth in the league and Safeflue Shield winners
- 2017/18 top scorer: Mark Griffith (30 goals)
A strong and highly-successful side that enjoyed a very good campaign last year. They will be looking to build on that this time around with a squad that is a mix of experience and youthful talent.
Captain Craig Evans is one of the club’s main men and despite interest from several other clubs he has remained loyal to them for the 2018/19 season. They might just be a team to watch this year.
- Home ground: Tyddyn Paun
- Manager: Vinny Walker
- Captain: Matty Owen
- Star man: Llion Roberts
- One to watch: Nathaniel Evans
- Big signings: Carwyn & Nick Williams (from Bro Goronwy)
- How they got on last season: Eighth in the league
- 2017/18 top scorer: Llion Roberts
With the Reserves side folding from the Anglesey League, the Llangoed first team has had the benefit of choosing some of those players to make the step up to their senior side for this season.
Brothers Nick and Carwyn Williams have returned to the club from Bro Goronwy and the likes of top scorer Llion Roberts, captain Matty Owen and the exciting young trio of Nathaniel Evans, Jay Finter and Kane Briggs have also committed once more. They will be a strong team once again this season and will be looking to push for a higher finish.
Confirmed squad for 2018/19 (so far): Rhys Owen, Matty Barry, Matty Owen, Rich AH, Mathew Cole, Tom Lewis, Phil Owen, Kieran Owen, Llion Roberts, Jack Williams, Carl Pritchard, Charlie McKenna, Luke Roberts, Kane Briggs, Ollie Zalot, Nick Williams, Carwyn Wiliams, Nathaniel Evans, Jay Finter, Mitchell Jones and Wayne Thomas.
MENAI BRIDGE TIGERS
- Home ground: Maes y Coed
- Nickname: Tigers
- Manager: Sean Brett
- Star man: Dave Baston
- One to watch: Shaun Lock
- How they got on last season: ninth in the league
- 2017/18 top scorer: Dave Baston
The Tigers have been busy putting a really strong squad together and have looked sharp in pre-season too.
Sean Brett has signed lively forward Shaun Lock who will no doubt provide some goals for The Tigers this season and has also snapped up the likes of Danny Camilleri, Liam Billington, Callum Hughes, Harry Jones and experienced goalkeeper David Clarke. They finished quite far down the table last year, but I fully expect them to do better this time around.
Confirmed squad for 2018/19 (so far): David Clarke, Darren Gowans, Tom Parry, Dafydd Healy, Ryan Owen, Dale Owens, Matthew Scowen, Dean Redmond, Dave Baston, Sam Roberts, Harry Jones, Owain Roberts, Callum Graves, Andrew Wannop, Callum Hughes, Darren Jones, Callum Davidson, Danny Camilleri, Liam Billington, Lewis Hughes and Shaun Lock.
- Home ground: Beach Road
- Nickname: The Busmen
- Manager: Kevin Jones
- Assistant: Kieran Fritter
- Captain: Liam Roberts
- Star man: Scott Hughes
- One to watch: Mutsu Oyama
- Big signing: Chester Lloyd (from Beaumaris)
- How they got on last season: Fifth in league, winners of Elias Cup and Benllech Car Boot Trophy.
- 2017/18 top scorer: Scott Hughes (46 goals)
Debut seasons in Saturday League football don’t get much better than the one that Arriva had during 2017/18.
A fifth placed finish in the league and Cup double success (Elias & Car Boot Trophy) saw Kevin Jones’s side enjoy a highly successful first year. The great news for The Busmen is that top scorer Scott Hughes’ (46 goals last season) has re-signed and will no doubt be banging in the goals again this year. Question now is – can they mount a serious title challenge in their second season?
Confirmed squad for 2018/19 (so far): Dion Lewis, Kyle Jones, Kieran Fritter, Darren Mercer, Chester Lloyd, Stephen Edwards, Mathew Williams, Liam Roberts, Matt Jones, Scott Hughes, Tyler Looney, Liam Jones, Kieron Davies, Sammy Williams. Jay Williams.
- Home ground: Cae Cob
- Nickname: Bod
- Manager: Dave Webster
- Assistants: John Webster and Robin Griffiths
- Captain: Sam Hallas
- Star man: Luke Allaway
- One to watch: Iwan Parry
- Big signing: Nathan Evans (Bryngwran Bulls)
- How they got on last season: Seventh in the league, runners-up in Elias Cup.
- 2017/18 top scorer: Luke Allaway (30 goals)
Last season saw major improvements take place at Cae Cob as a previously overpowered Bodorgan side turned into a squad that was able to compete with some of the big boys.
Their season highlight was progressing all the way through to the Elias Cup final – beating favourites Bryngwran Bulls along the way. Striker Luke Allaway was their main man (hitting 30 goals) and he has re-signed at the club. With new teams joining the league, will we see them finish even higher up the table this year?
Confirmed squad for 2018/19 (so far): Josh Roberts, Nathan Evans, Jordan Rossi, Ashley Jones, Nathan Roberts, Gareth Roberts, Osian Williams, Aron Owen, Jake Hughes, Cai Postle, Iwan Parry, Owain Rowlands, Steve Davies, Tom Prytherch, Gerwyn Williams, Dyfed Williams, Arwel Griffiths, Aaron Jones, Paul Owen, Cai Jones, Luke Gardiner, Sam Hallas and Luke Allaway.
- Home ground: Cae Ysgol
- Nickname: The Bulls
- Manager: Richard Owen
- Assistant: Carwyn Jones
- Captain: Iolo Jones
- Star man: Andrew Bailey
- One to watch: Matt Reynolds
- Big signing: Craig Moore (from Trearddur Bay United)
- How they got on last season: League and Megan Cup runners-up, Dargie and Lucas Oil Cup winners.
- 2017/18 top scorer: James Ryan (54 goals)
The Bulls may have lost their top scorer James Ryan to league rivals Caergybi a couple of weeks ago but they will still be one of the favourites to win this division in 2018/19 nonetheless.
They have managed to find a man seemingly suitable to replace Ryan by snapping up Craig Moore from Trearddur Bay United. He was their top scorer last season and so I fully expect him to be able to hit 20+ goals at a lower level.
The signings of winger Matt Reynolds from Aberffraw and goalkeeper Lee Heywood from Llangoed Reserves should also prove to be good ones as Bryngwran look to take the title this year.
Confirmed squad for 2018/19 (so far): Lee Heywood, Sion Davies, Tom Verburg, Iolo Jones, John Jones, Arwyn Williams, Henry Caldecott, Andrew Bailey, Matty Roberts, Tony Meyer, Ioan Thomas, Matt Reynolds, Craig Moore, Barry John, Chris Owens, Mark Hamblin, Nik Kontodios, Dale Jones, Lee Roberts and Gafin Roberts.
- Home ground: Millbank
- Nickname: Cybi
- Manager: Dale Moffat
- Assistant: Si Thomas
- Captain: Dewi Thomas
- Star man: Gary Jo Owen
- One to watch: Liam Patrick Williams
- Big signing: James Ryan (from Bryngwran Bulls)
- How they got on last season: Fourth in the league, runners-up in Car Boot Trophy and Megan Cup winners.
- 2017/18 top scorer: Gary Jo Owen (58 goals)
I’m personally backing Cybi to take the Anglesey League title this season. It’ll be by no means easy but they have some serious quality in their ranks now.
Signing the league’s second top scorer from last season – James Ryan from Bryngwran Bulls – to play up top with the league’s top scorer Gary Jo Owen will no doubt prove to be useful. The lethal pair hit a total of 112 goals between them last year so if they can click then it will be a nightmare for defenders.
Add to that the creative spark of Liam Williams and new boy George Hibbert, the defensive steel of Colm Foley and the safe hands of Kieran Weeks, and you’ve got a really strong side. I’m backing them to be Anglesey League champions this season.
Confirmed squad for 2018/19 (so far): Elwyn Durkan, Kieran Weeks, Dan Lowies, Colm Foley, Chris Scank, Barry Roberts, Casey Williams, Si Thomas, Rikki Jones, Mike Murphy, Mike Owen, Sean Hughes, Carl Lewis, Jack Roberts, Ashley Beck, Luke McKittrick, Liam Williams, George Hibbert, Dewi Thomas, Tristan Hughes, Gary Jo Owen and James Ryan.
- Home ground: Isgraig
- Manager: Chris Davies
- Captain: TBC
- Star man: Nathan Lewis
- One to watch: Tyler Knight
If newcomers Cefni’s first game as a team together is anything to go by, then the other Anglesey League sides should be afraid.
Chris Davies’ side hammered Arriva Bangor 4-1 on Beach Road just last week and although the latter were missing quite a few first team players, you have to say that Cefni’s performance was impressive. Striker Nathan Lewis – who has joined from Bryngwran Bulls will undoubtedly provide the goals.
Could they be the ones to watch in the Anglesey League this season?
- Home ground: School Lane Ground
- Manager: Darren Hughes
- Captain: TBC
- How they got on last season: Folded halfway through the Welsh Alliance Division One season.
It’s sad to see a club with history such as Cemaes’ go through such a turbulent time as they have in recent seasons. This time around, the club are back to square one again and it’s Darren Hughes’ turn to start this revival.
They will be newcomers to the Anglesey League and are rumoured to be a youthful side as the club looks to rebuild itself back to where it belongs. It will be a tough task in what is a highly competitive division now, but with good facilities, resources and backing at the club, they should do well.
HOLYHEAD HOTSPUR RESERVES
- Home ground: The New Stadium
- Manager: Mike Kelly
- Captain: TBC
- Star man: Robert Jones
- One to watch: Casey Gregg
The third and final new side to join the Anglesey League for the 2018/19 campaign and they should be a very good side.
With the first team playing its football four leagues above, the Reserves will be led by Hotspur legend Mike Kelly and their squad should no doubt include a crop of (mostly young) talented footballers. David Williams, Casey Gregg and Robert Jones will be the three to keep an eye on.
Watch this space with these lads.
Confirmed squad for 2018/19 (so far): Robert Llewelyn Jones, Kyle Murphy, Harry Lewis, Casey Gregg, Deian Parry, Kris Dunne, David Williams, Sion Rowlands, Daniel Williams,Chris Corrie, Luke Owen, Arun Pritchard, Archie Weller, Luke Jones, Todd Cusick, Jonathon Jones, Ben Hamilton, Simon Davies, Matty Jones and Jordan Hughes
- Home ground: Lon Ty Newydd
- Nickname: Llandeg
- Manager: Jordan Love
- Assistant: Arron Evans
- Captain: Dale Rowlands
- Star man: Ryan Hughes
- One to watch: Geraint Roberts
- Big signing: Dave Parry (Llanllyfni)
- How they got on last season: Ninth in the league (Bottom)
- 2017/18 top scorer: Ryan Hughes (8 goals)
Surely things can’t get any worse for Llandegfan this season than they were during 2017/18?
Just one win in the league and one in the cup saw them finish rock bottom of the Anglesey League table in what was a miserable campaign. Having said that though, you have to admire them for their commitment and passion to carry on going.
With new faces such as big defender Byron Jones (Caergybi), striker Dave Parry (Llanllyfni) and midfielder Danny Roberts (Llangoed Reserves) all coming in, could their be renewed hope at Lon Ty Newydd this season?
Confirmed squad for 2018/19 (so far): Karl Moorhouse, Chris Nightingale, Jamie Kiely, Dylan Chadd, James Hall, Chris Hughes, Dale Rowlands, Ryan Williams, Byron Jones, Danny Roberts, Neil Gillard, Geraint Roberts, Ryan Hughes, Cerwyn Griffith, Ollie Protic, Alex Clarke, Ben Evans, Liam Jones, Sion Thomas, Nathan Harris, Robert Williams, Jordan Love, Nathan Stenson and Dave Parry.
- Home ground: Treborth
- Nickname: The Tigers
- Manager: Mark Hughes
- Captain: Mike Williams
- Star man: N/A
- One to watch: N/A
- Big signing: Dylan Price (from Mynydd Llandygai)
- How they got on last season: Anglesey League champions, runners-up in Lucas Oil and Dargie Cup.
- 2017/18 top scorer: Herbie Hofsteede (32 goals)
It is unclear yet as to whether or not Mynydd Tigers will be promoted to the Gwynedd League or not, but for the time being it looks as though they’re staying in the Anglesey League (although they won’t play any games in the month of August).
Last season’s champions were a joy to watch with the likes of Herbie Hofsteede, Ciaran O’Brady and Kieron Bullock running the show for them. They’re remaining tight-lipped at who is coming or going at the club at the moment as their future remains uncertain. Time will tell what will become of them.
- Home ground: Bryniau field
- Manager: Danny Jones
- Assistant: Paul Matier
- Captain: TBC
- Star man: Tomos Adamek
- One to watch: Ryan Hughes
- Big signing: Nathan Jones
- How they got on last season: Eighth (second bottom)
- 2017/18 top scorer: Jack Diamond (11 goals)
The Reserves have teamed up with Sunday League side Dreigiau Pentraeth FC and will have a totally new looks squad this season.
Manager Justin Gallagher has been replaced by Danny Jones and Paul Matier who have brought a number of their Dreigiau players along with them to add a mixture of talent and experience to the squad. I personally think they’re a team who can surprise a few of the big boys this year.
Confirmed squad for 2018/19 (so far): John Smiley, Luke James, Peter Crowe, Ryan Hughes, Tomos Adamek, Jack Halton, Jordan Owen, Kenny Williams, Nathan Jones, Gez Jones, Bradley Pickavance, Ian Butler, Dyfed Alston, Gary Julio, Louis Meyler, Ryan Hulme, Tom Jones, Matt Williams, Lee Williams and Gwynfor Owen.
- Home ground: Cae Mwd
- Manager: Barry Rowlands
- Assistant: Dan Jones
- Captain: TBC
- Star man: Marc Wilson
- One to watch: Mike Williams
- Big signing: Elliot Patterson (From Caergybi)
- How they got on last season: Fourth place
- 2017/18 top scorer: Justin Williams (36 goals)
Valley ended up suffering a somewhat disappointing campaign last season.
After being backed by many (including myself) to win the Anglesey League and having topped the table for many weeks, they crumbled away slowly before ending up in third place. This summer they have lost their top scorer in Justin Williams but have managed to re-sign Mike Williams who is just as lethal at times.
With Elliot Patterson and defender Grant Chambers also coming in, I see no reason as to why Valley shouldn’t be up there challenging for the title again this year.