AFE’s Club Focus #1: Bryngwran Bulls

Formed: 2010 (re-formed)
Home ground: Cae Ysgol, Bryngwran
Manager: Richard Owen
Assistant: Carwyn Jones
Captain: Iolo Jones
Top scorer: Craig Moore (42 goals, pictured below)

PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

In a new feature on AFEFootballNews, I’ll be turning my attention to individual clubs around North Wales – first up is Anglesey League title-chasers Bryngwran Bulls.

Currently sat at the top of the division, The Bulls have lost just one game this season and remain in all cup competitions too, including the NWCFA Junior Cup, where they have reached the final four.

Managed by Richard Owen for the last nine years or so, the club has gone from being a Sunday League side to a competitive Saturday team who look destined for great things in seasons to come.

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LAST SEASON

The 2017/18 season was a bittersweet one for The Bulls. PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

During 2017/18, the club enjoyed great success, but alsoone major disappointment right at the end of the campaign.

Having beaten Mynydd Tigers 3-0 in the Lucas Oil Cup final and 2-1 (AET) in the Dargie Cup final, The Bulls secured a historic cup double. However, The Tigers eventually got their revenge when they pipped them to the Anglesey League title on the final day of the season – becoming the first non-island club to win the division in over a century.

As a result, Bryngwran missed out on the chance of promotion to the Gwynedd League, remaining in the Anglesey League for the 2018/19 season. Although that certainly hasn’t done them any harm!

THIS SEASON

Plenty of jubilant scenes for The Bulls so far this season! PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

Attempting to bounce back from that final disappointmentin May 2018, Bryngwran have stampeded their way to the top of the table oncemore this time around.

Having played over 20 games, The Bulls have scored over 100 goals and are still very much alive in all six Cup competitions – reaching the finals of the Elias and Car Boot Cups (where they will face Arriva in both). They have also just reached the semi-finals of the prestigious NWCFA Junior Cup having beaten Arriva Bangor 5-4 After Extra Time last weekend.

Incredibly, only Cefni, who drew 0-0 with them earlier in the season have stopped them scoring in the last two and a half years. They look certain to win some sort of silverware this season, barring any disasters. Caergybi and Arriva Bangor are hot on their heels in the league though so they’ll be hoping not to have another repeat of last season when May time comes around.

THE PLAYERS

It starts from the back – Druce has been quality. PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

There are top quality players no matter where you look onthat pitch for Bryngwran and that has set them apart from the rest of theleague at times this season.

Konner Druce has stepped up as their number one goalkeeper. With Lee Hyewood brought in from Llangoed Reserves over the summer, he was expected to be their main goalkeeper, however, due to family commitments, this has proven to not be the case. Despite being an attacker last season, Druce has proven that he has what it takes to step up between the sticks this year with some incredible performances and plenty of clean sheets to his name.

In defence, solidity comes through the likes of the reliable Tom Verburg and John Jones, the tall figure of Anton Williams (who has also played up front and bagged 12 goals in total!) and the versatile Arwyn Williams.

It’s the midfield that seems to pack the biggest punch for Bryngwran however. Captain Iolo Jones acts as the engine, driving his side forward with his vision, passing and determination. Central partner Matty Reynolds is another talented player who contributes more in the goals department. Nik Kontodios came back from a big ban to provide The Bulls with another option and he’s impressed with his desire and goal-scoring attributes.

Captain, leader, maybe even legend? Iolol Jones. PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

Out wide, they have the in-form Matty Roberts, whose pace and movement causes havoc for defenders. Fellow winger Ioan Thomas has also impressed. The 19-year-old has been a surprise star for the club this season.

Up front, the formidable Craig Moore has been in inspired form, bagging 49 goals since moving to the club in the summer. Fellow summer signing and attacker Jerome Sillence has also stood out, netting 12.

SURPRISE STAR

PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

As mentioned before, Ioan Thomas has caught the eye with some great performances. However, it’s Gwynfor Owen (above) who has surprised me the most since making the move from Pentraeth Reserves.

Since moving to Cae Ysgol, he’s hit four goals for The Bulls to add to the previous nine he bagged whilst with The Reserves. He’s always a handful when playing up top and contributed well when called upon in the absence of Craig Moore, who was injured earlier on in the season.

The unsung hero in the team is always Arwyn Williams. The long-serving defender is much-loved at the club and has popped up with a few vital goals this season too. Tony Meyer, who has played for the club for the last seasons, is another one who always gives 110% and has played in various positions.

THE MANAGER

PICTURE: Richard Owen.

Richard Owen has been with The Bulls since 2010, when, after being assistant for awhile, he eventually took over from Mark Gibbs. Since then, Owen has helped the club make incredible progress alongside his dedicated assistant Carwyn Jones.

His greatest achievement, aside from the Dargie Cup success last season, would surely have to be leading The Bulls to an unbeaten home record which lasted nearly three years in total. Incredibly though, despite going through the 2012 season unbeaten, they finished in second place and that’s why I’m certain that this season he will go all out to ensure his Bulls side can finally claim that Anglesey League title that has so far eluded them.

His tactical awareness as a manager is clear to see in games as he can often be seen switching formations mid-match to help his side slowly but surely creep back into games even when they don’t look like doing so. His side are real contenders for pretty much everything this season and both he and The Bulls’ names could go down into the history books should they enjoy major success come May.

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