PICTURE by Ynys Mon Island Games Association.
With a major international football tournament coming to Ynys Mon this weekend, the island’s men’s and women’s team managers have this week confirmed their final squads for the competition and both have their eyes set on securing a medal at the Huws Gray Ynys Mon 2019 Inter-Island Games competition.
16 teams from 10 islands across the globe are set to arrive on Anglesey on June 15 to compete in a week-long international football competition – the first of it’s kind to take place on Ynys Mon – which is being hosted at 11 different venues across the island.
Men’s Manager Campbell Harrison has announced a 20-man squad for his side’s campaign, with Women’s Manager Karen Williams announcing 18 players in her final squad.
Here, I give you some details on the players and staff …
Former Holyhead Hotspur gaffer who has a wealth of footballing knowledge and will be a great leader for this team. Speaking ahead of his latest challenge, he said:
“What this journey has absolutely proved to us is that the talent and the passion from football players on the island is out there. Between us (Harrison and assistant Iwan Williams), we’ve assessed well over 120 players as we’ve looked to build our squads for this tournament, and the quality of players we have on the island coupled with the desire to wear our shirt and represent our home has made coming to our final decisions very difficult.
“Cutting down our provisional squads proved very challenging, because every player worked so hard and gave their all, and we’ve had to make some tough decisions, but we feel with the 20 men’s and 18 women’s players selected that both our sides have realistic chances of winning a medal at this summer’s tournament.
“It will be a massive honour for us all to represent Ynys Môn on home turf this summer – we will be the first ever football teams to do it at this level – and we can’t wait to get going now. We’re going to do everything we can to make our island proud of us, and we would absolutely love to have their support.”
Welsh Premier League experience of having managed Caernarfon Town and Llandudno at the highest level will come in handy for Ynys Mon’s number two.
His knowledge of the game added to Harrison’s will put the squad in good stead heading into their big clashes.
Paul Pritchard (Porthmadog) – CAPTAIN
Vastly experienced and very reliable shot-stopper who has played for a number of clubs during a successful playing career.
He has Welsh Premier League experience to his name, having played for Rhyl and Connah’s Quay and also earned a call-up to the Welsh Semi-Professional squad in May 2008, featuring briefly in the Four Nations Tournament against Gibraltar at Rhyl.
He’s a highly respected keeper who will provide a very safe pair of hands between the sticks for this team and will no doubt act as a great leader too having been chosen as captain of the squad.
Jordan Taylor (Bodedern Athletic)
An outfield player who transformed into a goalkeeper at one stage for Boded this season and he’s proved to be superb.
Will most likely act as a winger or wing back within the Mon squad however.
Gari Owen (Llangefni Town)
Owen is very much a fan’s favourite at The Town and it’s not hard to see why either.
Voted Supporters Player of the Year in 2017/18, he never stops working hard for his side and he’s a defender who really wears his heart on his sleeve for his club.
He should be a starter within this side.
Ryan Taylor (Bodedern Athletic)
Highly-reliable full-back who, after briefly departing for Holyhead Hotspur last summer and Porthmadog in the winter, Taylor made a U-turn on both occasions to return to his beloved Green and Whites.
Taylor has also played abroad at one point in his career – playing for Melville United in New Zealand. His pace, skill and versatility will make him and asset to the team.
Guto Hughes (Conwy Borough)
Full back who has been with Borough since 2017.
Hughes is a solid defender who has a great left foot and has previous experience of playing for Bangor City, Prestatyn Town and has previously represented Anglesey at an Island games tournament too.
Cai Powell-Roberts (Llangefni Town)
Defender who is a product of Bangor City’s youth academy and is now making the most of his opportunities at Town.
The 19-year-old is likely to be a substitute for these games but nevertheless being chosen for this squad shows you just how far he could go in a few years time and it will be a great experience for him too.
Alex Jones (Holyhead Hotspur)
Jones is a tall and strong tackling central defender who reads the game well, and can also cover in midfield if he’s needed.
For Hotspur, he likes to get up for corners and can be dangerous from those kind of situations. He’s been a member of the Mon squad on several occasions now and this time around will be no different.
Dan Thomas (Llangefni Town)
Highly-reliable full back who has been with Town for a number of seasons now and has never disappointed.
Strong on the ball and in the tackle, he loves to get forward and even grab a goal or two as well. I’d imagine he will make the starting eleven for this Mon squad.
Tomos Clarke (Conwy Borough)
A very talented midfielder who has very recently signed for The Tangerines after a spell with Holyhead Hotspur, where he proved to be a valuable player.
A versatile player with a great left foot, Clarke is a former trainee of Football League side Oldham Athletic and has also played for the likes of Glantraeth, Colwyn Bay and Porthmadog over the years.
He’ll be looking to play a big role in the Mon squad this summer before he goes on to play his first match for Conwy Borough in the second division next season.
Jay Gibbs (Porthmadog)
Another top experienced talent within the side who should standout.
Midfielder Gibbs has turned out for top clubs such as Caernarfon Town and Llandudno in recent years and is a former Tranmere Rovers scholar and Wales Under-19s international.
The 26-year-old is a proven tier-two player and should be a key player within Campbell Harrison’s squad.
Dean Garmey (Holyhead Hotspur)
Vastly experienced player-who is a real workhorse type who would be a great asset for any side. He’s also a great leader and will no doubt be a voice within this team.
He’s been a part of the Anglesey football scene for well over a decade now and I’m sure that his experience will prove key in the Island Games tournament.
Dafydd Jones (Bodedern Athletic)
You could argue that nobody else on the island has had an individual season quite like this man has had this year. Jones was the engine in the centre of the park for a quality Boded side.
His list of personal honours at Boded for 2018/19 include …
Manager’s Player of the Year 🏆
Player’s Player of the Year 🏆
Player of the Year 🏆
Gerwyn Roberts (Mynydd Llandegai)
Roberts received high praises from those who watched Mynydd play last season.
He’s an experienced central defender/defensive midfielder, who proved to be instrumental for his club during 2018/19, even playing at right back on some occasions.
He’s another quality addition to this Mon side.
Liam Morris (Llangefni Town)
Arguably Llangefni’s main man this season in terms of creativity, as he helped his side on to winning the Welsh Alliance One title and the Cookson Cup, as well as reaching the Mawddach Cup final.
Morris finished as the club’s top scorer on 22 goals in the second division this season and enjoyed a standout campaign.
A former Llanfairpwll player, he’s certainly one to watch within this team s he’s one of the most exciting players on the island right now.
Sam Jones (Bangor City)
Despite the ongoing catastrophe at City at the moment, it has been good to see some local youngsters, including Jones, get the chance to shine at Nantporth this season.
A forward with natural goal-scoring instincts, he looks as though he could go on to be something special if he sticks at it. The 19-year-old has been a goal machine at every age group he has played in throughout his time in the club’s academy – scoring over 40 goals for the U19’s during the 2017/18 season for the U19s.
City supporters first became aware of him when he put in a Man of the Match performance against Liverpool U23s in the summer of 2018 and he hasn’t disappointed since either.
Alex Boss (Aberystwyth)
Another young player who really stood out at City during 2018/19 – although he has now moved on to WPL side Aberystwyth.
Boss possesses electric pace out wide and is the type of player to have fans on the edge of their seat as you can always expect him to do something special in matches.
Melvin McGinness (Holyhead Hotspur)
One of Anglesey’s most prolific forward over the years, McGinness has just signed a new contract with Hotspur for the 2019/20 season, taking his time spent at the club to nearly a decade.
Ahead of that though, he will be looking to cement a starting place within the Mon squad and if he plays like everyone who has played with or against him knows he can, then he could lead the line. He was voted the Huws Gray Alliance Player of the Season during 2018/19, despite his team getting relegated.
The 29-year-old is strong on the ball and takes his chances well and is a former Bob Brodie Trophy award winner (given to the island’s top scorer) when he hit 50 goals for Hotspur during 2011/12.
John Littlemore (Porthmadog)
A dynamic forward with Welsh Premier League experience, having previously been on the books of both Bangor City and Cardiff Met University.
Littlemore has just made the switch from Holyhead Hotspur to Porthmadog in the past few weeks and despite injury problems in his second season with the former, he leaves the club with a great goal scoring record.
His desire to win is clear to see whenever he steps out onto the pitch and he will undoubtedly be a valuable asset to this Mon squad.
Matthew Jones (Llangefni Town)
Midfielder-turned-attacker who has been on fire for The Town this season, hitting 21 goals in a memorable campaign for both himself and the club.
Former Llanerchymedd man Jones is a player who’s very good technically and rarely gives the ball away to the opposition. He’s certainly a great option to have within this side which is packed full of quality.
Notable exclusions from the squad include:
Corrig McGonigle (Conwy Borough)
Danny Brookwell (Caernarfon Town)
Steven Whittaker (Bodedern Athletic)
Dewi Thomas (Holyhead Hotspur)
Luke McGivern (Holyhead Hotspur)
Mike Kelly (Holyhead Hotspur)
Asa Thomas (Holyhead Town)
Sion Hogan (Menai Tigers)
Alex Lynch (Holyhead Hotspur)
AS EXPECTED, the majority of the women’s team is made up from Amlwch players (the only female side currently based on Anglesey).
As with the men’s side, this women’s team is a strong one that is full of talent and they will be fancied as one of the favourites to win the tournament.
From the experience of captain Laura Eynon at the back and goalkeeper Nicky Davies to the attacking promise of youngsters Ceri Lois and Catrin Evans, this team will pack some punch. The full squad chosen by manager Karen Williams is as follows:
Nicky Davies (Sheffield United)
Ceri Pritchard (Amlwch Town)
Carol Lewis (Amlwch Town)
Laura Eynon (Amlwch Town) – CAPTAIN
Paige Williams (Amlwch Town)
Sara Furlong (Amlwch Town)
Beth Jones (Caernarfon Town)
Emma Roberts (Cardiff Met Uni)
Jordanne Greenhough (Llandudno)
Cerys Gadd (Amlwch Town)
Charlotte Gill (Guisley Vixens)
Ffion Owen (Caernarfon Town)
Catrin Evans (Bethel FC)
Ceri Slaney (Caernarfon Town)
Angharad Evans (Bethesda Athletic)
Erin Maloney (Bethel Athletic)
Lexi Crawley (Amlwch Town)
Ceri Lois (Bethesda Athletic, below)
2019 INTER ISLAND GAMES FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Sunday, June 16:
Jersey v Orkney | Llangefni FC, 11:00 KO
St Helena v Shetland Isles | Aberffraw FC, 14:00 KO
Ynys Môn v Western Isles | Holyhead Hotspur FC, 17:00 KO
Alderney v Hitra | Cemaes Bay FC, 19:30 KO
Monday, June 17:
Ynys Môn v Orkney | Gwalchmai FC, 18:30 KO
Jersey v Western Isles | Glantraeth FC, 18:30 KO
Isle of Man v Hitra | Llangefni FC, 18:30 KO
Guernsey v Shetland Isles | Bodedern AFC, 15:30 KO
Tuesday, June 18:
Isle of Man v Alderney | Llanerchymedd FC, 18:00 KO
Guernsey v St. Helena | Holyhead Hotspur FC, 18:30 KO
Ynys Môn v Jersey | Llangefni FC, 19:30 KO
Western Isles v Orkney | Cemaes Bay FC, 19:30 KO
Thursday, June 20:
Ninth-placed playoff game | Aberffraw FC, 11:30 KO
Seventh-placed playoff game | Glantraeth FC, 13:00 KO
Fifth-placed playoff game | Bodedern FC, 14:00 KO
Semi-final – Winner B v Winner C | Gwalchmai FC, 16:30 KO
Semi-final – Winner A v Best 2nd | Llangefni FC, 19:30 KO
Friday, June 21:
Bronze Medal match | Gwalchmai FC, 14:00 KO
Final | Holyhead Hotspur FC, 18:30 KO
Sunday, June 16:
Ynys Môn v Western Isles | Holyhead Hotspur FC, 13:30 KO
Isle of Man v Jersey | Gaerwen FC, 13:30 KO
Monday, June 17:
Ynys Môn v Hitra | Amlwch Town FC, 18:30 KO
Isle of Man v Gibraltar | Llanerchymedd FC, 18:00 KO
Tuesday, June 18:
Jersey v Gibraltar | Glantraeth FC, 18:30 KO
Western Isles v Hitra | Bro Goronwy FC, 12:00 KO
Wednesday, June 19:
Fifth-placed playoff game | Bro Goronwy FC, 17:30 KO
Semi-final – Winner B v Runner-up A | Gaerwen FC, 18:00 KO
Semi-final – Winner A v Runner-up B | Amlwch Town FC, 18:30 KO
Friday, June 21:
Bronze Medal match | Amlwch Town FC, 11:30 KO
Final | Holyhead Hotspur FC, 15:30 KO