PICTURE by Richard Gregson
WITH less than two weeks to go until grassroots football returns once more, I take a look at just some of the youngsters from the Gwynedd League who could make an impact for their respective clubs this season (21 and under).
Mubarak Braganca (Ogwen Tigers)
The Tigers are known for giving top young talent the chance to shine – having won the Anglesey League (as Mynydd Tigers) two seasons ago with a squad full of 17/18 year olds.
Last season though, it was Braganca who caught the eye with some stand-out performances. The midfielder/attacker was voted as the club’s Young Player of the Season for 2018/19 and he looks a real talent.
He will no doubt be a key player for the club once again this year as new manager Mike Williams takes the helm at the club.
Jay Finter (Llangoed)
An exciting winger, who first burst onto the senior footballing scene with Llangoed Reserves during their one and only Anglesey League season in 2017/18.
Finter is a player who possesses bags of pace and, after having may chances with the first team last season, should have even more this time around.
Jordan Pritchard (Menai Tigers)
A pacey striker who has been in great form for The Tigers during pre-season.
Despite only being 18 years old, he can list big teams such as Llanfair PG, Caernarfon Town, Felinheli and Llaberis as some of his former clubs and I’m sure he’ll get his chance to show what he can do with Menai this season, particularly with Dean Redmond now having moved on to Bodedern.
Llion Roberts (Llangoed)
One of the best young talents in the league on his day.
Robert’s electric pace allows him to play anywhere across the front line and he is a great finisher of the ball too. He’s certainly not afraid to run at players either and that makes him a nightmare to try and deal with.
He should prove to be one of Llangoed’s main men this time around in the Gwynedd League.
Sam Gregson (Llangoed)
This boy looks like a really, really good prospect and has really stood out for Llangoed’s first team during pre-season, having stepped up from the club’s under 18’s side.
A talented midfielder who has an eye or goal, Gregson also plays for Caernarfon Town’s academy and was Captain of Llangoed Juniors. He’s yet to turn 16 (until the end of August) but could this already be the season he makes an impression at Senior level?
Jac Thomas (Bro Goronwy)
Still only 20 years old, Thomas is a quality forward who always has a goal or two (or three) in him – bagging 25 in just 27 appearances in the Gwynedd League last season.
He knows just how to get in behind defenders and always poses a threat. Thomas is strong and quick and is everything a modern striker should be. He will no doubt be a key figure in Bro’s matches once more in 2019/20.
Kieron Bullock (Ogwen Tigers)
One of the stars of the show when Mynydd Tigers won the Anglesey League in 2017/18, when he hit 16 goals whilst playing as a wing back. Now, two seasons on, and still only 19 years old, he’s very much a respected member of the squad.
His pace and movement off the ball make him hard to deal with and his combination of attacking and defensive traits make him a welcome addition.
Josh Pugh (Llangoed)
Yet another exciting prospect who is on the books at Tyddyn Paun this season.
Pugh is another one of the Llangoed Juniors/Caernarfon Academy stars who has signed with Llangoed’s senior side for 2019/20. Hopefully it will be a great opportunity for him to grow even further as a player.
Rui Silva (Bro Goronwy)
A 20-year-old central midfielder who is powerful on the ball and with Jamie Ryan Jones having moved on to pastures new with Bodedern, should play more often this season.
Silva, of Portuguese origin, is a tall player who will win headers and would work well in the middle with long-serving Bro man Taylor Jones. He should be one to watch at Cae Nerys this season.
Jordan Rowlands (Caergybi)
18-year-old centre back who made the odd appearance for Cybi in the Anglesey League last season, despite tough competition for places in their defence.
Rowlands is a strong player who is good in the air and should go on to make some more appearances for Dale Moffat’s side this season.
I’m sure that a season spent with experienced players all around him with Cybi last year, in which they picked up two cups and earned promotion, will only boost his confidence as a player.
Ally Issa (Ogwen Tigers)
16-year-old winger who has caught the eye of the Tigers during pre-season.
He is a pacey and skilful winger who should get some first team action in this youthful side this season.
Thomas Zalot (Llangoed)
Top scorer in the Llangoed U16’s squad last season, Zalot is certainly one to keep an eye on.
He’s another in the long list of Llangoed youngsters who will be hoping to get a chance in this team this season.
Benn Lundstram (Bangor 1876)
A product of the Bangor City academy, Lundstram is one of the most promising strikers around in North Wales right now.
The 17-year-old appeared in Welsh Alliance Two with Penmaenmawr Phoenix last season and will go down in history as the first person to score a goal for this new 1876 side – netting against FC United last week (above).
The City faithful are excited to see what he can do and I’m sure he will learn alot from the likes of Les Davies.
There are several others who also deserve a mention and deserve a shot this season. At Llanystumdwy, they have the likes of 16-year-old quartet Owen Pritchard, Iwan Lloyd, Gethin Owen and Archie Harris and also 17-year-old Lewis Williams.
Others at Mynydd Tigers include forward Adrian Roberts (19), who has fired in four goals in pre-season, winger Tomos Eames (19) and goalkeeper Shane Owen (16) who looks a decent shot-stopper.
Over at Anglesey-based Bro Goronwy, there will be more opportunities for some young players there too with the departure of one or two first teamers from last season. Centre back Aaron Heald impressed when given the chance last season as did 19-year-old winger Ross Mark (below). You also have Rob Teisteel and Jorge Silva who should get the chance to shine.
At Waunfawr, they have right back Aled Pritchard. The 18-year-old was voted Players Player of the Season, just one year after joining when he was 16. Big things will be expected of him once more during 2019/20.
Nefyn United also have a host of youngsters to keep an eye on this season. From winger Thomas Jones (16) to centre back Carwyn Griffith (21) and wing backs Gethin (21) and Carwyn Trenholme (20) to 17-year-old attacking mid Deio Gwilym, and fellow AM Mark Dunn (19), there’s plenty of young talent who could catch the eye for the Penwaig.