PICTURE by Wynne Evans.
SOMETIMES it’s good to reminisce about the past, particularly when it comes to football.
In 2017/18, I began to cover the Anglesey League in great detail. At the end of that campaign, I chose my official AL Team of the Season (Much to the delight of some and disgust of others!).
Here, I take a look back at who was included in that squad and also where they are playing now …
*Name of club at the time in brackets*
Lee Heywood (Llangoed Reserves)
Top class goalkeeper during Llangoed Reserves’ one and only season. Eventually went onto scoop the Anglesey League committee’s Goalkeeper of the Season award for his efforts.
Then went on to sign for Bryngwran Bulls in 2018/19 but was limited to a short amount of game time due to the emergence of Konner Druce and family commitments.
He’s now playing for Welsh Alliance Two side Amlwch Town, where he has also played in the past.
Hari Jones (Brynwgran Bulls)
Quality centre back who was great in the air and solid in the tackle, he was arguably the league’s best defender that season.
Missed out on the opportunity of winning the league last season with The Bulls however after switching to play for Llanerchymedd in Welsh Alliance Two, where he continued to perform well.
Now back with the re-branded Trearddur Bay Bulls for 2019/20.
Mike Williams (Mynydd Tigers)
Captain of the title-winning Tigers side that season who surprised everyone with their emergence as a side. Williams was pivotal in the heart of the defence within Mark Hughes’ side and led the team really well.
He’s remained with the club ever since and is now taking over as manager of the recently re-branded Ogwen Tigers in the Gwynedd League.
Henry Caldecott (Bryngwran Bulls)
Despite being small in stature, Caldecott is a very strong and quick CB who was absolutely awesome for The Bulls in this particular season. He was very hard to get past and played well alongside Hari Jones at the back.
Last season, he also moved on to pastures new – signing for new Anglesey League club Cefni, where he was ever-present throughout and helped the club onto a fourth place finish.
Still with Cefni for 2019/20 and is one of the key players in the team.
Dewi Thomas (Caergybi)
Cybi skipper had a season to remember in 2017/18, hitting 14 goals and leading his team to Megan Cup glory as well.
Remained with the club last season (Although he didn’t play as often due to stern competition in the squad) and helped Dale’s Moffat side on to promotion to the Gwynedd League.
Now in his third season with the club in the GL.
Andrew Bailey (Bryngwran Bulls)
Experienced CM who was captain of The Bulls’ team that won the Dargie and Lucas Oil cups in 2017/18. A tough-tackling player who was the engine within Richard Owen’s team and also hit 20 goals in that campaign.
Moved to local rivals Valley last summer after new signings came in at Bryngwran and established himself as one of the key players in Dan Jones’ team.
Still with Valley this season and will be looking to help them on to some silverware.
Herbie Hofsteede (Mynydd Tigers)
Probably the most talented player in that title-winning Tigers team in 2017/18. Hofsteede cam to the club as a former Caernarfon Town youth player and his class really told out on the pitch.
The tall forward/CAM hit an incredible 32 goals at just 18 years of age and teams just didn’t know how to handle him.
He is now turning out for a team in Leeds, where he works as a plumber.
Matty Roberts (Bryngwran Bulls)
One of the best wingers in the league that season and the season after too. In 2017/18, Roberts hit 15 goals and then followed it up with another 22 for The Bulls in the following campaign.
He’s very quick to find space in behind defenders and is a great finisher too and he’s still with The Bulls.
Scott Hughes (Arriva Bangor)
Arriva’s first season in the AL brought success as Kevin Jones’ side won the Elias and Car Boot Cups. Hughes was the main man that season, hitting 46 goals.
Last season, he was even sharper and deadlier as he bagged an incredible 60 goals as Arriva added more silverware to their cabinet by retaining the Car Boot Trophy.
Now, still with Arriva, Hughes will be looking to clinch that top scorer prize in 2019/20.
James Ryan (Brynwgran Bulls)
Was second top-scorer in the division with a stunning total of 54 goals for Bryngwran Bulls.
2018/19 saw Craig Moore move to Bryngwran and Ryan moved to rivals Caergybi, where he would go one step better by claiming two cups (Dargie and Lucas Oil) against The Bulls and finishing as the league’s top scorer with a record-breaking 74 goals to his name.
He’s now re-signed with Caergybi for a spell in the Gwynedd League, despite interest from another of other clubs.
Gary Jo Owen (Caergybi)
The best of the bunch in 2017/18, Gary Jo hit 58 goals in that term and was without doubt the deadliest striker in the division, having turned out for Valley and Caergybi.
In 2018/19, he had a return of 17 goals in the Anglesey League despite leaving Cybi for Holyhead Town, briefly returning and then going back to Town again. There’s no doubt that if he had stayed, he would have passed the 50 goal mark.
This season, he’s been banging them in as captain of Holyhead Town who are on a roll in Welsh Alliance Two.
David Ball (Mynydd Tigers)
Vastly experienced goalkeeper who was one of the few “older heads” in the otherwise youthful Tigers squad. Was 40 years old during that season and in the past had turned out for the likes of Glantraeth and Llanrug United in the Welsh Alliance.
He has now retired.
John Jones (Bryngwran Bulls)
Versatile and reliable defender who can play anywhere across the back line and has been an ever-present member of The Bulls squad over the last few seasons.
He is still playing for them now, week in week out in the Gwynedd League.
Colm Foley (Caergybi)
A no-nonsense tough-tackling defender who really stood out during Caergybi’s debut campaign as a club.
Foley was good in the air and hard to get past on the ground too. Has remained by Cybi and manager Dale Moffat’s side since day one and is now in the Gwynedd League with the club.
Ashley Hughes (Valley)
Another solid defender who was a key player at the back for Valley in the 2017/18 season.
He too has remained with Dan Jones’ team ever since and will be hoping to help the mount a title challenge in the Anglesey League this season.
Mutsu Oyama (Arriva Bangor)
Really caught the eye with some outstanding performances for Arriva in 2017/18. The Japanese full-back was tireless in each and every game and was a real threat out wide.
He spent some of the 2018/19 campaign with the club before heading back home to Japan after graduating from Bangor University.
Liam Patrick Williams (Caergybi)
Had a season to remember in 2017/18, when he assisted more than 60 goals and scored 12 from midfield for both Valley and Caergybi.
2018/19 saw him take a more defensive role in the Cybi squad – playing as a centre back for the most part. Although he was still creative in the sense that he could drive the team forward well.
This season, he’s join brothers Casey Williams and Gary Jo Owen at thriving Welsh Alliance Two side Holyhead Town.
Kieran Bullock (Mynydd Tigers)
One of the stars of the season in 2017/18, Bullock was a wing back who despite being only 17 at the time, looked like a real talent and hit an incredible 18 goals.
Nowadays still with the recently re-named Ogwen Tigers and still a highly valued member of the team.
Ciaran O’Brady (Mynydd Tigers)
Irish wing wizard who tore defences apart for The Tigers and scored 17 goals from out wide. He was chosen by many players and managers as the league’s best player that season.
His trickery, pace and creativity out on the wing made him a real handful to try and contain and he looked a real class above the rest at times.
O’Brady is now an engineer in Liverpool, where he still plays football and Gaelic football for local sides over there.
Konner Druce (Valley)
He may be known as The Bulls’ number one nowadays but in 2017/18, at both Caergybi and Valley, Druce was one of the top scorers in the division with 23 goals. Playing as a winger, he proved to be a clinical finisher as part of a deadly front three with Justin and Mike Williams at Valley.
Last season of course he was (officially) the Anglesey League Goalkeeper of the Season following a stunning title-winning season with Bryngwran Bulls.
For 2019/20, he’s still with The Bulls and still their main man between the sticks in the Gwynedd League.
Iolo Jones (Brynwgran Bulls)
One of The Bulls’ most loyal servants who proved his worth once more in 2017/18 with a string of important performances. His vision and strength in midfield made hims stand out alongside then club captain Andrew Bailey as the club marched onto a cup double.
In 2018/19, following Bailey’s departure for Valley, Jones became club captain and enjoyed an even better season than the one previous – guiding The Bulls to the league title and promotion to the Gwynedd League.
He is now once more leading the team in the Gwynedd League for 2019/20.
Justin Williams (Valley)
Prolific goalscorer on Anglesey throughout the years but 2017/18 was one of his best. 36 goals for Valley placed Williams as the fourth top scorer in the division that year. His pace and finishing combined with his ability to find space in behind defenders was a joy to watch.
Last season, he opted for a move to Caergybi and bagged double figures despite an injury-ridden campaign.
For 2019/20, the tricky forward has signed for Gwynedd League side Trearddur Bay Bulls where he has already hit six goals this season – including a vital goal in a 1-0 win over Menai Tigers.
Luke Allaway (Bodorgan)
Another striker who enjoyed a fine season in 2017/18, finishing the campaign with 28 goals to his name. The tall forward was deadly throughout as Bod continued to improve as a team.
Last season, Allaway was with Bod once again, this time hitting 16 goals. For 2019/20, yep you guessed it, still with Bodorgan and still scoring goals – four so far this season.
And the manager … Richard Owen (Bryngwran Bulls)
In fairness, this one could have gone to a number of individuals after what was a memorable season for many.
I went with Owen as his side won a cup double (Lucas Oil and Dargie) and went so close yet so far to winning the league title too (being pipped by one point on the final day by Mynydd Tigers who beat them 4-2).
Owen’s hard work with The Bulls paid off a season later in 2018/19 however when his team deservedly won the division and promotion to the Gwynedd League, as well as winning the Elias Cup. Heartache was still there to be seen however as they lost no less than three cup finals in total.
2019/20 sees his side take a step up to Gwynedd League where they are currently on an absolute roll – winning seven out of seven games to date.