PICTURE by Trevor Owen
FOR ME, the best strikers in the game make it look effortless and one of the best I’ve seen in the past three seasons is James Ryan, who now plays for Caergybi in the Gwynedd League.
During his seasons in the Anglesey League, he amassed way over a century of goals and was an unstoppable force for both Cybi and Bryngwran Bulls, where he enjoyed cup and league success in among the goals.
One memorable moment for me (unfortunately) was when he hit a hat-trick of hat-trick’s in a 17-0 demolition of my club Llandegfan in the 2017/18 season.
However, the overall pinnacle of his career at this level came during last season when he was Anglesey’s, and indeed North Wales’ deadliest striker across all competitions.
It was a near-perfect season for both Ryan and Dale Moffat’s Caergybi side who secured a cup double, and, despite losing out on the league title, they did still clinch promotion to the Gwynedd League. Striker Ryan bagged an incredible 72 goals during a record-breaking season in which also he became the person to score the most goals in the Bob Brodie Trophy competition (run by NWSport blogger Dave Jones) – surpassing the previous total of 64 hit by goal machine Corrig McGonigle for Pentraeth in 2015/16 (Now with Conwy Borough in Cymru North Division).
In the previous season, he finished second to Caergybi’s Gary Jo Owen but still scored a more-than-respectable 54 goals. But last season saw him go a cut above the rest, finishing 14 goals ahead of Bryngwran Bulls’ main man Craig Moore (now at Hotspur Reserves).
His record in the first half of the season (up to January 1 2019) saw him hit 42 goals. His incredible form then followed him into the New Year as 30 more goals followed – including one in Caergybi’s 2-1 Dargie Cup final win over former club Bryngwran Bulls.
Ryan’s formidable form throughout saw him score at least one goal against every team in the division and he went on to hit an impressive tally of nine hat-tricks during the course of the season – including a seven-goal haul against Llandegfan and eight against Llanfairpwll.
As expected, several clubs from higher leagues made approaches to sign him in the summer. However, the striker decided to remain loyal to both his manager Dale Moffat and Caergybi for 2019/20 as the club achieved promotion to the Gwynedd League after finishing as runners-up in the Anglesey League in 18/19 – even when many others left for pastures new.
Having stepped up a division, he’s continued to be the club’s main man – so far netting seven and remaining as the club’s top scorer.
His impressive record from a record-breaking season:
Nine hat-tricks against – Bodorgan (3 goals), Cefni (3), Bryngwran Bulls (3), Valley (3), Pentraeth Reserves (3), Cemaes Bay (3), Llandegfan (7) and Llanfairpwll (8)
Tally at end of 2018: 42 goals
Tally at end of season: 72 goals
Dargie Cup (2-1 v Bulls where he scored)
Lucas Oil Cup
AFEFootballNews’ Player of the Season
AFE’s Team of the Season
Bob Brodie Trophy Winner (Given to the Island’s top scorer) at the end of every season)
Anglesey League Player of the Season
Anglesey League Top Scorer