PICTURE by Mountain Rangers FC
THERE aren’t many former Cymru Premier players who are currently plying their trade in the Anglesey League. However, Mountain Rangers can boast that they do have one of those men on their books.
The Rangers, based in Rhosgadfan in Gwynedd and historically speaking a huge club, re-formed in the summer and joined the AL alongside Holyhead Town Reserves.
Leading the way for them as club captain is none other than 35-year-old Simon Kay.
The central midfielder is a highly-experienced player who has appeared at all levels of football in North Wales and has brought a wealth of knowledge, influence and talent along with him to Cae’r Gors this season.
Known as ‘Josie’, Kay was one of the first signings made by Rangers manager Alex Philp over the summer and it’s not hard to see why he swooped in early for him.
Kay once played for Caernarfon Town when they were a League of Wales side, just as they are now. He made his debut for The Cofis in 2002/03 before going on to make a handful of appearances for the club. Current Rangers team-mate Ian Pleming was also on the books at Town at that point as an 18-year-old.
He then made the switch to Cemaes Bay and later to Glantraeth, both of which were, and still are, well-respected clubs. He spent two seasons at the latter and was a member of their memorable Alliance League and Cup double winning side of 2005/06.
Another highlight during a glistening career for Kay came in May 2009, when he captained Llandudno Junction to the club’s first ever piece of silverware. He also scored a goal in that 3-1 win over Rhyl Reserves to earn the club the Barritt Cup in a final held at Bangor City’s Farrar Road.
A spell with Bethesda Athletic then followed for the midfielder before he returned to play for Caernarfon Town in 2010, under the guidance of Clive Jones. He made his full debut in a 4-4 against Glan Conwy and again scored a goal in the game.
He finished that season with 32 appearances and two goals to his name, helping the club on to a fifth place finish in the league and winning the Barritt Cup after beating Nefyn United 2-1 in the final).
Further spells at Bontnewydd, Bethel, Nantlle Vale and Llanrug United followed before he joined the Rangers’ revolution in the summer of 2019.
Both he and the club are proving to be quality additions to the Anglesey League roster this season. Alex Philp’s side are currently unbeaten in the division and sit in second place behind Cemaes Bay.
As for captain Kay, he’s popped up with eight goals so far – a tally that is second only to top scorer Sam Williams who has been in prolific form, bagging 19.
Upon signing Kay in the summer, Manager Philp said: “What a fantastic first signing, Josie is highly respected in North Wales footballing circles and his presence both on and off the field will be a huge asset to the club. “Personally I couldn’t have asked for a better captain to lead the lads in their first season and I can’t wait to work with such a great player.”
The decision to sign him is certainly paying off as he’s slotted in effortlessly into the heart of the midfield and is making things look easy at times.
Having made it into my AL Team of the Month for August, can he end up earning a spot in the overall Team of the Season? I think he’s certainly a candidate to keep an eye on as The Rangers go in search of some silverware – something that Kay is very much used to by now.