PICTURE by Wynne Evans.
THEY may be a newly-formed side but Bangor 1876 are well and truly bossing it on nearly every front this season – especially, as expected, in the Gwynedd League.
The FAW Trophy and JD Welsh Cup might be out of the question for 2019-20, but for everything else you would fancy 1876 to come out on top if form is anything to go by.
Melfyn Jones’ side have a Gwynedd League record that, quite frankly, looks like something out of a FIFA career mode set to amateur difficulty and that certainly goes to show how much quality is in this team, because this year’s division includes what is arguably the strongest set-up of clubs there’s been for awhile.
16 wins in 16 games, 115 goals scored and just nine goals against is something only the best of teams can dream of but that is what 1876 have done so far. They are top of the table on 48pts – 10 ahead of Trearddur Bay Bulls – who have also played one more game than 1876.
The mixture of youth and experience within the team has worked very well and the fan-base continues to grow week on week in this community-run club. Their home ground at Treborth Playing Fields sees people come from all over the City and beyond to support THEIR club that THEY made and its a club that will no doubt be creating a lot of history as the years go on.
Leading the way for the club and catching the eye of plenty of fans, managers and players alike is 17-year-old winger Dylan Summers-Jones (above). The exciting prospect has banged in an incredible 45 goals in all competitions already and still has plenty of games to play too. With players like Les Davies and Michael Johnston playing around him, it’s took the pressure off his shoulders and allowed him to play freely and he’s doing a fine, fine job of that.
As for the other two just mentioned, they are of course former Welsh Premier League winners with Bangor City. Johnson, an experienced club captain has led from the back this season, whilst Davies (below) has hit 23 goals and provided plenty of assists for his team-mates too. Their experience is unrivalled in this division and has been a bigger boost to 1876 than words can probably describe.
Another experienced head in the team is Jamie Petrie. The “Star Man”, as fans of the club like to call him, has been a real standout and has fired in 42 goals from out wide.
Whilst its the experienced players that get the people talking (and Summers-Jones), it’s also fair to say that plenty of young talent is shining through at 1876 this season.
The youngest member of the squad is 16-year-old Leon Owens. Despite that though, the forward has featured regularly and has shown what he can do by scoring five goals this term. Another one to watch has been Bangor-born Cameron Barry, 17, who has performed well in midfield and notched up eight goals along the way.
Another 17-year-old – Cian Williams – has caught the eye as a goal-scoring defender (hitting eight so far) and impressing supporters with performances beyond his years.
In truth, there is too much class to mention in just one article on 1876, because you also have the likes of midfielders Dylan Williams and Shaun Lock, who are both experienced and talented players. It’s the kind of quality that will fire them up the leagues over the coming seasons.
And with the likes of Iwan Williams working behind the scenes too, it’s fair to say that the club looks as though it will have a secure future.
If I was a betting man then I would say that fans can, seemingly, rest assured that this club is going to win some sort of silverware this season. A phoenix has well and truly risen in Bangor and its name is 1876.
Goalscorer stats for the season so far:
Dylan Summers-Jones – 45 goals
Jamie Petrie – 42 goals
Les Davies – 23 goals
Sion Parry – 9 goals
Cameron Barry – 8 goals
Benn Lundstram – 7 goals
Cian Williams – 7 goals
Jos Lloyd-Jones – 6 goals
Leon Owens – 5 goals
Dylan Williams – 5 goals
Dafydd Thomas – 3 goals
Luke Steele – 3 goals
Shaun Lock – 3 goals
Michael Johnston – 3 goals
Matt Lock – 3 goals
Dion Jones – 2 goals
Ben Owen – 2 goals
Harry Jones – 1 goal
Lee McNulty – 1 goal
Own goals in favour – 2