PICTURE by Edryd Jones shows Cemaes Bay captain Keenan Downey in action.
IT’S easy really. Pick an Anglesey League player, manager or official for each letter of the alphabet which has stood out for you this season.
That’s what I’ve done below, so enjoy!
A is for …
It may have been very brief, but Anglesey’s greatest goalscorer of the last decade did make a return to the Anglesey League this season and left a lasting impact for one club in particular.
Thomas, who has racked up more than 400 goals during a free-scoring career, scored twice for Holyhead Town (at the time Reserves) in their 7-6 win over Bodorgan in October.
The forward later transferred to Holyhead Hotspur and again appeared for their Reserves side, scoring six times. So all in all, he has eight Anglesey League goals this season, despite only playing in two or three matches.
B is for …
As in, Dennis Bryant – the Anglesey League president.
He’s served in the role for 20+ years and has done a fantastic job of it, doing all he can to keep the league, even when at times it has threatened to fade away.
The Anglesey League as we know it will come to an end after 125 years at some point this year, so I would personally like to thank Dennis for his contribution to football on Anglesey over the years, it’s very much appreciated by so many.
C is for …
League leaders and for a very good reason – they’ve been unstoppable for most of the season.
They’ve scored 173 goals in all competitions, are top of the league and are still alive in all but two trophies on their quest for silverware. It will be a real shame if they do not get the chance to complete the season properly due to the coronavirus – particularly when they made a point of “getting the old band back together” for this campaign.
Among those to return to the club last summer were Steven Whittaker, Keenan Downey, Ryan Folskman, Tam Morton and even manager Darren Thomas and his assistant Alan Gray.
D is for …
They don’t often get the credit they deserves, so let’s give them some.
From David Aaron Jones and Tom Philp at Mountain Rangers to Dylan Jones and Sam Carter at Cemaes – the rocks at the back have been clear to see in the AL this season.
Among others who have impressed along the way are Cefni’s solid CB’s Henry Caldecott and Phil Davies, the young duo of Cameron Eaton and Phil Jones at Hotspur Reserves, Valley pair Ryan Heywood and Dion Evans, Llanfairpwll’s breakthrough star Owain Davies and the likes of Ben Roberts at Arriva.
E is for …
As in Mike ‘Eddie’ Edwards. What a player this man has been for his side this season.
He’s been one of the more experienced players at Hotspur Reserves this season and his quality has really shone through. Edwards has made things tick in the middle of the park for Tom Scott’s team and has also popped up with eight goals.
He’s been a joy to watch.
F is for …
When it comes to fans, the Anglesey League has rarely disappointed.
This season, the return of several big names to the club has boosted attendances at Cemaes Bay’s School Lane ground – particularly when they played Fali on the opening day of the season and their 2-2 draw with Mountain Rangers.
Cefni are known for bringing lots of fans with them wherever they go and Llanfairpwll and Holyhead Town also get a good crowd most the time.
It might be the lowest division in this part of North Wales, but the support is always clear to see.
G is for …
Goals, goals, goals.
748 in all competitions to be precise!
The biggest of them all went to Cemaes Bay who hammered Holyhead Town (at the time Reserves) 20-0 back in August.
However, a much-improved Town later enjoyed a 7-6 win at Bodorgan in October which was another high-scoring game in what has been a season full of goals.
H is for …
Plenty of these in the league, many of them having enjoyed great seasons too.
As always, Scott Hughes has been the star man at Arriva Bangor, hitting 41 goals and goalkeeper Connor Hughes has been a key performer at both Llanfairpwll and Holyhead Hotspur Reserves.
Jake Hughes has been a revelation at Arriva Bangor too. The 16-year-old has starred several times at CB, often alongside his grandfather Stephen Edwards, who is 56.
I is for …
Into the history books you go Ziggy.
On January 11, when Mountain Rangers crushed Cefni 16-0 away from home, one player in particular stood out and wrote himself into the Anglesey League (and UK goalscoring records I would say).
Sam ‘Ziggy’ Williams stole the headlines when he found the back of the net an incredible TWELVE times. The forward bagged a quadruple hat-trick on what was a memorable afternoon for him.
J is for …
You probably should have seen that one coming. As with the Hughes’, the Williams’, etc, there have been plenty of Joneses impressing in the AL this season too.
One of the surprise stars with that surname has been Aaron Jones of Bodorgan. A versatile player, he’s played at full-back and up front this season and was great, particularly in the early stages of the campaign. Has hit eight goals in total.
One of the young stars to impress the most has been Mitchell Jones at Hotspur Reserves. Despite being only 16 years old, the central midfielder has bossed it in the matches he’s played and has already gone on to play for Hotspur’s firs team too. He’s a real ‘one for the future’.
Elsewhere in the Jones department you have David Aaron and David Carl who have shined in defence for Mountain Rangers, as well as Dylan – a centre back who’s bagged nine goals for Cemaes Bay and prospect Daniel Jones who’s also managed to hit nine at the same club.
Some other Jones’ to have caught the eye include Phil at Hotspur Reserves and Elliott at Llanfairpwll (both mentioned lower down), talented Pentraeth Res/Arriva Bangor midfielder Dylan, Llandegfan joint-top scorer Paul who’s hit five goals and Pentraeth Reserves star Tom who’s scored four.
K is for …
Returned to boyhood club Cemaes Bay in the summer after some time away in the Welsh Alliance with Bodedern Athletic.
Hard-working midfielder and club captain of The Bay, Downey has been in scintillating form throughout for Darren Thomas’s side.
He makes thing stick for his side and has popped up with 15 goals along the way too.
L is for …
Okay, so it’s not quite Lazio but it is blue and white with a hint of black and also, quite spectacular.
Holyhead Town’s ‘Ship in the Port’ inspired home kit is one to behold and its surely the Kit of the Season.
M is for …
As first seasons in the Anglesey League go, Rangers have enjoyed a very fine one indeed.
Led by Alex Philp, the Rhosgafan-based club has a famous and respected history and a new chapter within it was written this season. It will be gutting for them if it is not completed but time will tell.
Captain and former Welsh Premier League player Simon Kay has been a particular standout. He’s made things tick in midfield and has also bagged 13 goals. Add to that the experience of the likes of goalkeeper Jason Hughes, midfielder Terry Watkinson and striker Ian Pleming, and you have yourself a great team to guide the younger talented players in the squad like Rhys Wynne forward.
They’ve banged in the goals, stood strong in defence, and still have a chance of winning the league (as they still have to play Cemaes Bay).
N is for …
Never give up!
I’m sorry, but I really couldn’t resist – it had to be mentioned somewhere.
My beloved Llandegfan FC’s “never give up” attitude finally reaped its rewards in January when we beat Pentraeth Reserves 2-1 to claim our first win in two-and-a-half years.
Two goals from Dave Parry secured a memorable win for the club.
O is for …
Plenty of these in the league, but that’s not to say they can’t hack it with the younger ones!
From the eldest of them all aka Arriva Bangor CB Stephen Edwards (56), to the likes of Terry “Wax” Watkinson (40) at Mountain Rangers and Andy Williams (38) who has hit 19 goals for Cemaes Bay, the old boys of the league could definitely still teach the younger lads a thing or two.
P is for …
In terms of that, the league this year has probably received more coverage than it ever has done previously.
Between myself and the likes of Sport Thought and NW Sport (Aka the highly-experienced Dave Jones), the Anglesey League has been well and truly covered from start to finish and I think we can all be proud of what we’ve done day in, day out, to put this division on the map.
I see more people talking about it now than I ever have done before.
Q is for …
Often times, many players go unnoticed, even if they are quite talented.
One of those for me is Ben Wright of Cefni. The central midfielder has popped up with 14 goals this season and has very much been the main for his side, despite the fact not many give him a mention. Another one is Bodorgan’s Connor Rees. The attacker has had a memorable season, hitting eleven goals from out wide.
There are so many others you could put into this category too. From Elliott Jones at Llanfair – who’s hit eight goals despite missing most of the season through injury to Chris Owens (Holyhead Town), Luke Miles (Holyhead Town/Valley), Gethin Griffith (Llandegfan) and Lewis Owen (Pentraeth Reserves) – who have all been great for their respective teams this season.
R is for …
Love them or hate them, they’ve been there for us every chance they can get so we can play our matches. From Ian Tuck to Derek Owen and Carl Hagan, they all deserve some credit.
And with Heinz Broering retiring last season, it was time for a few younger faces to join the official set-up in 2019/20. This year, we’ve seen the likes of Byron Jones, Scott Murrell and Jamie Keily offer a glimpse into the future of refereeing on the island.
Say what you like about them, I bet most of us would never have the balls to be that man in the middle.
S is for …
Steven ‘Tyco’ Whittaker made a long-awaited return to North Wales’ lowest division in the summer, alongside several other familiar faces who made their way back to School Lane with Cemaes Bay.
It was well worth the wait to watch him grace this league however, as he smashed in 39 goals before the league was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
He’s been a real joy to watch.
T is for …
Player-turned-manager who has had a huge impact on the way Hotspur Reserves play this season. For me – having stood on the touchline and watched every team in this division play this season, I’d say they’ve been the best team to watch.
With their mixture of youth and experience (with Scott also playing from time to time), they’ve played some fast, free-flowing football and it’s torn teams apart at times.
He deserves a lot of credit for what he’s achieved and it will be a shame if he doesn’t get a chance to try and claim some silverware due to the coronavirus outbreak (with his side already in a cup final).
U is for …
From Holyhead Town (who have one win in the league this season), reaching the semi finals of the Benllech Car Boot Trophy to Pentraeth Reserves dumping Mountain Rangers out of the same cup in the first round, there has been shocks everywhere look once again in the division that just keeps on giving.
V is for …
A familiar face from the Anglesey League years gone by who returned to management alongside good friend Spud Thomas this season.
The pair, who previously led Llangoed to cup glory and promotion success, have done a cracking job with the youngsters at Llanfairpwll already and will no doubt be looking to achieve great things in the seasons to come.
With a great bunch of talented young players at the club and under their guidance, I’m sure they will have some great stories to tell in future.
W is for …
As you’d expect, plenty of these playing in the league this year.
From league top scorer Sam Williams (Mountain Rangers) who’s hit 44 goals in his debut AL season to Arriva’s Dion Williams (11 goals) who’s been a threat from out wide – the Williams’ have been great.
Veteran forward Andy Williams made the switch from long-term club Bro Goronwy to Cemaes Bay in the summer and has hit nine goals and namesake Sol, 17, has been a breakthrough star in the midfield at the same club.
Meanwhile, Curt Williams has returned from a long-term injury to hit 13 goals for Holyhead Hotspur Reserves and winger Declyn Williams has hit 11 goals at Mountain Rangers.
Midfielder Tudur Williams has been awesome upon his return to Fali (10 goals) and the likes of Gethin and Kieran (Llanfairpwll) and Matt (Pentraeth Reserves) have also stood out.
Another one to mention is Gwion Williams of Cefni, who always battles hard for his side in midfield/up top and has popped up with four goals.
X is for …
Okay so I cheated with this letter, but the sentiment was there. This one is dedicated to the “what could have been’s” had players stayed a little longer into the season than they ended up doing.
Central midfielder Casey Boylan (below) had a blistering start at Fali, hitting eleven goals in his first six games before deciding to return to Welsh Alliance One with Bodedern Athletic.
Andy Clarke scored two in an 8-0 season opening day win for Arriva Bangor against Llandegfan. However, soon after he made the switch to Gwynedd League side Bethesda Athletic – where he has gone on to score nine more times.
Lewis Connor was something of a cup hero for Cemaes Bay earlier on in the campaign. The tall left back made the switch back to Llanerchymedd in January, but had hit eight goals for The Bay before that move took place – seven of them in the cup.
Eslwhere, goal machine Craig Moore hit double figures for Hotspur Reserves before returning to Trearddur Bay Bulls in January and Kieran Murphy was a star in defence for Bodorgan before moving to Llangoed in the same month.
Y is for …
This season more than most I think has showcased what young players can do at clubs when given the right chance – there’s almost too many to mention really!
At Llanfairpwll you have a whole host of them, Carwyn Hughes in goal, Owain Davies in defence, Adam Thomas in midfield and Jac Davies and Callum Thomas out wide to name just a few there. At Hotspur Reserves, they have just as many from Coby Doutch (16) and Mitchell Jones (16) starring in midfield to Phil Jones (16) and Cameron Eaton (17) putting in performances beyond their years at the back. What’s even more impressive is that several of those Hotspur boys have already played for the first team who play three leagues above in Welsh Alliance One.
My Young Player of the Season for 2018/19, Hotpsur midfielder Casey Gregg (below) has again impressed, popping up with ten goals, adding to the 14 he had last year.
Elsewhere, we’ve seen Jake Hughes break through at CB for Arriva Bangor, Daniel Jones and Sol Williams be outstanding for Cemaes Bay, Robert Boyes claim top scorer at Llandegfan and the likes of Jenson Rowlands and Robert Thomas impressing with Holyhead Town.
Z is for …
As in Tom Zalot, the young forward who impressed at Llanfairpwll in the earlier parts of the season.
Pacey and with a great eye for goal, he impressed many and looks like one for the not-so-distant future.
The 16-year-old banged in seven goals before returning to former club Llangoed in the Gwynedd League in January.