AFE’s Anglesey League Awards 2019/20

PICTURE by Cemaes Bay FC.

IT WASN’T the end we all wanted this season, but I suspect it was the one we had all come to expect.

Last week, Cemaes Bay were crowned Anglesey League champions for 2019/20 with 41pts to their name in 16 games and a PPG (Points Per Game) ratio of 2.56, compared to runners-up Mountain Rangers who went agonisingly close with a PPG of 2.53, having picked up 38pts in 15 matches.

With that said and done and the final season of the Anglesey League out of the way for good, it’s time once again for me to “hand out” my end-of-season awards to those I think deserve it the most.

Can I once again thank all the clubs for their co-operation this season and wish them all the best for the future. Links to previous season awards here: 2017/18 and here: 2018/19 for anyone interested!

MANAGER OF THE SEASON

PICTURE: Cemaes Bay FC

Winner: Darren Thomas (Cemaes Bay)
Runner-up: Alex Philp (Mountain Rangers) and Tom Scott (Hotspur Reserves)

There can only be one winner here really as there was only one prize up for grabs in the end this season and his side won it.
Darren Thomas’ formidable Cemaes side, mixed full of promising youngsters and Welsh Alliance experienced players such as Steven Whittaker and Keenan Downey, proved to be the best of the bunch this season.
They had also fought their way to several cup finals too and it’s a shame they now won’t get the chance to compete for them – but I guess the title is a good consolation prize!
Thomas returned to the club last summer and did a fine, fine job of turning things back around at School Lane. I’m sure that a bright future now beckons once more for the club.

My runner-up prize goes to two people this time around. Firstly, to Mountain Rangers’ gaffer Alex Philp for the sensational debut season his side experienced in the division, going so agonisingly close to winning that title on PPG.
Secondly, I’d like to highlight the great work that Tom Scott has done with the youth on show at Hotspur Reserves (his side actually finished one point above Rangers, but due to PPG will end up third). He’s got them playing some fantastic football this season.

SURPRISE PACKAGE OF THE SEASON

Winners: Llanfairpwll

Definitely another club that needs recognising for its efforts this season, as under the guidance of experienced managers Vinny Walker and Spud Thomas, Llanfair ended up fourth in the table.

Another side which has plenty of promising young stars on its books, those players really stood out and battled hard this season and probably exceeded expectations by achieving such a high finish.

They’re certainly a club and a group of players to watch over the coming seasons.

OVERALL PLAYER OF THE SEASON

PICTURE: Edryd Jones

Winner: Keenan Downey (Cemaes Bay)

Tough one to call this as there’s been so many players who have been influential for their clubs, from Mike Edwards at Hotspur Reserves to Scott Hughes at Arriva Bangor. But for me personally, Downey has been the best to watch when he’s fully fit and looked streets ahead of others at times.

The Cemaes captain really got things working for his side from the middle of the park and made the difference whenever they needed it most. Downey, 23, also notched up 15 goals and 19 assists in just 22 matches in midfield.

Football is about so much more than just goals. It’s about working hard for your team, creating chances for your team mates and battling hard for that win. Downey has ticked all those boxes this season for me.

ANGLESEY LEAGUE TOP SCORER 2019/20

PICTURE: Mike Pleming.

Winner: Sam Williams (Mountain Rangers, above) – 33 goals
Runner-up: Steven Whittaker (Cemaes) – 27 goals

Best of the rest:
Scott Hughes (Arriva Bangor) – 21 goals
Keenan Downey (Cemaes) – 13 goals
Andy Williams (Cemaes) – 12 goals
Casey Boylan (Valley) – 11 goals
Simon Kay (Mountain Rangers) – 10 goals

TOP SCORER IN ALL COMPS

Winner: Sam Williams (Mountain Rangers) – 45 goals
Runner-up: Scott Hughes (Arriva Bangor) – 41 goals

Best of the rest:
Steven Whittaker (Cemaes Bay) – 39 goals
Andy Williams (Cemaes) – 19 goals
Luke Allaway (Bodorgan) – 18 goals
Keenan Downey (Cemaes Bay) – 15 goals
Simon Kay (Mountain Rangers) – 13 goals
Curt Williams (Hotspur Res) – 13 goals
Ben Wright (Cefni) – 13 goals

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE SEASON

Winner: Dafydd Jones (Cemaes Bay)

Jones (red) takes on Mount Rangers’ Ian Pleming. PICTURE: Edryd Jones.

*Given to a player who has continued to improve his game season after season in the Anglesey League*

Cemaes Bay dropped down to the Anglesey League in 2018/19 having previously folded as a club in the Welsh Alliance. Jones was their captain last season and really stood out, playing in both defence and midfield.

This season, you might have expected some ‘bigger’ or more experienced players who returned to the club last summer, to replace him in the starting eleven, however, for the most part this has not been the case. His determination and work rate saw him be one of very few players from the 18/19 season squad who managed to stay at the club under Darren Thomas and Alan Gray in 19/20 – so they obviously saw good qualities in him as a player.

He’s a player who’s not afraid to put the boot in when needed and can score goals too – popping up with eight goals and 19 assists for his club this season. The ‘Most Improved’ award can sometimes be seen as something derogatory in football, but not to me, to me it symbolises someone who’s worked hard to keep proving himself as a player and Jones has done just that in two seasons at Cemaes.

YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON

*Given to a player under the age of 21 *

Winners: Phil Jones (Hotspur Reserves, above) and Owain Davies (Llanfairpwll, below)

This season, more than most I would say, the young players of the division have really stood out and impressed. That’s why it was very difficult to choose this one and even harder to narrow it down to just one as you have the likes of Daniel Jones, Josh Griffiths and Sol Williams (Cemaes) to Mitchell Jones (Hotspur), Adam Thomas (Llanfair), Robert Thomas (Holyhead Town) and Jake Hughes (Arriva) who all could have taken the prize.

PICTURE: Wynne Evans.

But I’ve gone for two who have really cemented their place in their respective club’s starting elevens during 2019/20 – Phil Jones of Hotspur Reserves and Owain Davies of Llanfairpwll.

Both full-backs, both just 16 when the season started and both showing a lot of promise and a drive and determination that is beyond their age. Definitely two players to keep an eye on in the near future – Jones has even already played for Hotspur’s first team in the Welsh Alliance.

BEST NEWCOMER

Winner: Declyn Williams (Mountain Rangers)

PICTURE: Mountain Rangers FC.

*Given to a player who didn’t play in the division in 2018/19, but had a fine campaign in 2019/20 *

Aside from the obvious big names at Cemaes and Mountain Rangers, I thought I’d go for a player, who arrived in the league last summer, and one who’s been excellent throughout but perhaps hasn’t quite received enough recognition for his efforts. Step forward, Declyn Williams.

The winger has been a nightmare for defenders to try and deal with this season his quick feet and he has to be up there as one of the best crossers of the ball in the division too.

Add to that the 11 goals he scored and it’s fair to say he was a truly underrated player this season and deserves the spotlight.

UNSUNG HERO

Winner: Connor Rees (Bodorgan)

PICTURE: Darren Jones.

*Given to a player who has made a significant contribution to his side this season but will have gone unnoticed at times*

Midfielder/forward who deserves all the plaudits for his efforts at Bod this season in my opinion.

Former Aberffraw man Rees has notched up 11 goals in all competitions and proved to be a key player for Dave and John Webster’s side.

One of the highlight’s of his season came when he bagged a hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Cefni in December 2019. He then followed that up a month later with another hat-trick in a 3-3 draw with Arriva Bangor.

BEST GOALKEEPER

Winner: Jason Hughes (Mountain Rangers)
Runner-up: Connor Hughes (Hotspur Res)

Rangers conceded just 16 goals in their 15 matches this season and were always very hard to break down defensively with the likes of David Aaron Jones at the back.
However, it has to be said that their keeper Hughes was also a vital component in helping them on to that impressive record. He proved to be a confident and reliable shot-stopper who looked a class above the rest at times.

My runner-up for this prize would be another Hughes – Connor – who switched from playing for Llanfairpwll to Hotspur Reserves midway through the campaign and brilliantly for both sides.

AFE’S OFFICIAL TEAM OF THE SEASON 2019/20

Goalkeeper: Jason Hughes (Mountain Rangers)
Defenders: Dylan Jones (Cemaes), David Aaron Jones (Mountain Rangers), Phil Jones (Hotspur Res) and Owain Davies (Llanfairpwll)
Midfielders: Mike Edwards (Hotspur Res), Keenan Downey (Cemaes) and Simon Kay (Mountain Rangers)
Attackers: Steven Whittaker (Cemaes), Sam Williams (Mountain Rangers) and Scott Hughes (Arriva Bangor)
Manager: Darren Thomas (Cemaes)

Once again, I thank you all for your help throughout the season. Stay safe and I’ll see you all in 2020/21!

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