PICTURE by Paul Scholes shows John Littlemore in his Bro Goronwy days.
IN A NEW series, which is just for fun, I’ll be taking a look at starting elevens (and subs) made up from players representing the villages they grew up in.
First up is the Brynteg (my home village) and Benllech (neighbouring village) XI. Bare in mind, I was born in 1995, so my team will certainly differ to that of some born earlier!
Jonny Sweetser (Pentraeth)
The starting point for any good squad is a reliable shot-stopper and we’ve certainly got one here.
The first of several Brynteg boys in the team, Sweetser will need no introduction to anyone on the Anglesey footballing scene, as he’s been around for many a year now.
With great reflexes, kicking and positioning, he’s one of the best keepers around on his day.
Gareth Jones (Bro Goronwy)
Another Brynteg boy, who has been with Bro for a number of seasons now and established himself as a full-back they can rely on.
what he lacks in height, he more than makes up for in desire, work-rate and quality. He’s a solid and energetic player who would slot in to almost any other team at Bro’s level.
Still only 22, he’s one to watch in the coming years I’m sure.
Dylan Jones (Cemaes Bay)
Has been one of the best defenders around in the lower leagues around here for a long time now.
Having left long-term club Bro Goronwy last summer (After winning several trophies – including the NWCFA Junior Cup in his final match), Jones joined Cemaes Bay, where more success followed as he won the Anglesey League after a curtailed season.
Tall, strong and a commanding presence at the back, the Benllech man has everything you need in a quality centre back and is also more than capable of scoring a goal or two as well.
Mathew Shakespeare (Prince’s Villa)
Not normally a centre back (although he has played there), I’ve put him there in this team as I just couldn’t leave him out.
The third Brynteg boy in the starting eleven, Shakespeare has always been a composed player on the ball and a hard-worker for any side he’s played for – the likes of which have included Bro Goronwy, Cemaes Bay and Amlwch Town over the years.
Now living in Ellesmere Port, he’s currently playing for Prince’s Villa Football Club.
Rob Tiesteel (Bro Goronwy)
Again, one who’s usually deployed at CB, but I’ve moved him out wide in the defence here to accommodate him.
The 22-year-old, who is from Benllech, is another one who’s established himself in the Bro Goronwy set up and has never looked out of place even alongside more experienced players.
He’s a good leader at the back and I’m sure he has many great years ahead of him in the game.
Ryan Wood (Pentraeth)
Without doubt one of the most talented players to come out of Brynteg in recent times.
Wood, who can play out wide and up top, was once on the books at Llandudno and has played for the likes of Menai Tigers and most recently Welsh Alliance Two side Pentraeth.
2017/18 was a particularly memorable season for Wood at Bryniau Fields as he netted 12 goals.
I have to include him in this team as he’s always a joy to watch when playing at his best.
Graham Jones (Pentraeth)
When I played Sunday League football for Treetops, I was always amazed by what this man could do on the pitch.
Jones, a central midfielder from Benllech, was a big part of a successful Bro Goronwy side in the early part of the last decade for a number of years.
He could play a mean pass to team-mates and was never afraid to get stuck in – as he proved at most recent club Pentraeth Reserves over the last two seasons.
In terms of local football, he’s someone I looked up to for a number of years.
Taylor Jones (Pentraeth)
Was in the same class as me in Ysgol Goronwy Owen primary school in his hometown of Benllech and always hated playing against him during break time as he and Littlemore (mentioned further down were streets ahead of the rest of us!).
Jones, 25, can play in midfield and in attack and has been playing between Bro Goronwy and Pentraeth for a number of years, standing out and becoming a key player at both clubs.
He netted two times for a quieter-than-usual Bro side this season before departing for Pentraeth, where he scored two more.
He’s certainly a player who can make a real difference to any team.
Connor Jones (Bro Goronwy)
Younger brother of Taylor and another player who’s been key for Bro over the years, Connor can play anywhere across the front. Much like Taylor, Connor also poses a real attacking threat and definitely has goals in him too. He’d be another brilliant addition to this side.
John Littlemore (Conwy Borough)
The one who went on to play at the highest level, and to be honest, I could have told you he was going to even when we were as young as six or seven years old. As mentioned before, he was destined for big things even back then.
Forward Littlemore, from Benllech, also started out at Bro Goronwy before he went onto play in the Welsh Premier League with both Bangor City and Cardiff Met University (when he was studying there, pic above) before returning home to play for Holyhead Hotspur and Porthmadog and signed for Conwy Borough in January.
He has also played for the Ynys Mon Island Games football team on three occasions and was part of the team who won Gold on home soil last summer.
Andy Williams (Cemaes Bay)
I’m not too sure whether or not he grew up in Benllech, but he does live in that area now so I’ve chucked him into this team as he’s one of the most prolific forwards of the last 20 years on Anglesey.
Williams hit 149 goals in 177 appearances for Bro Goronwy before moving to Cemaes Bay last summer, where like Dylan Jones, he went onto win the Anglesey League.
The forward, now 38 years old, is one of the best finishers on the island and also one of the most humble people you could ever meet.
There are so many others who deserve a mention too, from the likes of Marky Holland, Sam Regan and Gareth Jones’ brother Aled (All Pentraeth) to Dean Corbett, Liam Griffiths, Cole Whittle and Ryan Jones (Bro Goronwy), the two small villages have produced plenty of great footballers between them.