PICTURE by NCM Media shows 2019/20 JD Cymru Premier League champions Connah’s Quay Nomads – who make up the majority of the Team of the Season.
MANY agreed, many others didn’t, and some have even laughed due to the exclusion of their own club’s players, but the fact of the matter is – the official 2019/20 JD Cymru Premier Team of the Season has now been chosen.
As expected, the squad is dominated by players from first-time top-flight champions Connah’s Quay Nomads and runners-up The New Saints, who failed to win the division for the first time in just under a decade.
However, there are also cameos from Bala Town, Barry Town United, Cefn Druids and Caernarfon Town stars in there too. Here’s who the 12 managers of the division chose as their best players from the 2019/20 campaign.
STARTING: Lewis Brass (Connah’s Quay) – kept an impressive eleven clean sheets throughout the course of the season as the Nomads won the Cymru Premier for the first time.
On the bench: Alex Ramsay (Caernarfon Town) – Another top shot-stopper who, after spending four seasons at The Oval, has now moved on to fellow Cymru Premier side Bala Town ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
STARTING: Danny Holmes (Connah’s Quay) – Former English Football League player who also had a brief spell with Bangor City. Holmes is a hard-working and reliable right-back who proved to be a key player in Andy Morrison’s title-winning side and it was no surprise to see him scoop the Managers Players of the Season prize last week either.
George Horan (Connah’s Quay) – Experienced centre back who captained the Nomads to their first ever top-flight title. His leadership throughout the season proved to be vital.
During two separate spells with the club, he’s made more than 300 appearances and has finally got the reward he deserves for his efforts.
Priestley Farquharson (Connah’s Quay) – Highly-rated CB partner of Horan whose performances certainly haven’t gone unnoticed, as he’s currently being linked with a move to Belgian Pro League side KV Oostende.
The 23-year-old has a solid campaign for the Nomads, even adding two goals and four assists to his tally from the defence during the 19 league matches he played.
Chris Marriott (TNS) – Another vastly-experienced named within the Team of the Season, left back Marriott is one of four TNS players to be named in the squad.
The 30-year-old has been with the club since 2009 and made 16 league appearances for the club this season.
ON THE BENCH: Nathan Peate (Cefn Druids) – Top class defender who has been highly-reliable during his time at The Rock with Cefn Druids.
He has now moved to Maes Tegid with Bala Town where he should become a key player again.
Chris Hugh (Barry Town United) – Left back who is undoubtedly one of the best defenders in the division and is rated highly among many a supporter too.
Hugh, also a Wales Futsal player, was also one of the players named in the Cymru C squad back in March.
Jamie Mullan (TNS) – Talented winger who joined the Saints in 2013 and is a former Cymru Premier Player of the Season winner.
Mullan has been consistently brilliant out wide for TNS, having previously spent time with Manchester United as a youngster before playing for the likes of Northwich Victoria, Rochdale, Fleetwood Town and Alfreton Town.
Callum Morris (Connah’s Quay) – Central midfielder in this squad but can also play out wide and has become a real key player for his side.
Morris came through the ranks at Wigan Athletic, where he spent four years as a professional without managing to break into the Latics first-team. After a spell at Tranmere Rovers, Callum spent the 2014-15 season at Bangor City where he won the Supporter’s Player of the Season award at The Citizens’ end of season awards, before joining The Nomads in June 2015.
All in all, he’s made more than 200 appearances for Connah’s Quay and etched his name into the club’s history books by scoring its first ever European goal with his strike against Stabæk Fotball in July 2016.
Aeron Edwards (TNS) – Hit six goals for the runners-up this season but has now made the switch to Connah’s Quay ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
During his long spell with TNS, 32-year-old Edwards picked up nine Cymru Premier titles and established himself as one of, if not the, best central midfielder in Wales’ top-flight and he’ll no doubt add even more quality to the Nomads side next season.
Ryan Brobbel (TNS) – Another top class player in the TNS squad who can well and truly change the game on his own when he’s on top form.
The former English Football League player picked up a further six goals and nine assists during another season which highlighted his importance to Scott Ruscoe’s side.
It’s the second time Brobbel has been included in the Cymru Premier Team of the Season, having also been named in the squad in 2016/17.
ON THE BENCH: Clayton Green (Barry Town United) – Scored four goals in 21 outings as Barry Town secured fourth place and place in the Europa League qualifying rounds.
Michael Wilde (Connah’s Quay) – Vastly-experienced and ever-reliable forward whose goals record in Wales’ top-flight if fantastic. During his first spell with TNS, he hit 151 goals in 214 appearances.
He then proved to be a goal machine once more at Chester before returning to TNS and eventually moving to Connah’s Quay in 2016. Wilde bagged nine more goals with the Nomads this season, taking his tally with the club to 61 in around 150 appearances and is a highly-valued member of the squad I’m sure.
Chris Venables (Bala Town) – The 34-year-old surely has to be the Cymru Premier Player of the Season (not yet confirmed) for his efforts in the 2019/20 season.
Bala skipper Venables hit 22 goals in just 26 appearances and secured the Golden Boot for the fourth time in his illustrious career, having previously won it three times whilst at Aberystwyth Town between 2013 and 2016, when he netted 24, 28 and 20 goals respectively.
Now heading into his 18th season in the top flight, Venables, who has also represented Welshpool, Caersws and Llanelli, has made more than 400 appearances, scoring more nearly 200 goals and being named the top-flight Player of the Season in 2013/14 and 2014/15. Can he make it three times this season?
ON THE BENCH: Darren Thomas (Caernarfon Town) – The ‘Cofi Messi’ as he’s affectionately known in his hometown, definitely deserves to be included in the squad as he’s one of those players you could just watch over and over again.
The 33-year-old talisman is a much-loved star at The Oval and enjoyed another fine campaign in 2019/20, netting seven goals.
Thomas also picked up the Goal of the Season award for his brilliant effort against Ammanford in the Welsh Cup.
Greg Draper (TNS) – One of the greatest forwards to grace the Cymru Premier over the last decade or so, the New Zealand international had another campaign to remember in 2019/20.
Draper picked up a further 18 goals this time around, finishing as runner-up to Venables in the Golden Boot race and taking his all-time tally at TNS to 151.
Not quite sure how he’s been left out of the starting line-up if I’m honest!
Here are a few others who surely must have been in with a shout …
Callum Roberts (Connah’s Quay) – 21-year-old right back who’s become an integral part of the Nomads squad.
Roberts was also selected for the Cymru C squad back in March after a string of solid performances for the club and will surely be one to watch during the coming seasons.
Luke Cummings (Barry Town United) – Another reliable full-back who is much loved at Barry, Cummings is ever the hard-worker for Gavin Chesterfield’s side.
Kane Owen (Penybont) – Bont, led by top-flight legend Rhys Griffiths as their gaffer, avoided the drop in their first season in the Cymru Premier as Airbus and Carmarthen were relegated.
Former Aberystwyth and Afan Lido left back Owen, 25, was one of the star men in that squad who will be looking to build even further in 2020/21.
Evan Press (Barry Town United) – Promising centre back, who at just 20 years old, should have a very bright future ahead of him if his recent performances are anything to go by.
The former Newport County player has impressed for Gavin Chesterfield’s side and received rave reviews from several journalists and supporters alike.
Anthony Stephens (Bala Town) – A real solid defender who’s become one of the first names on the team sheet at Maes Tegid I’d imagine.
The former Bangor City man impressed as the Lakesiders finished third in the division.
Emlyn Lewis (Cardiff Met) – A fans favourite at Cyncoed Campus and it’s not hard to see why.
Lewis is a strong and commanding CB, who’s great in the air and one of the best in the division in his position.
Eliot Evans (Cardiff Met) – Has been a key player for Met ever since they first came into the top-flight back in 2016.
This season was no different for the winger as he hit 9 more goals.
Henry Jones (Bala Town) – Midfielder/winger who oozes talent and picked up 10 goals for The Lakesiders in yet another impressive campaign.
For me, he’s one of the best players to watch in Wales’ top-flight as you never quite know what he’s doing to do next.
Leo Smith (Caernarfon Town) – Central midfielder (pictures with former Town boss Sean Eardley above) who became a fans favourite at The Oval before signing for TNS earlier last week.
The 22-year-old former-Wrexham player scored four goals in 20 appearances and really stood out in the middle of the park for The Canaries in 2019/20.
Luke Bowen (Carmarthen Town) – To be one of the top scorers in the division when your team gets relegated is no easy feat but that’s what the experienced attacker did in 2019/20 as he hit 12 goals as the Old Gold dropped down to the Cymru South division.
Marc Williams (Aberystwyth Town) – Club captain was the star man on and off the pitch for Aber as he hit nine goals for the club and also raised more than £5000 by setting up a fundraiser for NHS Staff.
The former Wrexham, Llandudno and Bangor City man is a top bloke off the field and a real talent on it too as I’m sure he’ll prove again next season.
Jamie Insall (Connah’s Quay) – Scored 12 league goals (17 in all comps) in his first full season with The Nomads in 2019/20 and was a real attacking threat in the side.
Kayne McLaggon (Barry Town United) – Another one who scored 12 goals during 2019/20 and is one of the best forwards in the division.
The former Southampton man can play anywhere across the front three and poses a real threat up top.