I’M not sure if it’s a first, but next weekend will see an interesting fixture take place on Anglesey. That is because a father and son will be going head-to-head from the touchline.
Over the years, family ties within football have been a more-than familiar theme on the island and in the Anglesey League. Just last season we saw Stephen Edwards and his grandson Jake Hughes line-up for Arriva Bangor in the AL, and of course you have numerous brothers who take to the pitch ever Saturday (pre-Covid that is!).
The latest family face-off however comes as the Football Association of Wales (FAW) announce that friendlies in Wales can once again take place following the firebreak lockdown coming to an end on Monday.
Next Saturday (2pm ko), Derek Thomas’ Trearddur Bay Bulls (who will be playing in North Wales Coast West Premier i.e. tier four) will host North Wales Coast West Division One side (tier five) Llandegfan, who are now co-managed by Derek’s son Simon, along with Arron Evans.
It’s a match that could see the likes of new signings Gary Jo Owen and Casey Gregg play their first matches for The Bulls, whilst Llandeg could throw in new faces of their own including the likes of Liam Jones, who arrived from Arriva Bangor in the summer.
But all eyes will be on the sidelines too when that day comes as father attempts to outsmart son and vice-versa. Both Derek (as manager) and Simon (as a player) were once part of the formidable Morawelon side which won four trophies – including the NWCFA Junior Cup in the space of three seasons before the Holyhead-based side became defunct in 2014.
And there will be added emotions for Derek too I’m sure, as he was formerly a player and top scorer for a very successful Llandegfan side during two season in the 1980’s.
Speaking ahead of facing his son, Derek, who took charge of Trearddur Bay Bulls following the departure of Richard Owen earlier this year, said: “I’m looking forward to the game next week for a few reasons.
“First of all, it will be great to be back on the touchline and see the team playing again.Secondly, I spent two seasons at Llandegfan as a player with great players such as Robin Thomas and Ronnie Evans.
“Finally, I’d like to see how much Simon has learnt from what I’ve taught him. All jokes aside, I hope he does well at the club and wish them all the best too.”
Simon (above with Arron Evans), who joined the Llandegfan management team earlier this year, has previously been a coach with the likes of Caergybi and Holyhead Town.
Speaking ahead of the game v Trearddur Bay Bulls, he sad: “It’s going to be a strange one, having been in the same team/dugout as my dad for so long to be on the opposition team this time.
“It is an interesting proposition, but I’m really looking forward to facing off against someone who has taught me so much as a player and as a coach too. “Trearddur Bay Bulls are a very good side, so it’s going to be a very tough test for our lads but a great experience for them too.”
The game will be a 2pm kick off at Trearddur Bay’s Home ground on Saturday and Covid-19 regulations set out by the FAW will be adhered to. Fans are still currently not permitted to attend.