PICTURE by Gareth Hughes.
THERE are a great number of unsung heroes playing in the JD Cymru Premier at this moment in time and Bala’s Mendes is most certainly one of the best that could be placed under that category.
More often than not, the midfielder, who is of Spanish/Guinea Bissauan descent, probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his hard-working performances in the heart of that Lakesiders starting eleven.
Before arriving at Maes Tegid, Mendes played for Cadiz, CD Roquetas and PV Ejlido in his native of Spain before moving to England, where he played for Radcliffe Borough and Stalybridge Celtic. He then moved to Colwyn Bay in 2017 – where he was named Manager and Supporters Player of the Year and was also the scorer of the club’s last ever goal on English soil in a 4-1 victory over Market Drayton Town – before the club switched to playing in the Welsh pyramid system (where they are now in the Cyrmu North aka Tier Two).
In July 2019, the 28-year-old signed for Colin Caton’s Bala Town – becoming the club’s fifth signing that summer. Since then, he’s gone on to make more than 30 appearances in the JD Cymru Premier for Bala Town and has become an instrumental part of their starting eleven during the last two seasons.
His work rate and physicality in the middle of the park is fantastic but it’s his creativity which also makes him stand out from other central midfielder at times – his passing range is superb and he contributes assists quite often for the Lakesiders, even more so with Will Evans in the side now.
He’s a real engine in that Bala midfield and will no doubt be pivotal in any success the club will enjoy come the end of the season – be that qualifying for Europe or more.