PICTURE by Llangoed FC.
CONTINUING this series which proved popular with AFE’s readers after the first instalment which focused on Bryngwran Bulls’ 2018/19 Anglesey League winning team and the second which involved Arriva Bangor’s cup double winners of 2017/18.
This time around, the focus is on Vinny Walker and Spud Thomas’ formidable Llangoed side of 2016/17, who secured a brilliant cup double and promotion to the Gwynedd League as runners-up to Holyhead Town in the Anglesey League.
FIRSTLY, a huge thanks to Dewi Williams of Llangoed FC for providing the info for this article, it’s greatly appreciated.
The 2016/17 season was Walker’s second season in charge of Llangoed and it was a year they led them to four cup finals (winning two) and promotion to tier four.
In his first season, he began to turn the club’s fortunes around as they finished fifth in the Anglesey League and won the Lucas Oil Cup, beating Llanfairpwll Reserves thanks to a Mitchell Jones strike on a wet and windy night in Llangefni (below).
The second season proved to be even greater as even the battle with Holyhead Town at the top that season went down to the very last match at Millbank – a game which unfortunately for Llangoed ended up with them losing 3-0, although they did secure promotion to the Gwynedd League by finishing second.
Such was the dominance of those two sides in the Anglesey League that season that they went on to meet in three other cup finals also. In the Lucas Oil Cup final, Llangoed couldn’t retain their trophy as they lost 3-0 once more and similar bad luck took place when Town beat them 1-0 in the Megan Cup final.
But Llangoed well and truly took their revenge when they beat Town 5-0 in the Bwlch Car Boot Cup final thanks to goals from Carwyn Williams (2), Wayne Thomas, Craig Jones and Cameron Slater.
They then secured a cup double with another incredible 5-0 win, this time over Valley, who had knocked Town out in the semi-final stage. Carwyn Williams was at the double again that night, with Darren Edmunds, Mitchell Jones and Matty Owen also on the scoresheet.
Here’s a closer look at the members of that great squad from that incredible season.
Every successful team needs a solid shot stopper and that’s exactly why Walker brought Owen to the club in the 15/16 season.
The goalkeeper picked up a number of clean sheets and helped Llangoed concede the least amount of goals in the Anglesey League in 16/17.
After that successful season Owen remained the club’s number one until last summer, when he made the move up to tier 4 side Bro Goronwy.
Having played for Walker at the successful dreigiau mon in the Sunday League, theright back new exactly what his former manager required out of him when he joined Llangoed.
Edmonds remained with the club for two seasons before departing to join Arriva Bangor – where he also helped the Busmen lift three cups over the course of two seasons in the Anglesey League.
The left back/wing back had already been at the club for several years before the 2016/17 season.
Owen has always had the desire to dig deep and really push for his team when called upon down the left assisting a lot of goals through that season and getting his name on the score sheet on a few occasions the most memorable of which being a 40 yard rocket in to the top corner in the Dargie Cup final hammering of Valley.
He currently stills plays his football at Llangoed and is now club captain. He was influential again last season as he scored six goals and put in several Man of the Match performances as the club finished eighth in the Gwynedd League.
NICK WILLIAMS (CAPTAIN)
After spending four years out of the game, Walker managed to bring Williams back to the club in the 15/16 season where his leadership and experience proved vital in the back line ,eventually earning him the captains arm band for the 16/17 season.
Williams was a no-nonsense centre half who was solid in the air and a great leader for the club.
After briefly joining Bro Goronwy for the 17/18 season, Williams returned to llangoed the following season before work and other commitments forced him to retire from the game. He now spends his weekends playing golf when not working!
Another player who was already at the club when Walker and Thomas arrived, McKenna is a cb who never gives up with his last ditch tackles and goal line clearances proving key in many games to help the club to success in the 16/17 campaign.
Sadly,after the Dargie win at Nantporth, he left for a year of travelling in Australia ,and his absence on and off the pitch was a massive loss for Llangoed.
He has however recently returned to the club and played for them in friendlies before lockdown.
At the age of just 16, this CB came back to his village club after playing his youth football at Llanfairpwll.
Williams was key to Llangoed’s success in 16/17 as Walker often opted for three at the back. He’s a player who showed maturity way beyond his age barely putting a foot wrong all season.
Unfortunately for Llangoed, the youngster moved to Trearddur Bay in the following season before they folded and then joined Mynydd Llandegai – where he remains to this day.
Another youngster at the club who’s speed and dribbling ability was a joy to watch and a nightmare for defenders.
After playing for Llangefni at youth level and having also been a part of Bangor City’s academy, attacker Roberts was training with the Llangoed senior side since the age of fourteen and did not look out of place at all.
Since first playing for the seniors in 16/17, Roberts has stayed loyal to the club and smashed in another nine goals for Llangoed in Gwynedd League competitions.
After playing under Walker in previous seasons, the manager made Roberts one of his first signing at the club in the 15/16 season.
His engine in midfield and tough tackling in front of the backline made it hard for other teams to break through on the attack.
Roberts stayed with the club up until last summer, where he left to join tier four side Pentraeth FC.
By now I think most people involved with football on Anglesey know about this player.
Thomas is a naturally gifted player who just last season passed the 150 goal mark for his career – a great achievement for the striker, as he netted 21 goals in all competitions.
The 16/17 season saw his partnership up top with brother Craig Jones being one which was great to watch as both were able to play off each other and always seemed to find each other in and around the box.
That season was Thomas’ second greatest goalscoring season to date also as he netted 25 goals, bettered only by the 26 he scored back in 2012/13.
An attacker known for his aerial ability and hold up play, Jones was one of the more experienced players in the squad in the 2016/17 season.
He popped up with vital goals and assisted his team mates on a number of occasions – with his vision and determination being key to the team.
Jones left Llangoed the following season but later returned to take on a role as player manager where he yet again proved a success with the club as his team produced many shock results in the Gwynedd league playing some good football.
He is still involved with the club committee to this day.
Along with brother Nick, Carwyn had been out of football for four years before Walker approached him back in the 15/16 season.
Sadly for Llangoed, a knee problem after a fall abroad left Carwyn out of the team until half way through that season. But, much to the joy of Walker, upon his return debut away to Bodorgan that season, Williams got off to a perfect start scoring four times in a 10-2 win despite playing as a full-back.
In the 16/17 season, Williams recorded his best season so far grabbing himself 28 goals and coming runner-up in the Bob Brodie trophy (prize given to top scorer on Anglesey by Grassroots North Wales’ Dave Jones) – again whilst playing as an RWB.
Williams was another player who missed the famous season finale as he visited Australia for a few weeks.
He later joined Bro Goronwy the following season and was deployed as a striker where he bagged himself double figures again before returning to Llangoed for the 19/20 season only for a few weeks as Gaerwen came calling, but sadly for Williams after only two games a 50/50 tackle left him with knee problems yet again as he missed out on the whole season.
He has now returned to Llangoed and will no doubt be scoring goals again as soon as we get back to football.
After scoring the winning goal with seconds to go in the Lucas Oil Cup final against Llanfairpwll Reserves in 15/16 season, winning Llangoed there first piece of silverware for a number of years, Jones must have been seen as a hero for the villagers that night.
He was another older head in the squad and his speed and strength was key to Llangoed’s midfield with both him and Jamie Roberts having great determination to push themselves hard for 90 minutes.
Jones left Llangoed for awhile with Craig Jones to Menai Tigwrs before also returning to help Craig with coaching and playing for Llangoed’s Reserves during their one-season existence in 2017/18.
He then joined the Tigers again in the 19/20 season and tasted success again playing at RB as he became the highest scoring defender in the league with 11 goals along with a number of assists. He is still there now too.
After a lot of convincing, Walker managed to bring local lad Graves back to llangoed from Menai Bridge.
A very talented player who sadly could not make every game because of working away in the RAF where he also plays football.
His vision and movement in cm made him a very dangerous asset for Llangoed as they pushed for success.
Graves later re joined the Tigers, where he still plays now.
DAVID TWM THOMAS
The oldest player in the squad and also the longest-serving player who also missed games because of work in the army where he also still plays and coaches a team.
Thomas also brought experience and leadership to the squad when called upon and is now the current manager at Llangoed following the recent departure of Mark Thomas.
OWAIN ‘SPUD’ ROBERTS
Spud (right above) provided experience and knowledge to the team on and off the field with his coaching skills helping out Walker and Spud Thomas through out the season.
Roberta returned to Llangoed after a few years playing and coaching at Pentraeth and his versatility meant that he could play at full back or cm.
He returned to Pentraeth after one season at Llangoed, where he continued to play and coach.
After impressing Walker in pre season playing against Llangoed in the 15/16 season, Byasr was approached to sign up and decided to join the villagers.
A player with a great first touch and eye for goal the cm also put away a number of free kicks for Llangoed and was made vice captain.
Sadly, his 16/17 season was cut short with a serious leg operation after a tackle in a charity match.
A player known for his hard tackling, Byast stayed with Llangoed the following season and was introduced back in to the team through the Reserves side before stepping up to the first team.
The following season saw him return to his home club Amlwch Town and he now plays for Llandudno Amateurs in Welsh Alliance Two.
A player who has now cemented himself in the middle of the park for Llangoed, Barry played a vital part in the squad rotation back in the 16/17 season after transferring over from Beaumaris Town.
Playing as a winger or a full back at the time, the former Bangor City academy player had a reputation for his hard tackling and speed and was also very strong in the air.
He left to re-join Beaumaris the following season before returning after a few months, he also had a brief spell with Arriva Bangor in the Anglesey League last season before once again returning to Llangoed, where he is now a key player.
He might not have been on the team sheet every week but when called upon Slater (right above) was solid in the tackle and in the air too.
His only goal of the 16/17 season came in the last final at Holyhead after coming on from the bench, he found the net to make it 3-0 to Llangoed. The following season, the CB, who also played cdm at times, was made captain of the Reserves side where he led by example putting his body on the line for his team time and time again earning him the Managers Player of the Season prize for Dewi Williams is side.
The Reserves folded the following season and Slater signed for Llandegfan, where he was again influential and was Players Player of the Season at the end of the 2018/19 season.
Cameron is now back at Llangoed and has looked very solid at the back in friendlies.
Signed for the villagers after playing under Walker at Sunday league club Dreigiau Môn.
Edmunds who played on the wing or up top popped up with vital goals along the season for Llangoed – even scoring the opener against Valley in the Dargie Cup final success.
He later moved on to Arriva Bangor before calling time in his playing days recently.
Joining Llangoed as a second choice goalkeeper, Heywood was limited to game time as Owen kept himself in form.
The following season Heywood was number one for the reserves side and produced many Man of the Match performances for the club earning himself a transfer to league runners up Bryngwran Bulles when the reserves folded.
He was with the Bulls for a season before returning to home club Amlwch Town, where is still involved to this day.
VINNY WALKER AND SPUD THOMAS
This successful management team are now in charge of a youthful and exciting Llanfairpwll side who impressed many in the Anglesey League last season.
Both fantastic coaches and fantastic people off the field also, I for one wouldn’t be surprised to see them enjoy some silverware once more in the not so distant future with that side.