PICTURE by Chris Willz Photography.
THE third instalment of this series sees me arrive in Holyhead with a man who enjoyed a brilliant first season in charge of the young and exciting Hotspur Reserves side last season.
Tom Scott, who also played for the club on a number of occasions, guided the young Hotspur stars to a third-placed finish in the Anglesey League. His side also reached the final of the prestigious Dargie Cup – where they would have faced Cemaes Bay had it not been for the Coronavirus pandemic.
Tom has spent the last 13/14 seasons as a player with Hotspur (both for the first team and the Reserves) and has therefore no doubt played alongside/witnessed some of the best players around on Anglesey during that time.
Here, he picks his ultimate local team …
GOALKEEPER – Connor Hughes
Tom says: “Played with Connor for a number of seasons now and had the pleasure of managing him too. Great GK does all the basics very well and super shot stopper.
“Better still though – he’s a super person to have in your squad with his character.”
RIGHT BACK – Marcus Bell
Tom says: “My best mate. Spent most of my footballing years playing in front of Bell on the right midfield when I was quicker!
“Solid no-nonsense player who loves a tackle. Can play in a couple of positions which shows his versatility and it’s never an easy game to play against him. Solid.”
CENTRE BACK – Rich David Williams
Tom says: “Unbelievable player. Captain of the team. I was lucky enough to play with him for a few seasons and again a massive part of when we won the Gwynedd Cup.
“He makes it look easy. Strong, quick and intelligent. Rolls Royce.”
CENTRE BACK – Alex Jones
Tom says: “Almost unfair to pick him because of how good he is and, although not often because of the level he plays at with the first team, I had some great games whilst playing with Alex.
“He’s the pinnacle of what a CB should be. Doesn’t lose headers, strong and positionally brilliant. More importantly, as a manager when he came into my Reserves, he brought the younger lads on with his manner and experience. Heartbeat of the club.”
LEFT BACK – Rob Hodge
Tom says: “Another one of my close friends although a few years older than me. Rob is a superb player.
“He’s technically brilliant on the ball and a great crosser. Was part of the Gwynedd Cup winning team. So comfy on the ball and another brilliant person to have in your team. Calm and cool on the ball.”
RIGHT MID – Mike Kelly
Tom says: “What can I say about him that hasn’t been said already? First name on the team sheet for any team.
“Technically great but with the desire and work rate to match that too. Think that sometimes gets talked about more than how technically good he is.
“Always showing for the ball under pressure and his ball work is immense. Played with him, been managed by him and then managed him and been very fortunate with all that.
CENTRE MID – Jason Owen
Tom says: “Another player who was a big part of the Gwynedd Cup win and second place Gwynedd League finish.
“Comfortable playing CM or CB. Brilliant on the ball – you just couldn’t get it off him. Always wanted the ball at his feet and great physically.
“I think if you speak to a lot of players around my age, they will tell you how good Jason was and could have been.”
CENTRE MID – Chris Corrie
Tom says: “Youngest player in the team by a mile and that’s testament to his ability and attitude.
“Playing alongside and coaching him for a couple of seasons, it’s been brilliant to see how quickly he’s developed. Naturally leads by example and can be trusted to play in a number of positions.
“Technically great and with a desire to achieve what he wants. Big game player.”
CENTRE MID – Simon Davies
Tom says: “Had the privilege of playing with Si for nearly a decade so he was always going to be in the team.
“Absolute nuisance on the pitch for the opposition, doesn’t stop wanting the ball and moving for it. His touch and eye for a pass are second to none and I’ve seen him score some absolute worldies. He can’t tackle though!
“Another player who I eventually managed and his experience was vital for the younger lads.”
LEFT MID – Mike Edwards
Tom says: “On his day, one of the best players I’ve had the pleasure of playing with and managing. Best player in the Anglesey League last season by far.
“He just does whatever he wants. He will be the first to admit he should have played higher level for longer but that was our gain.
“Un-markable, he could dribble past you in a phone box and when you need something to happen, he will deliver. Class act on and off the pitch.”
ATTACKER – Curt Williams
Tom says: “Another player that I’ve played alongside for a long time and ended up being his manager. Absolutely vital to how we played last season.
“Unselfish player who will run all day and battle with anyone. But take nothing away from his technical abilities – he can score tap in’s, headers or 30-yard volleys.
“Ask any other player and they will say he’s a massive pain to play against and brings others into play well. Every team needs a player like him. Great to see him back at the level he belongs with Llangefni Town now.”
Tom says: “The next players are easily the best I’ve had the privilege of playing with. BUT I didn’t play as many games after youth level with these due to the fact they played at a higher level than me for the majority of their careers. That’s the reason they are on the bench!”
Kenleigh Owen (Number of positions)
Tom says: “Probably for me just the best technically I played with and some of the most enjoyable was youth football. That period when we played youth football, he was untouchable.
“After school games against Boded and Llangefni, he just took over. You just knew we wouldn’t lose with him playing.
“He can literally play anywhere. He played a lot for Reserves with me and was in first gear throughout. Unbelievable left foot and pace to burn. Too easy for him.”
Mathew Thomas (Central midfielder)
Tom says: “Only played a couple of seasons with Matty but great player. Intelligent in terms of positioning and how he can influence a game.
“Really tidy on the ball and played the defensive midfield role brilliantly. Was always in the right time at the right place. Dependable. I did try and coax him out of retirement last season, but so far it’s proved fruitless!”
Dean Garmey (Central midfielder)
Tom says: “If you asked me to pick two players to play alongside me in CM as a three, Dean would be the first one.
“Unbelievable tenacity and desire to win, sometimes at all costs. Learnt a lot from him over the years as close friends.
“Always got your back and a big game player. But what often gets overlooked is how good he is. Can pass all day even when under pressure. A General.”
Jay Gibbs (Central midfielder)
Tom says: “This guy would be the second midfielder in my midfield three. He’s the ultimate all-rounder.
“Good at everything. Annoyingly good. I don’t even need to tell you how good he is, it’s clear to see.
“I always say he reminds me of MJ in that documentary ‘The Last Dance’ in regards to him demanding so much from his teammates at all times. I’ve had a few fod off him for giving the ball away!”
Mel McGinness (Striker)
Tom says: “Magician is the word that sums him up. I don’t think there’s another player on the island like him.
“Strong and quick, he’s another one who would be an absolute nightmare to play against. Confident that every time he gets the ball he’s going to do something.
“Played with him a few times as he was always willing to come and help the Reserves and I admired what did in the Island Games tournament. Class.”
Dave Jones (Manager)
Tom says: “Been lucky enough to have a lot of good managers over the years but was always going to be Dave. Felt like I played my best football under him.
“He understood what I was good at and what I wasn’t and that gave me confidence. That team that won the Gwynedd Cup and finished second in the Gwynedd League wild take some beating.”