PICTURE by Holyhead Town FC
AFTER more than a year of no competitive football action being played by now, it’s easy to forget some of the transfers which have been made between March 2020 and now.
With that in mind, I thought I’d start up a new series on here to highlight some of those who have made the switch to a new club ahead of the 21/22 season and who should go on to shine for their respective teams too.
And what better way to kick things off than with a true goal machine?
Last year, it was announced that Derek Thomas would be taking over at Trearddur Bay Bulls (formerly Bryngwran Bulls) after long-term coach Richard Owen departed the club.
And with that came a whole host of changes as Thomas, former manager of the Morawelon side who dominated North Wales football in the early part of the last decade, brought in a few familiar faces. Among those was Gary Jo Owen.
A familiar name to so many by now, the prolific forward first burst onto the scene in 2011/12 with that Morawelon side, in a season in which he scored 27 goals. He followed that up with the 57 goals he scored for the same side in 2013/14, making him the island’s top scorer across all North Wales leagues that season.
After Morawelon, Gary Jo went on to play for Gaerwen where again he showed promise. He then moved to Bodedern Athletic in the Gwynedd League and continued to be their main goal grabber.
It was a few years later however that he would go on to break his own record for the amount of goals he scored in a single season. Having joined Caergybi for a fresh new challenge in the Anglesey League in 2017/18, he proved to be the talisman within the team and, despite missing a month through injury, topped the scoring charts once more – this time going one better than last time with 58 goals to his name.
A record breaking season was capped off in the most memorable way for Gary Jo that years as he notched the winning goal (and the all important 58th) in a 3-2 Megan Cup final win over Bryngwran Bulls to help Cybi secure some silverware in their very first season as a club.
Even re-occurring injuries in the following season (2018/19) couldn’t stop this goal machine from hitting well into double figures for both Caergybi and Holyhead Town. He managed 17 for Dale Moffat’s side and 12 for The Harbourmen despite missing several matches throughout the campaign.
In 2019/20, Gary Jo notched up 16 goals for Holyhead Town in Welsh Alliance Two but, with the club folding in November 2019, that tally was subsequently wiped off the slate. As a result, the three he later scored for Caergybi in the Gwynedd League were the only ones that counted towards his official goalscoring record that season with the campaign ending abruptly due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Over the years, Gary Jo has of course formed a formidable partnership with good friend and fellow prolific forward Asa Thomas with the pair playing and scoring alongside one another at several clubs including Morawelon, Gaerwen and Holyhead Town. They will be reunited at the Bulls after Thomas also put pen to paper with the club last year.
If he can hit full fitness and true form once again when football returns then there’s absolutely no doubt that Gary Jo will be a fantastic addition to Derek Thomas’ Bulls. He’s a proven goalscorer who’s been a nightmare to defenders across many different levels down the years. He has the knack for being in the right time at the right place.
Trearddur Bay Bulls will play in the newly-formed North Wales Coast West Premier (tier four) when competitive football returns in July.
Gary Jo’s full goals record is as follows:
2011/12: 27 at Morawelon
2013/14: 57 at Morawelon
2014/15: 16 at Gaerwen
2015/16: 19 at Bodedern Athletic
2017/18: 58 at Caergybi
2018/19: 29 at Caergybi and Holyhead Town
2019/20: 16 at Holyhead Town (expunged as they folded), 3 at Caergybi
TOTAL: 209 goals