PICTURE BY Nantlle Vale FC
AT JUST 24 years old, Sion Parry has already enjoyed a goalscoring record that most can only dream of.
The forward, who is from Tremadog in Gwynedd, is widely-regarded as one of the best young forwards around and with very good reason – having already racked up just shy of 300 career goals for his respective clubs.
His senior career began when he made his debut for Llanystumdwy on his 16th birthday and it was with that club that he would go on to earn himself a great reputation.
In that season, he scored seven goals and followed that up with 18 more in 2013/14 to earn himself the club’s top scorer and the Gwynedd League’s joint-top scorer prizes.
However, it was the 2014/15 campaign which was a truly memorable one for both Stumdwy and Parry. That year, he hit a crazy 56 goals in all competitions (again earning the club and league top scorer prizes, as well as the Player of the Season accolade for Stumdwy) as his side won the Safeflue Shield (5-1 v Y Felinheli).
The following season, Parry, then 18 years old, left to try his luck with higher league Porthmadog. However, he admits that, despite scoring the winner on his debut v Holywell, he ‘wasn’t ready’ for the step up at that time.
Having also played for Port Reserves that season (scoring 11 goals), he then moved back to Stumdwy a few months later during the 2015/16 campaign and ended the campaign with 31 goals there – again finishing as the club and the Gwynedd League’s top scorer as the club won the NWCFA Intermediate Cup for the first time in its history with a 3-0 win over Llandudno Albion in the final.
In that game v Albion, Parry (below) was the hero as he netted all three goals to land Llanystumdwy the Intermediate Cup for the first time in its history.
Re-calling that day, he said: “The highlight of my time at Llanystumdwy without a doubt was the Intermediate Cup. From the semi final against Rhyl Town, when I scored in the 120th minute to win the game 2-1, to the final at Nantporth where I scored a hat-trick and we beat Llandudno Albion 3-0.
“The only down side was a few days later we were denied promotion in the league. Two seasons later and Llanystumdwy were struggling in the Gwynedd League while Albion were in Welsh Alliance 1 and beating Rhyl in the Welsh Cup.”
2016/17 saw Parry try his hand at higher league football again with Penrhyndeudraeth, but a month or so into the season, he returned to Llanystumdwy once again. That turned out to be a wise decision for the player as he went on to hit another 38 goals for the club come the end of that campaign, winning the club and Gwynedd League’s top scorer prizes for a fourth time.
The 2017/18 campaign was Parry’s most prolific for date as he scored an incredible 60 goals for Llanystumdwy to finish as the club’s top scorer and division top scorer for a fifth time and also earned himself the GL Player of the Season award for the first time.
He departed Dwyfor Park in 2018/19, having scored a very impressive 210 goals in 170 appearances for Llanystumdwy over the years – making him one of the club’s greatest ever players.
2018/19 saw Parry take on a new challenge – in the Welsh Alliance Reserves League with a truly formidable Porthmadog Reserves side. Having been a coach alongside Sion Eifion Jones with the club’s under 18’s and 19’s side previously, Parry pulled on the boots to play for Jones’ Reserves (as well as Port’s first team in tier two) at Y Traeth that season.
With the second string, Parry scored 49 goals as they went the whole season unbeaten and won the league and Lock Stock Challenge Cup double. He also scored twice for the first team.
Talking about that invincible Port Reserves side, Parry said: “That team was special, we all lived locally and we were all mates, most of us went to the same school or came through Porthmadog’s academy, so everyone had some connection to every player. There was no cliques and no one left out, even down to the coaching staff, Sion Eifion as manager, Guto Hughes as coach, and Cedri Roberts as physio, they’d all been there at least a year by this point, and it was a very young team as well.
“I was 22 at the time and there was only one player older than me, he was 23! We played 30 games that season in the league and cup, won 28, draw 2, lost 0. Everything about that team was perfect, and I think it came at the right time for everyone, every single player benefited from being in that team that season. I’m sure I’m right in saying that every player in that team has played tier 3 or above since that season too.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be a part of a team that achieves something like that again, it was a special achievement and a special team.”
About his time with the first team down the years, Parry added: “Personally for me I grew up watching Porthmadog at the Traeth in the Welsh Premier League, so the feeling of scoring the winning goal on my home debut against Holywell was unbelievable. A few years later and I scored the winning goal against Holywell again, this time away from home when we (Porthmadog) were battling for 2nd, and also scoring 30 seconds into the game on my first start for Porthmadog away at Prestatyn.”
The 2019/20 season saw Parry start out at Port’s first team, before moving on to Gwynedd League champions Bangor 1876. In a campaign cut short by the Coronavirus, he scored nine goals for the club – despite only joining in January 2020.
Talking about his time there, he said: “When I spoke to Mel, Dyl, Chris and Iwan, it was clear the opportunity to play for Bangor 1876 was one I couldn’t refuse. I wasn’t playing a lot at Porthmadog, and having been in Bangor City’s academy growing up I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to play some part in 1876’s history.
“I was at the game where Bangor City beat TNS 1-0 to win the Welsh Premier League, Johno (Michael Johnston) and Les (Davies) both played that game, as well as Sion Edwards who i played with at Port. I grew up watching these players, so 10 years on to say not only have I shared a pitch with them but to actually be playing for the same team is strange!
“When I first walked in, I didn’t know what to expect, I soon realised I had nothing to worry about, they made sure everyone fit right in. Johno is by far the loudest, making sure everyone knows he’s made the most European appearances for Bangor City, Les was more having a laugh on the training ground, but whenever he got the ball he could just do whatever he wanted, and Pets just fits in with all the lads as if he’d grown up with them. But all 3 helped everyone fit in the team in different ways. One of the few disappointments I have in football though, is that the season got cut short, and we didn’t get to finish that first step on what will undoubtedly be an incredible journey for Bangor 1876. It’s just a shame it ended how it did and we couldn’t go and celebrate it with all the deserving fans who had followed the team everywhere, but for me still a great feeling to win it because while Inwas at Llanystumdwy we narrowly missed out on the Gwynedd League about 5 times!”
Ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, Parry has made the switch to Nantlle Vale, who will play in the newly-formed Ardal North West League (tier three). There, he will be re-united with Sion Eifion Jones who had managed him at Porthmadog Reserves and was appointed manager at Vale last season.
Speaking about his decision to join Vale ahead of taking to the pitch in 21/22, Parry said: “My family circumstances changed during lockdown, and I quickly realised I wouldn’t be able to commit to going to Bangor to train with 1876 every week and I feel like that club with all of its supporters deserves 100% commitment from every player, and unfortunately i just couldn’t do it at the time.
“I had a few clubs contacting me so I thought things through, but Sion Eifion and Danny Bell being at Nantlle Vale almost made my mind up for me. They’re two managers I’d worked with every season for the past 4 or 5 seasons – I feel like it’s a perfect club to step up into tier 3 with. Great facilities, great players, and a short journey from home. I look forward to the challenge of competing in the new tier 3.
“Honestly I just want to play some football – I think everyone is the same now. I haven’t played a competitive game since mid February 2020 due to being cup tied for a couple of games before the season got cut short in March. The objective from the start was we wanted to be competitive in tier 3, we don’t want to settle for just being a mid table team in the league, we want to build a squad to keep pushing higher up the league. If we don’t compete this season then we want to make sure we’re in a position to go and compete next season and so on, so for this season I hope for a strong showing in the league, and a good cup run to go with it.”
Parry’s goalscoring career and honours in full:
⚽️ 2012/13: 7 goals (Llanystumdwy)
⚽️ 2013/14: 18 goals (Llanystumdwy)
⚽️ 2014/15: 56 goals (Llanystumdwy)
⚽️ 2015/16: 31 goals (Llanystumdwy), 11 goals (Porthmadog Reserves), 1 goal (Porthmadog)
⚽️ 2016/17: 38 goals (Llanystumdwy)
⚽️ 2017/18: 60 goals (Llanystumdwy)
⚽️ 2018/19: 48 goals (Porthmadog Reserves), 2 goals (Porthmadog)
⚽️ 2019/20: 9 goals (Bangor 1876)
Total: 279 goals
- Gwynedd Safeflue Shield (2014/15)
- NWCFA Intermediate Cup (2015/16)
- Welsh Alliance Reserves League (2018/19)
- Lock Stock Challenge Cup (2018/19)
- Gwynedd League (2019/20)
- Gwynedd League top scorer (2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18)
- Gwynedd League Player of the Season (2017/18)
- Llanystumdwy FC top scorer (2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18)
- Llanystumdwy FC Playwr of the Year (2014/15)
- Porthmadog Reserves top scorer (2018/19)
- Welsh Alliance Reserves League top scorer (2018/19)