PICTURE by Wynne Evans shows James Ryan on the ball for Bryngwran Bulls.
THE 2017/18 campaign was one filled with goals in the Anglesey League – with the top ten goalscorers in the division that season all hitting 20 goals or more.
In a year that a youthful but uber-talented Mynydd Tigers side won the title, Bryngwran Bulls won a cup double and Arriva Bangor (2) and Caergybi won silverware in their first seasons in the league, there was an endless stream of goals throughout.
Here’s the countdown of the top 10 goal-getters in the division come the end of that fantastic season which was the first I covered …
10. Kieran Bullock (Mynydd Tigers) – 18 goals
One of the most exciting young players in that title-winning Tigers side, Bullock was just 16 years old during this campaign but showed confidence and abilities beyond his years.
He was a player who played in a number of positions but was mainly deployed as a full back and so to finish with 18 goals come the end of the season was quite frankly outstanding.
Bullock stayed with the Tigers, who became Ogwen Tigers when promoted to the Gwynedd League, until they folded last summer and is now re-united with his former manager Mark Hughes at Bethesda Athletic.
He’ll be one to keep an eye on once more in North Wales Coast West Division One in 21/22.
9. Andrew Bailey (Bryngwran Bulls) – 20 goals
Experienced player who was Bulls captain during this campaign and led them to Dargie and Lucas Oil Cup success, as well as narrowly missing out on the AL title on the final day of the season.
Operating as a central midfielder, Bailey was instrumental throughout and was a player who was solid through the middle for Richard Owen’s side.
20 goals from the middle of the park tells you all you need to know about him that season , he was on top of his game.
Since then, he has gone on to play for Valley before retiring from the game last season.
8. Konner Druce (Valley Athletic) – 23 goals
Nowadays, this man is a top class goalkeeper who recently signed for Bodedern Athletic. The last few seasons, Druce has been the man of the money in between the sticks for Bryngwran/Trearddur Bay Bulls – winning the Anglesey League with them in 2018/19 and being selected as Gwynedd League Player of the Season in 2019/20.
But, back in 2017/18, Druce played as a winger for both Caergybi and Valley Athletic. For the latter, he was part of a fantastic front three which scored more than 80 goals between them that season.
He was quick, he was direct and had a great eye for goal as the 23 goals he scored that year more than proved.
I’ve told him plenty of times before that he was actually the one who sent me into retirement whilst I was a full back at Llandegfan (not that it took much!).
7. Luke Allaway (Bodorgan) – 28 goals
A striker who has often gone under the radar but has been a thorn in the side of so many clubs over the years.
Since playing in the Anglesey League for the first time with the now Aberffraw-based club in the 2015/16 season, Allaway has scored 94 goals in all competitions if you include his total of 18 goals from 2019/20.
Back in 2017/18, the tall forward was the club’s, and indeed one of the league’s leading scorers as he enjoyed his best season to date by netting 28 goals.
Aside from a brief spell away with Aberffraw two seasons ago, Allaway has remained loyal to Bod and is still with the club heading into their 21/2/ campaign in tier five.
6. Mike Williams (Valley Athletic) – 30 goals
Strikers at lower level on Anglesey don’t come much taller and stronger than this man and he was on top form during this campaign.
By now he has been a loyal servant to the club over the years and is still there to this day.
A powerful player who can also play in the middle of the park, Williams is sure to win the headers and has plenty of goals in him.
Despite hitting 30 goals in 2017/18 though, which I believe is his best return, he still wasn’t Valley’s top scorer that year – as you’ll find out if you read on!
5. Herbie Hofsteede (Mynydd Tigers) – 32 goals
The Anglesey League’s most exciting young talent from the 2017/18 season without a doubt. At just 17 years old, Hofsteede made things look incredibly easy for Mark Hughes’ side as they won the title.
Playing as an attacking midfielder/striker, he was one for he best players in the division and, as well as scoring goals, was so confident on the ball despite playing against players who were (for the most part) much older than him.
A tall and commanding figure, the Caernarfon Town academy product was key to the Tigers winning the title that season and scored an important double on the final day of the season when they beat title rivals Bryngwran Bulls 4-2 to clinch the trophy.
He has since moved away to Leeds I believe where I certainly hope he has continued to play football as it would be a real shame if he hadn’t!
4. Justin Williams (Valley Athletic) – 36 goals
One of the most underrated strikers around at lower league level in my opinion.
In 2017/18, Williams enjoyed his best season to date, racking up 36 goals for a Valley Athletic side who had been title chasers for a big chunk of the season.
After a season plagued by injuries whilst with Caergybi in 2018/19, Williams bounced back last season whilst playing for Trearddur Bay Bulls notching a highly impressive 25 goals in all Gwynedd League competitions.
He’s a striker who is very quick and once he gets in behind the defence there’s a very good chance he’ll put that ball in the back of the net.
For the 21/22 season, he’ll be playing for Bodedern Athletic in the North Wales Cost West Premier (tier four).
3. Scott Hughes (Arriva Bangor) – 46 goals
Arriva burst onto the Anglesey League scene in 2017/18 by winning the Benllech Car Boot Trophy and the Elias Cup. The main man in that squad was the exciting Hughes.
The Busmen’s talisman was a real handful for defenders throughout the campaign and has been ever since also.
He followed up the 46 goals he scored in 17/18 with a further 60 in 2018/19 and 41 just last season in a year he suffered many an injury and the season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
Having been with Arriva for many a year in the Sunday League days and in the Anglesey League, Hughes is now with Glantraeth who will play in tier four next season.
It still amazes me that he’s never won that league top scorer prize as he’s undoubtedly one of the best finishers around on his day and his ability to get in behind defenders is brilliant. Could 21/22 be the year he does win the prize?
2. James Ryan (Bryngwran Bulls) – 56 goals
This season was a very good one for this forward, but yet he would go just shy of winning the Anglesey League’s top scorer prize come the end of the season.
Having previously served in the army, the now 34-year-old forward only really began scoring in senior football in 2016/17 when he notched 21 goals for Bryngwran (Now Trearddur Bay) Bulls during that campaign.
A season later he would hit 56 for the same team before his season to remember arrived with Caergybi in 2018/19.
That season, Ryan would go on to break records, scoring a ridiculous 72 goals as the club won a cup double and secure promotion to the Gwynedd League.
Ryan’s streak throughout the 18/19 campaign saw him score at least one goal against every team in the division and he went on to hit an impressive tally of nine hat-tricks during the course of the season – including a seven-goal haul in one game against Llandegfan and eight in one game against Llanfairpwll.
Despite a lot of interest from other clubs due to his record-breaking season, he remained with Caergybi for 2019/20 – at least until midway through. In their first campaign in the GL in 2019/20, he proved to be their main man again early on as he netted 11 for the club before transferring to Sean Brett’s Glantraeth for a new challenge. There, he scored four more goals before the season was cut short due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In 2020, Ryan made the switch to tier-five club Holyhead Town and instantly impressed with two goals on his debut. He’s a truly terrific goal-getter who should lead the line effortlessly for Town when competitive football resumes in July (here’s hoping!).
1. Gary Jo Owen (Caergybi) – 58 goals
The best of the best in 2017/18 is a player who, by now, has more than 200 career goals to his name playing for clubs on the island.
As reported earlier tonight, Gary Jo has now returned to the club where he enjoyed his best season to date back in 2017/18.
That year, the club’s first in existence, the prolific striker was on fire as he racked up 58 goals to beat his previous personal record of 57 he scored for Morawelon back in 2013/14.
He also 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.
Over the years, he’s built up a name for himself as one of the best goal scorers around playing for the likes of Morawelon, Gaerwen and Holyhead Town along the way.
2021/22 will see him return to Millbank with Dale Moffat’s side where he will no doubt be a danger to any team he comes up against!