PICTURE by Richard Gregson
IN this new feature on the blog, I am going to be taking a closer look at clubs from across North Wales.
This includes taking a look at their squads, managers and even the way they play – as well as what I predict they can achieve this season.
First up in the series is Llangefni-based Cefni Football Club.
Formed in the summer of 2018, the club instantly brought some grit, determination and a great fan base to the Anglesey League.
They initially joined the league under the guidance of management team Chris Davies, Peter Twigg and Danny Taylor.
Since then, they’ve claimed some great victories and looked like a solid team. In the 2018/19 season, they even beat eventual AL champions Bryngwran Bulls – temporarily putting the brakes on their title celebrations.
Despite finishing bottom of the table in the last-ever Anglesey League season on a technicality (having had 20 points deducted), the club should go on to enjoy a great season this time around in the new look North Wales Coast West Division One.
They opened their 21/22 campaign with a 3-3 draw at home to a spirited Llangoed side at Isgraig. They had been 3-1 up in the first half but let the lead slip in the second 45, as the visitors grew into the game.
Despite that, I feel like they should be a side who can achieve great things this season as they have plenty of experience within their ranks.
The appointment of former Pentraeth Reserves manager Danny Jones to the role of manager at the club a few months ago was a great one. I have long said that the one thing Cefni needs is a stable long-term manager who has great experience and Jones brings just that having enjoyed great success at Sunday League and Anglesey League level.
In terms of Cefni’s squad, let’s have a look at the XI they started with against Llangoed here …
Lee Williams (above) – Goalkeeper who played for manager Jones at Pentraeth Reserves. Always vocal and commanding, he was one of the best shot-stoppers in the Anglesey League on his day over the last few seasons.
Graham Jones – Aka ‘Squeeze’, could be regarded as ‘Mr Cefni’ in a way having been their since day one and been player-manager during that time also. The 37-year-old is a tough tackling centre back and an absolute leader in his team. Not afraid to carry the ball forward from the back either, a joy to watch at times.
Dan Richards – Another experienced player in the squad who recently joined from the now-defunct Arriva Bangor. He’s a hard-working right back who impressed whilst with Bethesda Athletic in the Gwynedd League last season.
Henry Caldecott – One of the best defenders around at lower league level in my opinion. A player who can play anywhere along the back line and was previously a defensive rock for a very successful Bryngwran Bulls side. Despite being quite short for a CB, he has the heart of a lion and is very quick too making a very reliable defender.
Andrew Cleator – Another solid player in this Cefni side who showed great composure and passing in the season opened yesterday. A versatile player who can play in defence or midfield (CDM yesterday) and offers a great option for Cefni.
Hugh Allan Jones – Brother of defender Graham Jones and another who always gives 110% for this club. Hugh Allan is another player who’s been with the club since day one and knows what it means to pull on that red shirt. A real battler who’s never shy of the tackle, he played left back for the club v Llangoed.
Marc Parry – Scorer of two goals in Cefni’s 3-3 draw with Llangoed on Saturday – one being a penalty and the other being a close range finish. A hard-working midfielder who previously played for Bryngwran Bulls, Parry is a truly underrated player in this line-up who has been quietly consistent for Cefni since day one.
Ben Wright – A seriously talented midfielder who is now captain of the club. A tall figure in the middle of the park who’s technically brilliant on the ball and is a threat going forward. Scored 12 goals for Cefni last season, finishing as club top scorer, and will no doubt be a star player this time around also.
Matty Roberts – A player who adds pure quality to this side and real directness from out wide. Having played for Holyhead Town for most of pre-season, the winger arrived at Cefni just last week. He previously smashed in goals for Bryngwran Bulls, netting double figures consistently and is undoubtedly one of the best around in his position on his day.
Craig Evans – A vastly experienced forward who has played for the likes of Llangefni Town and Gwalchmai (where he was also manager) down the years. The 37-year-old has won the Gwynedd Legaue, Cwpan Gwynedd, Gwynedd Shield, Bob Owen Memorial Shield, NWCFA Intermediate Cup and more during a glittering career to date. He has also scored more than 150 goals across various levels of the Welsh pyramid and will therefore no doubt prove to be a vital signing for Cefni having arrived at the club over the summer.
Nathan Lewis – Scorer of Cefni’s first ever official goal when founded in 2018 and he ended up top scorer that season with 12 goals to his name also. The pacy attacker has also scored plenty of goals for Bryngwran Bulls and Caergybi previously too, further proving his credentials as a player. Has been scoring regularly in pre-season for Cefni having returned to the club this year from Cybi and it shouldn’t be long before we see him scoring in the league either.
In my opinion, Cefni are a team to keep an eye on this season, despite a relatively shaky start v Llangoed. Given time to gel properly, they could be a very hard team to break down.