PICTURE BY Wynne Evans shows Asa Thomas (in maroon) on the ball for Trearddur Bay Bulls in 2021.
THE local footballing transfer window has been a very busy one so far.
And among those to find new clubs are three fantastic goal-scorers who have returned to their former homes.
Asa Thomas has returned to the club where he previously broke records; Trearddur Bay.
Since making his debut in senior football back in 2007, Thomas has scored over 550 goals making him the most prolific goalscorer on Anglesey in recent times.
For 31-year-old Thomas, senior football began at Holyhead Gwelfor Athletic in 2007/08, where he hit 32 goals before following that up with 37 goals for the same club the season after.
But, it’s fair to say that the goal-scoring machine’s most incredible season came in 2010/11 as he broke all sorts of records. A then 19-year-old Thomas hit an incredible 112 goals (which included 25 hat-tricks) in just 47 appearances for Trearddur Bay United as the club won a quadruple – a goal-scoring feat that doesn’t look like being beaten any time soon.
The 2019/20 season, cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, was also one to remember for Thomas as he surpassed the magical 500-goal mark.
Thomas hit 19 goals for Holyhead Town in Welsh Alliance Two before the club folded in December 2019, meaning that the goals he scored there became expunged. As a result, the first of two goals he scored in Holyhead Town Reserves (who then became Holyhead Town as there was no first team), in a thrilling 7-6 win at Bodorgan in the Anglesey League, proved to be his 500th career goal.
Soon after, Thomas made the switch from the Harbourmen to local rivals Holyhead Hotspur, where he went on to score six goals for The Reserves in the Anglesey League and four for the first team in Welsh Alliance One before the season came to an abrupt end due to the coronavirus pandemic. So, he currently stands on 511 goals amassed during a free-scoring career on the island.
Fast forward to this season and his phenomenal goalscoring prowess has yet being displayed as Bodedern Athletic clinched the tier four title.
Thomas was influential as he bagged 58 goals in just 35 appearances.
He is now setting his sights on ripping teams apart in tier five in 22/23 with a Trearddur Bay side who will no doubt be going for the North Wales Coast West Division One title.
James Ryan has also rolled back the years by returning to Caergybi.
Having previously served in the army, the 35-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.
It was in the 2017/18 season that he really began to hit top form however as he bagged 56 goals for The Bulls who finished as Anglesey League runners-up. Amazingly, that tally wasn’t enough to earn him the Golden Boot that year though as Caergybi’s Gary Jo Owen scored 58!
One particular highlight for him that season in terms of goalscoring came when he bagged a hat-trick of hat-trick’s (aka nine goals!) in a 17-0 hammering of Llandegfan FC.
The 2018/19 saw Ryan himself make the move over to Dale Moffat’s Caergybi side and it was there that he would go on to break records.
It was a near-perfect season that year for both Ryan and Cybi who secured a cup double, and, despite losing out on the league title, did still clinch promotion to the Gwynedd League. Striker Ryan bagged an incredible 72 goals during a record-breaking season in which he became the highest goalscorer ever in a single season in the Bob Brodie Trophy competition (run by NWSport blogger Dave Jones) – surpassing the previous total of 64 hit by goal machine Corrig McGonigle for Pentraeth in 2015/16 (Now with Conwy Borough in JD Cymru North).
His record in the first half of the season (up to January 1 2019) saw him hit 42 goals. His incredible form then followed him into the New Year as 30 more goals followed – including one in Caergybi’s 2-1 Dargie Cup final win over former club Bryngwran Bulls.
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, Ryan 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 the late 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 didn’t play much in 21/22 but still managed 8 goals in 11 matches.
A proper goal-getter who Cybi are clearly delighted to have re-signed and rightly so!
Completing the trio of fantastic summer signings is Sion Parry, who has made the move from Llanystumdwy to Nantlle Vale.
The 21/22 campaign was one to remember for Parry as he managed to pass the 300-goals mark for his career with a free-kick in a 10-2 win over Llangoed back in September 2021.
A five-time winner of the Gwynedd League top scorer prize in the past, Parry returned to Dwyfor Park with Stumdwy last summer.
The 25-year-old scored 36 goals in 28 league appearances and was the Division One top assist provider too with 18 of those to his name.
He netted 40 goals in 34 appearances all in all and helped Llanystumdwy onto an impressive 6th placed finish in the league.
Parry’s 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).
Following a brief spell with Porthmadog, 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.
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.
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.
Ahead of the 2020/21 campaign, Parry made the switch to Nantlle Vale, who now play in tier three.
But, having played friendlies for both Vale and Llanystumdwy in pre-season, he decided to move back to the club where it all began for him in senior football nearly nine years ago.
However, he’s now set for a step up again with Vale. Pob lwc Sion!