PICTURE BY Richard Gregson shows Bodedern’s hat-trick hero Mo El-Arab in green.
I, like many others I’m sure, was keeping an eye out for any new faces making debuts for their respective new clubs as the 22/23 season kicked off on Saturday afternoon.
The latest campaign commenced with the first qualifying round of the highly prestigious FAW Welsh Cup.
Here are just a few faces who starred for their new clubs in those ties, making their official debuts.
Bodedern Athletic 17-0 Gaerwen
Marc Evans – who hit 68 goals for Bodedern in 21/22 – was the star of the show here as he started the season with seven goals. But new faces impressed also during this very one-sided game.
Caernarfon Town academy product and recent signing Mo El-Arab, 19, helped himself to a hat-trick on his full debut and former Bangor City, Holyhead Hotspur and Bangor 1876 attacker Chris Jones bagged a brace on his first official start.
The talented Ben Hughes, who arrived from 21/22 tier five champs Llanerchymedd last week, also started for Boded in this one while 18-year-old Jenson Rowlands – who switched over from Gwalchmai – was on the scoresheet too after coming on from the bench.
Gaerwen meanwhile handed a debut to former Llandegfan and Llangoed player Robert Boyes, as well as Steven Hughes, 42, who was Waunfawr’s manager in Division One last season.
There was a senior debut too for Tomos Rees Jones, 16, who was previously with Llanfairpwll’s youth set-up and started for Gaerwen in this one.
Cefni 3-2 Menai Tigers
A fantastic and memorable win for the Llangefni club over their higher league opponents here – and debutantes were key.
Luke Miles, who scored 10 goals for Y Fali and Holyhead Town last season, marked his first official Cefni appearance with a brace while fellow debutante Gruffydd Huws scored the winner five minutes from time at Isgraig.
For Menai Tigers, former Pentraeth, Mynydd Llandegai and Llanerchymedd player Josh Owen made his return to the club. Also starting for the first time for the visitors was talented 17-year-old midfielder George Roberts who transferred over from Llangoed.
Former Llanerchymedd and Amlwch Town striker James Burgess marked his Tigers debut with a goal and Elliott Breaks, who signed for the club from Gwalchmai over the summer, provided and assists on what was his debut having come off the bench.
Former Bodorgan man Aron Davies also made an appearance from the bench coming on for the last 20 minutes of the match.
Glantraeth 1-0 Bethesda Athletic
Goalkeeper Josh Roberts, who signed from Bodorgan in the summer after they folded, started in net for Glan.
Fellow Bodorgan signing Gareth Hughes was also handed a start with former Gaerwen pair Dylan Williams and Darren Lewthwaite also debuting in the starting eleven v Pesda.
Attacker Lewis Owen, who was Llangefni Town Reserves top scorer with 15 goals in 21/22, completed the five new faces who started for Glan.
From the bench, they brought on Dion Owen who played for Gwalchmai last season, as well as Geraint Jones who transferred over from Cemaes Bay.
Athletic has a few new faces of their own in action in this one too.
Former Llanberis man Aeron Pritchard started in defence with former Bontnewydd captain Gari Owen also debuting.
Llanfairfechan Town 4-2 Llanfairpwll
Former Gaerwen man Meurig Evans was in the starting line-up for Town in this one while fellow starter Daniel Hughes, who arrived from Llanrwst United, marked his debut with a goal and assist.
Former Bro Goronwy striker Sam Roberts, now 24, made a return to the game with Town from the bench also having not played for a few seasons.
Llanfairpwll introduced some new faces to their side too as Morgan Jones and Morgan Rowlands – both of whom have come in from Y Fali – made their first appearances for the club.
Former Pentraeth player Rees Roberts also made his debut, playing the full 90 minutes.
Pentraeth 1-4 Talysarn Celts
First time starters were solid for newly-promoted Premier club Celts as they advanced in the cup too.
Forward Aled Jones opened the scoring and marked his debut with a fine acrobatic finish just 9 minutes into the tie.
Talented left back Josh Williams, 20, also looked great throughout having transferred over from Waunfawr who recently folded and the same could be said for fellow former Waun star Dylan Marc Hughes who is always reliable.
There were no new faces in the Pentraeth side, which included a number of young players who are heading into their second season in the Premier Division.
Mynydd Llandegai 3-5 Gwalchmai
A thriller which saw a number of new faces make their debuts and impress on both sides.
For Mynydd, former Gaerwen man Kyle Williams was in the starting eleven as was former Pentraeth player Kane Roberts, who netted a penalty.
20-year-old Leon Buckland, who played for Llangefni Town Reserves last season, also made his first Mynydd appearance.
Gwalch handed a debut to the very talented Tom Kelly, 18, who arrives at the club from Llanerchymedd and returned that faith the club put in him with a debut goal.
Also on target late on was goal machine Gwion Thomas who returns to the club from Llanerchymedd where he was top scorer with 27 goals last season.
Another former Llangefni Town Res player Josh Owen, 18, started for the visitors with Lewis Owen (Gaerwen), Andy Sinclair (Llangefni Town), Steven Jones (Bodorgan) and Gethin Jones (Llangefni Town) also making their first appearances.
I fancy this much-changed and exciting Gwalchmai to be quite the side in the Premier Division this season.
Trearddur Bay 3-1 Nantlle Vale
A huge win for Bay who were themselves making a debut having returned to action after a few years out. The tier five club beat their tier three opponents in a real giant-killing.
As such, their whole squad were making debuts. Namely (former club in brackets); Tom Scott (Caergybi), Dan McGinness (Caergybi), Mike Edwards (Caergybi), Marcus Bell (Caergybi), Adam Morris (Holyhead Hotspur), Konner Druce (Gwalchmai), Sol Williams (Cemaes Bay), Josh Evans (Holyhead Hotspur), Mel McGinness (Holyhead Hotspur), Asa Thomas (Bodedern Athletic) and Phil Jones (Holyhead Hotspur). On from the bench for debuts were; Ashley Davies (Llangoed) and Joel Kleiser (Holyhead Hotspur).
The prolific Asa Thomas marked his debut with a brace while defender Marcus Bell also scored before being sent off.
There were debuts for Vale too. Alwyn Roberts, who joined the club from Bangor 1876, marked his first appearance with a consolation goal late on.
Former Caernarfon Town player Aled Williams, 18, who made two JD Cymru Premier appearances last season also played, as did Sion Parry, who scored 40 goals for Llanystumdwy last season.
Penrhyndeudraeth 1-1 Caergybi (4-2 on pens)
Penrhyn welcomed goalkeeper Iwan Davies into their side for the first time following the 22-year-old’s move from Llanystumdwy.
Former Nantlle Vale man Rob Daniels also started, as did former Barmouth and Dyffryn United youngster Gwion Davies, 17.
On from the bench for the home side was Osian Jones (Nefyn United).
James Ryan marked his official return to Caergybi with a goal, having moved back to the club from Holyhead Town recently.
Former club captain Dewi Thomas also made a return to the pitch after a few years out from the game.
There were returns to the club too for Nik Kontodios (Cefni) and Jordan Rowlands (Gwalchmai) and Anthony Parry and Harly O’Sullivan also made their debuts from the bench.
Amlwch Town 1-2 Aberffraw
Town introduced Elliot Wright and Adam Taylor to the team for the first time.
Berffro handed a debut to promising 16-year-old goalkeeper Maddox Owen, who played for Llangefni Reserves last season and also played for their first team.
Another former Llangefni Reserves player, Ifan Owen, 19, also made his first appearance as did Bangor University player Clark Thomas.
Y Fali 1-5 Llanerchymedd
The home team handed a debut to Archie Wala, 22, at the back with experienced Danny Roberts, 33, also starting having returned to Cae Mwd after a spell at Holyhead Town.
There was a debut too for 18-year-old Tony Roberts.
Llanerchymedd were much changed having lost many members of the squad – which won the Division One title last season – to other clubs over recent weeks.
Former Bangor City and Caernarfon Town keeper Shane Owen, 19, started in net for the first time for Llan and Hywel Jones – who was with Waunfawr last season – also started.
Luke Waller (Gwalchmai), Gafyn Buckland (Gwalchmai), Harry Jones (Llangefni Reserves) and Will Hughes (Llangefni Town) also made their first appearances in the green shirt of Llan.
Nefyn United 4-1 Pwllheli
This local derby threw up some debuts – many of which included players who have moved between the two sides over the summer.
Daniel Roberts and Deio Gwilym moved from Pwllheli to Nefyn and debuted against their former club.
And it was the other way around for Carl Jones, who had been a prolific scorer for Nefyn down the years, but started against them for Pwll on Saturday. That was also the case for Carwyn Trenholme, who joined his brother Gethin (also previously a Nefyn player) at Pwll over summer and also for Guto Sion Roberts who also made that move to Pwll from their local rivals.
A new face in the Pwll starting eleven was Dafydd Roberts, who signed for them from Nantlle Va