PICTURE BY Eado Photography shows Celts stars Glyn Hughes-Thomas and Jac Pearce Jones.
OUR spotlight on local clubs continues with a trip to Gwynedd to focus on Talysarn Celts.
The Gwynedd-based club enjoyed a great campaign in what was the first ever North Wales Coast West Division One season in 21/22.
Wayne Jones’ side scored goals for fun (123 in the league alone) and reached the NWCFA Junior Cup final, where they unfortunately lost 4-2 to Cemaes Bay.
But the icing on the cake for Celts was the news that their third-placed finish was enough to see them promoted to tier four (aka the Premier Division) over the summer.
They began this season with a routine 4-1 FAW Welsh Cup win away at fellow tier four club at Pentraeth on Saturday.
Here, we take a look at their squad and preview the season ahead for the club.
22/23 TALYSARN CELTS SQUAD IN FULL
- Daniel Tindall
- Brian Page
- Tomos Moss
- Llion Jones
- Osian Jones
- Meilyr Povey
- Dafydd Roberts
- David Aaron Jones
- Gerwyn Williams
- Peter Bridges
- Tomos Bracegirdle
- Rhodri Jones
- Josh Williams
- Aron Owen
- Sion Prysor Williams
- Rhys Jones
- Dylan Marc Hughes
- Garem Jones
- Jac Pearce Jones
- Mathew Williams
- Gwion Jones
- Sion Wyn Jones
- Aron Pygall
- Tom Usher
- Owi Glyn
- Luke Baum
- Glyn Hughes-Thomas
- Cai Edwards
- Tirion Gruffudd
- Jac Usher
- Aled Jones
- Management Team – Wayne Jones, Darren Usher and Guto Hughes
The great news for Celts is that, unlike league-winners and fellow promoted side Llanerchymedd, they have managed to hang on to their key players heading into the new season.
In fact, the squad looks virtually the same as the one of last season except for some great new additions who have also now signed on at Gloddfa Glai.
Their key player from 21/22 was of course attacker Luke Baum who will no doubt be looking to make a mark on tier four in the upcoming campaign.
The 21-year-old was in phenomenal form last season, finishing as the league top scorer with 41 goals in just 27 appearances. In all competitions, Baum netted 49 times in 36 matches – an incredible return.
Another standout in the team was brilliant attacking midfielder Jac Pearce Jones.
Undoubtedly one of the best players in the league last season, the 28-year-old scored 28 goals from the middle of the park in just 38 outings.
Jones caught the eye of many with his key performances time and time again. He finished the season with a goal in the Junior Cup final again demonstrating his importance within the team.
At the back, Celts had – and do still have – the experience of David Aaron Jones and captain Gerwyn Williams to see them through.
Both of them were pivotal in helping the Celts have one of the best defences in Division One last season (conceding just 37 goals).
But there are stars almost everywhere you look in this team.
Powerful midfielder Garem Jones has been a game changer at times and tricky attacker Glyn Hughes-Thomas is always a handful for defenders, as he proved with his 19 goals last season.
Winger/full-back Rhodri Jones was another underrated figure in the side last season with 9 goals and 15 assists in 34 appearances.
The brotherly duo of Jack and Tom Usher, who are the sons of Celts coach Darren, were both brilliant too.
17-year-old winger Jack provided 9 goals and 5 assists before a pelvis injury unfortunately ruled him out of the end of the season – including the cup final. Older brother Tom, 21, scored seven goals and played in a number of different positions showing his versatility.
Add all that to the new signings the Celts have made and it could be a great season ahead for them in their debut Premier campaign.
They have brought in former Waunfawr duo Dylan Marc Hughes and Josh Williams after the club sadly folded over the summer.
Hughes, 25, was club captain at the Beganifs and is a highly-reliable midfielder. Williams, 20, is a left back who was held in high regard at Waun and had a good debut v Pentraeth at the weekend.
Celts have also managed to sign attacker Cai Edwards who was a key player for Bontnewydd in 21/22. The 19-year-old has looked a top talent time and time again and netted 11 goals last season, as well as providing 5 assists.
Fellow new signing Aled Jones looks like he could also add something different to the Celts attack. The 30-year-old looked strong on the ball in his debut v Pentraeth and took just 9 minutes to score his first Celts goal through an acrobatic effort.
After many a great year in the Gwynedd League, the Celts took newly-formed Division One by storm last season. The question now is – can they do the same one step up?
I fancy them to do well personally. They have a great squad at this moment in time and a management team who really know what they’re doing too. It’s a recipe for success.
And of course, they have some of the most loyal fans around too – who travel in their numbers to away matches week in, week out.
Pob lwc yn yr tymor newydd Celts!