Anglesey/Ynys Môn football greats past and present – No9 Rhys Roberts

Caernarfon Town defender Rhys Roberts. Pic: Paul Evans

A quality defender who can be a threat in both boxes, Rhys Roberts is back playing at the standard he deserves to be involved in this season – the Welsh Premier League.

The centre-back joined Caernarfon Town last term and was a key figure as the Canaries secured the Huws Gray Alliance title, playing in 32 matches and contributing six goals.

And Roberts, who hails from Llanfachraeth on Anglesey, has adapted back to the Welsh Premier with ease, making 26 appearances for the Cofis thus far this season (up to and including March 1, 2019).

Unlike some of the current Caernarfon players, the 33-year-old began 2018/19 with past experience of WPL football.

Before this season, Rhys had made just below 150 appearances in the top-flight, spending four campaigns at Porthmadog between 2005-09 and then moving onto Airbus, where he featured in another 25 WPL games before returning to Port, who were by then in the Huws Gray Alliance.

He later switched to Holyhead Hotspur, where he was captain and a defensive mainstay for three years before landing at Caernarfon in the summer of 2017.

Town’s manager at the time, Iwan Williams, gave Roberts a glowing reference on arrival at The Oval, saying: “Rhys is one of the most professional of footballers I’ve shared a dressing room with, and, having been captain at nearly every club he’s been at, it’s safe to say that his attitude is second to none. He’s a commanding centre-half who can mix it with the most physical of strikers.”

Early in his career, Rhys also played for Llangefni Town and Bangor City, so his CV is very impressive.

A calm and composed left-footed operator, he was briefly with Bangor before establishing himself at centre-back – and occasionally centre-forward – at Porthmadog, where he truly became known as a colossal defender.

While defending is his speciality, Rhys is always more than capable of hurting the opposition in their own box.

In 2011/12 for instance, he netted 10 goals for Port in the HGA and grabbed eight the season prior to that, including six in a golden five-game spell.

He also has 12 WPL goals to his name.

Rhys truly is what could be described as a goal-scoring defender due to the danger his imposing presence offers up at set-pieces.

He has consistently impressed managers and supporters everywhere over the years with his calmness and skill on the ball as well as his outstanding aerial ability and excellent distribution. 

Roberts is also a veteran of the Island Games, having scored for Ynys Môn in wins over Alderney (5-0, 2011) and Freya (3-0, 2009) in past events. He made his Games debut in 2005.

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