If he keeps a footballing ‘scrapbook’ on his career Aled Rowlands will have some wonderful material to look back on.
Wales Under-21 international Aled spent three years at Manchester City, won the Welsh Cup and played in Europe with Bangor City and was part of the only Ynys Môn team to be crowned International Island Games champions.
Born on June 9, 1978, Valley-based Rowlands was with the Manchester sky blues between 1995-98, a period which saw the club relegated from the Premier League and spend two seasons in Division One before dropping into Division Two.
Aled did not make a first-team appearance for City and joined League of Ireland club Sligo Rovers, where he made a good impact, in 1998.
Bangor City came calling in 1999/2000 and the left-footer, who could excel in defence or midfield, soon became a key player at Farrar Road.
He was a member of the Citizens side which on May 7, 2000, defeated Cwmbran Town 1-0 at the Racecourse to clinch the Welsh Cup for a fifth time in the club’s history.
Aled went on to represent City six times in European competition, performing in home and away legs against Sweden’s Halmstads (2000/01 UEFA Cup), Sartid Smederevo of Yugoslavia (2002/03 UEFA) and Gloria Bistrita from Romania (2003/04 Inter-Toto). A 1-0 first leg win against Sartid was a particularly memorable occasion.
He spent five seasons at Bangor, making 133 League of Wales appearances for the club (15 as substitute) and netting five goals. Although highly regarded at Farrar Road, his time there could have been even more productive but for bad luck with injuries.
In 2004/05, Rowlands joined Porthmadog, where he spent three more LoW seasons, playing in another 49 games to make his overall top-flight stats 182 matches (28 as sub) and five goals.
Outside of the Welsh Premier, he also represented Llanfairpwll.
Aled enjoyed a number of representative honours throughout his career, which almost included a full set of Welsh caps.
He played Schoolboy (Under 15, Under 16, Under 18 and Under 21 – a total of 23 appearances).
Aled earned five Wales U21 caps and also won the Northern Ireland Milk Cup with the U18s.
In 1999, Rowlands was a member of Ynys Môn’s International Island Games winning squad in Gotland.
He scored in a 3-1 semi-final victory over the Isle of Wight before featuring in Anglesey’s 1-0 success against the Isle of Man in the showpiece game. It remains the only occasion that Môn have won the tournament.
These days Aled works for the Ministry of Defence and coaches Valley Juniors under-7s and under-11s football teams.
A player who will always be remembered as a marauding left-sided specialist with great ball skills, Aled Rowlands produced a football career to be truly proud of.