The past three seasons have seen a major resurgence in the fortunes of Bodedern Athletic Football Club.
Gwynedd League champions, Welsh Alliance Division Two runners-up and promoted, Take Stock Van Hire Challenge Cup winners and this term challenging for the Welsh Alliance Division One title and semi-finalists in the national FAW Trophy.
It has been very much a squad effort from Ricky Williams’ men, no superstars, just a collection of very solid and dependable players.
One of the many stand-out performers has been striker Steven Whittaker.
Last season, Whittaker netted an outstanding 38 goals for Boded, 30 of them in the league, which made him Division Two’s second-highest marksman.
That total was pretty close to his best in a single campaign – the 42 he netted in 2014/15, which made him the fourth winner of the Bob Brodie Trophy for the leading goalscorer on Anglesey.
The season before he joined Boded, 2016/17, he grabbed 25 goals for hometown team Cemaes Bay, also in Welsh Alliance Division Two.
No wonder then, Boded boss Williams was quick to snap him up for the following season – and he did not disappoint.
Steven has been one of the island’s most consistent net-finders over the years for a host of clubs including Amlwch Town, Bro Goronwy, Cemaes Bay and his current side Bodedern, where he is enjoying a second spell.
One of his finest ever seasons was 2014-15.
At the Anglesey League presentations, the then Bay skipper landed the Alwyn Rowlands Player of the Year and Caerwyn Williams Top Goalscorer awards.
He also picked up the prestigious Brodie Trophy, topping the chart with 42 goals in all competitions, Llangefni Town pairing Iwan Jones and Craig Evans finishing second and third with 35 and 34 respectively.
That season also saw Whittaker scoop three awards at Cemaes’s own presentations – Top Scorer, Players’ Player and Supporters’ Goal of the Season.
Strong, hard-working and with an eye for goal, Steven is a formidable presence on the field, but you could not meet a humbler, more down-to-earth person off it.
When Cemaes Bay were in the League of Wales in the 1990s, it would have been interesting to see how a then too young Steven would have fared at that level. I suspect he would have been quite a success.