New management duo aim to get Holyhead Town’s glory quest back on track

Holyhead Town managers Derek Thomas (left) and Nathan Owen with club chairman Daf Griffiths (centre). Paul Evans carries on as physio next season.

It will be all change at Holyhead Town Football Club next season.

Nathan Owen and Derek Thomas have been appointed managers as the Harbourmen prepare for a second campaign in Welsh Alliance League Division Two.

Reformed in 2016/17, Town had two amazing comeback seasons, the first seeing them lift the Anglesey League title without losing a game and scooping the Megan Cup and Lucas Oil Cup.

Then last term, Holyhead were crowned Gwynedd League champions at the first attempt, as well as raising the Cwpan Gwynedd, making it five trophies in two seasons. They were named North Wales Team of the Season for both 2016-17 and 2017/18.

This season saw the Harbourmen brought down to earth as they finished 12th in Welsh Alliance Division Two, but still they held their own.

Grassroots North Wales spoke to new Holyhead manager Nathan Owen about plans for the 2019-20 campaign.

There’s been a recent change of management at Holyhead Town, please tell us about the men in charge now

Nathan Owen comes in as manager and Derek Thomas as his assistant.

The pair have a long friendship based around football that stretches back over 25 years.

Nathan is a C-Licence coach who has coached within the junior game for seven years, and also worked alongside Derek at Morawelon.

A young, modern and upcoming coach, Nathan bases his game on a high press, attractive football and intends Town to be the fittest in the league.

Derek has been in game a lifetime, his experience and knowledge will be vital to the club. Derek was manager of the successful Morawelon side which won the NWCFA Junior Cup at the first attempt in 2011-12.

After two great title-winning years, this 2018-19 season did not go as well for Holyhead in Welsh Alliance Division Two. Why has it been more of a struggle?

The struggle started in pre-season. Heavily based on games, the club feel players picked up injuries, many of the squad were consistently carrying niggles which carried on into the season.

Form dipped, and with it came a complacency to commit from the players. This is something we will address.

The pre-season programme has been meticulously planned, and we intend to execute that plan to ensure we are firing on all cylinders come the start of the season.

What is the eventual aim for Holyhead Town? How high do you aspire to go in the Welsh pyramid?

The aim is simple – get this great club back to the very top of Welsh football.

The infrastructure is in place, a great ambitious board, superb sponsors and of course an already wonderful fan base – there is nothing to suggest this isn’t possible.

Where will you be playing your football next season? Are there any plans to move grounds?

Millbank – no intentions to move ground. It’s a superb facility and the club will continue to invest to make sure we are not left behind facility wise.

Is it tough getting together a strong side in Holyhead when you are competing against the likes of Hotspur and Caergybi for players?

It’s silly season at the moment. Clubs are all chasing players of the same profile.

However, we have a superb set of talented players, most of whom have committed to next season, and we are working hard on bringing in more talent.


Training starts with the new management team on Wednesday, June 19 at 6pm at Millbank. New and old faces welcome.
July 6: Nantlle Vale (h – 2.30pm)
July 13: FC Queen’s Park (h – 2.30pm)
July 20: St Asaph City (a – 2.30pm)
July 23: Gwalchmai (a – 6.30pm)
July 26: Valley (a – 6.30pm)
Aug 3: Nefyn United (a – 6.30pm)

Current players re-signed

Tom Roberts, Luke Roberts, Asa Thomas, Ry Lees, Tristan Hughes, Gary Jo Owen, Jordie Lee, Jordie Murphy, Dale Murphy, Leeroy Parry, Marc Thomas.

Reserves team

Holyhead Town have applied for a reserve team to be accepted into the Anglesey League next season and hope this will be rubber-stamped at the league’s AGM.

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