Countdown to 2019-20: Gwynedd League
Bangor 1876 celebrate a goal against Greenfield in a pre-season friendly. Picture: Kevin Owen

Perhaps the entry of newly-formed Bangor 1876 into the Gwynedd League this season could work for the other clubs rather than against them.

For while 1876 look to have enough quality in abundance to storm to the league title, the fact so much attention will be on them will take focus off their opponents. Sometimes things like that can work in your favour.

Most of the 1876 squad have played at a considerably higher level than Gwynedd League, some in the Welsh Premier and Europe, so on that basis they must rank as title favourites.

Les Davies, Michael Johnston, Jamie Petrie, Dylan Summers-Jones, Benn Lundstram….all make for a potentially lethal cocktail of experience and youth.

Bangor 1876 have beaten every North Wales team faced in pre-season, all of their opposition playing in a league or two above.

Mel Jones’ men certainly look like the team to beat and are one of my more obvious tips to finish champions.

Of the rest, newcomers Caergybi and Trearddur Bay Bulls (formerly Bryngwran Bulls) are capable of making an impact having risen from the Anglesey League.

Caergybi have last season’s 72-goal star James Ryan in their ranks, while the Bulls may have lost 2018-19 top marksman Craig Moore, but the likes of Tom Hadley and Dave Webb are top standard new faces.

Reigning champions Menai Bridge Tigers have lost last season’s leading hitman Dean Redmond, but manager Aaron Rowlands has done well to keep many of the 2018-19 squad together, as well as make some class additions.

Bro Goronwy have lost nine of last season’s NWCFA Junior Cup winning squad and will be heavily reliant on their promising youngsters.

They include: Aaron Heald, 17 year old son of goalkeeper Ben Heald, who can play anywhere in the back-line or centre midfield, Rob Tiesteel, 21, who over the past couple of seasons has taken more command at centre half and is now club captain and Jac Thomas, 19, who already has been scoring goals for fun at Bro since turning 16, but now is starting to trouble defenders with more of his physical presence as well as finishing with ease.

Making things tougher for Gwynedd League clubs this season is the new forced transfer window which could scupper future signing plans for many.

The move has been introduced as Bangor 1876 have signed players on contract, thus, it has been said, making the league a ‘professional’ one.

Nefyn United have been looking impressive in pre-season, and with the goals of player-manager Carl Jones and Dylan Sion Jones on offer, could prove quite a force.

The rest? One or two definitely have the potential to emerge from the pack and make their mark, but it might take a few rounds of games before these teams emerge.

Opening fixtures – Saturday, August 10

Bro Goronwy v Llanystumdwy, Glantraeth v Trearddur Bay Bulls, Llangoed v Caergybi, Menai Bridge Tigers v Waunfawr, Nefyn United v Bethesda Athletic, Ogwen Tigers v Bangor 1876.

GWYNEDD LEAGUE (15 teams)
Bangor 1876
Bethesda Athletic
Bontnewydd
Bro Goronwy
Caergybi
Glantraeth
Llangoed
Llannerchymedd
Llanystumdwy
Menai Bridge Tigers
Ogwen Tigers
Nefyn United
Talysarn Celts
Trearddur Bay Bulls
Waunfawr

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