Words and pictures: Jonathan Ervine
Five Bangor 1876 players are to become coaches at the club’s new development centre.
Director of football Iwan Williams will soon be welcoming Les Davies, Cameron Barry, Ben Owen, Cian Williams and Dylan WIlliams to his coaching team.
Iwan said: “It’s great to have so much interest from the first team squad as it shows that we’re all pulling in the same direction.
“Having some of the first team players as coaches exemplifies the pathway that we want to follow for developing young players in the Bangor area and strengthens our message that we are a community club with big ambitions.”
The players themselves are looking forward to getting involved.
Les Davies said: “The fans have been a big part of my career and it would be nice to give something back to the people who have supported me for many years.”
He also talked of his desire to benefit from Iwan Williams’ coaching experience as he seeks to “hopefully become a good coach in the future”.
Cameron Barry said having enjoyed being an academy player for five years motivated him to get involved, and that he “can’t wait to help give young players from Bangor the same experience”.
Cian Williams added: “Growing up, football was something I always looked forward to every week, whether it was training during the week or a game at the weekend.”
The creation of the development centre has been described as a “great idea that shows the ambition and direction of the club” by midfielder Ben Owen.
He added he has “enjoyed every second of the season with the first team” and is pleased to have the opportunity to “help in any way with the development centre”.
Fellow midfielder Dylan Williams describes himself as “a Bangor lad who is obsessed with playing, watching and discussing football”. He added: “I look forward to passing on my knowledge and experience of the game to the young and upcoming Bangor 1876 players in the development centre.”
Iwan Williams is keen to ensure the development centre will strengthen Bangor 1876 in the short, medium and long term. He has described the project as “something we want to be able to look back on with pride in five years time, and added: “It is important to ensure there is a pathway from the youngest age group right through the first team.”
The way in which the Bangor 1876 squad has taken shape this season gives Iwan confidence that the development centre will fit in neatly with the overall structure of the football club.
He said: “Our first team coaches Mel and Dylan have already shown that they have faith in local young players by providing them with numerous opportunities. The plan is to build a development centre that will become an academy when the time is right.”