Mark Thomas, known popularly as Cabbage, is manager of a highly-promising young Llangoed side beginning to make its mark in the Gwynedd League.
Mark had an illustrious career as a player before moving into management.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your football background
I’m married, 42, family of four, live in Bangor and work in 2 Sisters, Llangefni.
I started playing aged six for Maes-y-Bryn through to under 16s. From there I signed for Bangor City Reserves and also joined Trearddur Bay as you could sign for two clubs back then. Following season was at Llangoed.
At 18, while in the reserves, I made my full debut for Bangor City in the League of Wales with the likes of Marc Lloyd Williams (Jiws), Steve Cooper – now Swansea City manager, Paul Roberts and Aled Rowlands
I then joined Mid-Wales club Rhayader following Meirion Appleton’s appointment as manager of Bangor. After one season at Rhayader, I joined Cemaes Bay under Paul Whelan, then followed him to Glantraeth.
Later I played in the League of Wales for Caernarfon Town and Porthmadog.
Due to family and work commitments I went to Bethesda and finished at Llangoed. Last year I also helped coach at Cefni FC.
How do you feel this season is going for Llangoed FC?
Okay. We’re in all cups. Llangoed were languishing in the Gwynedd League bottom three, but now we’re top six.
Best performance by Llangoed so far this season?
Drawing 4-4 v Nefyn in terrible conditions. Nobody gave us a chance.
And the worst display so far?
A 2-0 loss at Menai Bridge – we didn’t turn up.
How are your new signings settling in?
They’ve fitted in well. Special mention to Kieron Murphy and Tom Zalot, doing everything I’ve signed them for.
How high do you think Llangoed can finish in the Gwynedd League this season?
I’ll be disappointed if we’re not in the top 4 end of season even though we’ve played more games than everyone.
How do you feel about your NWCFA Junior Cup quarter-final draw – Abergele away
Don’t know anything about them but that’s how I work every game; not bothered about opposition just worry about ourselves. I would say Abergele must be okay to be in the quarter-finals.
Does the club get good support from the community of Llangoed?
Not the best support as Llangoed haven’t really kicked on after winning league and cups in past.
Basically we need to sell it to them and hopefully I can be an influence to Llangoed (special mention: Dewi, Rhiannon, Owen “Spo”, Richard Gregson – club wouldn’t be here without them).
What has been the personal biggest highlight in your football career to date?
Winning Cymru Alliance league and cup double with Glantraeth 2005/06 – first team ever to do it in that league, and cleaning up in the presentation night – top scorer from midfield, players’ player, managers’ player and committee’s player of the season.
Team highlight was Glantraeth beating Bangor City in Welsh Cup at Farrar Road (Oct 4, 2003), competing against Owain Tudur Jones in midfield with Glantraeth team fielding local Bangor-born players throughout. We won on pens after a 0-0 draw.
Do you have any managerial role models? What is your managerial style – shouter or silent but strong?
Paul Whelan, I’m quite vocal but fair – I manage the way I played.
What are your plans for the future of Llangoed FC?
Take Llangoed as far as they can go by playing good football. With four 16-year-olds playing week in week out and team with an average age of 19, we’ve got a great future. They will learn more off me than they know.