We tried a Dave XI and a Jones XI – now for a Williams XI.
This team, featuring what we consider the best players with the surname Williams to appear in the Welsh Premier since the league’s birth in 1992-93, is pretty awesome – especially in the strikers department.
Goalkeeper and penalty-taker extraordinare who made a major impact on the League of Wales.
Took over as player-manager at Rhyl in 2000-01 when the Lilywhites were struggling and turned things around, leading the team to seventh place that season (but just four points off third place).
The following season he was replaced at Belle Vue by John Hulse, who often praises Williams for the ground work he did in instigating the most successful period in the club’s LoW history.
Williams won a WPL championship medal with TNS and also represented Bangor City, playing against Haka in the 1998-99 Cup Winners’ Cup, Conwy United, Flint Town United, Connah’s Quay Nomads and Newtown in the top flight.
His long career also included spells at Colwyn Bay, Birmingham City, Afan Lido, Goytre United, Kidderminster Harriers and Holywell Town.
Was a key defender for Llandudno in their first three campaigns in the Welsh Premier, representing the club in Europe.
Former Wales international at under-19, under-21 and semi-pro level, Mike spent five years at Wrexham between 2005-10, making almost 130 appearances in all competitions for the Dragons.
He later had a stint with Conference side Kidderminster Harriers before helping Altrincham win promotion to the Conference in 2013/14.
Was forced to retire in November 2014 with hip problems, but made a successful comeback with Llandudno, playing alongside brother Marc, and turned out for Flint Town United and Bangor City before joining Colwyn Bay this season.
Craig T Williams (Newtown)
In his 16th season in the Welsh Premier with more than 400 appearances to his name.
A versatile defender with superb attacking skills and a specialist in dead-ball situations, the 32-year-old has played in more WPL matches for Newtown than anyone else.
Williams was part of the Robins squad that reached the UEFA Europa League qualifying stages in the summer of 2015. He is also club captain and head of coaching at Latham Park.
Joe Williams (Caernarfon Town)
Impressive right-back who has been a really steady performer for Caernarfon in their two seasons back in the Welsh Premier League.
Williams signed for Town from Llandudno and was a key member of the Canaries 2017-18 Cymru Alliance title-winning squad.
Other former clubs include Conwy Borough and Glan Conwy.
Centre-back who played in more than 250 Welsh Premier games across spells with Porthmadog, Caernarfon Town and Bangor City.
Began his career with Tranmere Rovers before going on to play 10 seasons in the League of Wales, where his whole-hearted displays made him a fans’ favourite wherever he performed.
Emrys won the Welsh Cup with Bangor City in 2000 and represented the club in Europe.
He is also currently Caernarfon Town’s leading appearance-maker in the League of Wales (160).
Was part of a star-studded Rhyl squad which won the Welsh Premier title in 2008-09 and later spent three seasons with Bala Town.
Composed, compact midfielder who started his career at Liverpool and was capped by Wales at Under-21 level before a move to Wrexham, where between 1999-2001 he made 40 first team appearances.
Released to join Kidderminster Harriers, he returned to The Racecourse when his contract expired and played in another 126 games for Wrexham between 2004-08. Career also included short spells at Chester City (loan), Bristol Rovers and Doncaster (loan).
Another Craig Williams – and a very good one.
Played in more than 300 WPL matches across five clubs, notching 71 goals.
This attacking midfielder turned out for Carmarthen in 2002-03 and had trials for Southampton before playing at Taffs Well and following manager Nick Tucker to Llanelli.
Became one of the club’s full-time players in 2005 and won a Welsh Premier title medal in 2007/08 before a transfer to The New Saints in September 2008.
After failing to hold down a first-team place at Park Hall, he returned to Llanelli on-loan in January 2011 and was released by TNS in May 2011.
Returned to Llanelli but, after the demise of the Reds, arrived at Aberystwyth Town in June 2013. Spent three seasons at Park Avenue, reaching the 2013-14 Welsh Cup final, before joining Newtown in June 2016.
Moved to Penrhyncoch in 2018-19.
Brother of defender Mike, Marc was a star performer in Llandudno’s first three seasons in the Welsh Premier.
The 31-year-old attacking midfielder/striker is Tudno’s record marksman in the WPL, having netted 27 goals in 80 starts.
Williams joined the Seasiders ahead of the club’s debut 2015/16 term in the WPL and scored 16 times in 32 appearances. He was named WPL Player of the Season as Llandudno finished third and qualified for Europe at the first attempt.
He left Maesdu Park at the end of 2017-18 and after a stint with Bangor City returned to the WPL in January 2019 with Aberystwyth Town.
A Wales Under-21 international, Williams made 40 Football League appearances for Wrexham.
After scoring 17 goals from a total of 80 appearances for the Dragons, he switched to Kidderminster Harriers on a permanent deal after a loan spell before the start of the 2011/12 season.
He then joined Chester, where he helped win promotion in 2013, following a short spell at Northwich Victoria.
Williams signed for Colwyn Bay in October 2013 and moved to Llandudno in June 2015.
Marc has played for Wales at under-17, U-19, U-21 and semi-pro level.
Marc Lloyd Williams
Who else but the Welsh Premier’s all-time record scorer?
Lloyd Williams bagged 319 league goals in 468 appearances in a remarkable top-flight adventure. It is a total which may never be surpassed.
It all began at Porthmadog back in 1992 but MLW became famous throughout Europe in the blue shirt of Bangor when his 47 goals in the 2001/02 season made him top goalscorer on the continent.
“Jiws” bagged 29 hat-tricks during his WPL career and also won the title twice, with The New Saints and Bangor City, before retiring in 2010.
His WPL appearances/league goals stats read:
Porthmadog 108 – 52
Bangor City 189 – 149 (club record)
Aberystwyth 32 – 18
TNS 67 – 60
Newtown 24 – 17
Rhyl 13 – 7
Airbus 34 – 16
He also had spells in the English pyramid with Stockport County, York City, Halifax Town, Southport, Colwyn Bay, as well as Haugesund of Norway.
In his later playing days he turned out for home village Llanberis.
He now works in sports journalism and broadcasting and manages the Welsh Colleges side.
When it comes to ratio of appearances:goals no-one gets close to matching this Welsh Premier all-time great.
He started his career in the league with Caernarfon Town, where he scored 63 goals in 75 games across 1995/96 and 1996/97.
After coming within a point of firing Caernarfon to a European place in 1997, he moved to Barry Town and set a record that stills stands for the largest fee for a player between two clubs in the league.
Barry won the league championship in 1998 without losing a game, as Eifion scored 40 goals to win the Golden Boot.
The following season, he won another Golden Boot and another championship, giving him a total of 68 goals in 60 games for Barry.
WPL record: 135 games, 131 goals.
He went on to play for Torquay, Hartlepool and Wrexham in the Football League.
Torquay paid £70,000 for his services and Hartlepool coughed up £30,000 to sign him from the Gulls.
Williams scored 24 times in 107 appearances for Torquay and netted 50 in 208 outings for Pooler.
He also won one Wales B cap.
Denbigh lad and Wales Under-21 international who signed professional terms for Manchester United as a 16-year-old.
Spent five years at Old Trafford without ever breaking into the first team and moved on to Notts County, where he made 26 appearances, Tamworth and Burton Albion before joining Rhyl in July 2008.
In his first season with the Lilywhites, he won the Welsh Premier title, scoring 13 goals, and was top marksman at Belle Vue the following campaign with 20, but unfortunately Rhyl were demoted on licensing grounds.
He left to join The New Saints in June 2010 and again topped the goal charts but never reached those heights again despite winning trophies and some fine showings in Europe and left Park Hall after six years in August 2016.
Matty switched to Gap Connah’s Quay before being appointed assistant-manager of Llandudno in November 2017. He joined Newtown in December 2019.