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My All-Time North Wales XI: Richard Williams-Cooke

Warren Duckett is very highly rated by Richard Williams-Cooke

Former Denbigh Town chief Richard Williams-Cooke is the latest manager to choose his All-Time North Wales XI.

Players can be from any era. Managers can choose players they worshiped as a kid, played alongside, played against, managed or managed against.

Richard Williams-Cooke in action for Newtown. Pic: www-welsh.premier.com

Richard’s most recent appointment was with the management team of Rhyl FC, but he previously led Denbigh to the Welsh Alliance League title in a remarkable unbeaten 2013-14 campaign.

As a player, he had a great Cymru Alliance career with Ruthin Town, Bala Town and Denbigh Town and gained Welsh Premier experience with Newtown.

The complete list of clubs he played for are: Denbigh, Ruthin, Flint, Bala and Cefn Druids.

He then managed Chirk AAA, Denbigh and Rhyl.

Richard finished playing at just 30 through a cartilage injury

He said: “I have decided to base this on players that I played with in Saturday football over the years to narrow the choice down a bit! I could have been there all night doing this and it brought back great memories from my playing days.”

Richard Williams-Cooke’s All-Time North Wales XI

Joint managers (they are both good friends luckily so it would work)

Colin Caton

Colin Caton

Played for Colin at Bala the year we won the Cymru Alliance (2008-09) but I grew up and watched him play a few times and he was one of best centre halves I have seen. Very knowledgeable football man and it’s no surprise to see him doing so well with Bala over the years. He was tough but fair and got his message across brilliantly.

Tim Dyer

Played for Tim for about 5 years in total I think, firstly at Ruthin in the CA then for Denbigh where we won the Welsh Alliance and Cookson Cup in 2006. Did so much for me in football and even more away from the pitch and went on to become a really good mate. We clashed occasionally, I remember one half time where some balls and a couple of drinks were thrown at each other. However, he knew how to get the best out of me and often did.

Formation – 3-4-3

GOALKEEPER

Chris Mullock

Chris Mullock celebrates a remarkable goal he once scored from deep in his own half at Aberystwyth. Picture: ATFC

Played with Chris at Cefn Druids and he was a really good all round keeper. Great shot stopper, commanded the box well and was so accurate with his kicking. It was a good job really as I played up front and he used to hit me consistently so I didn’t have to run far!

DEFENDERS

Danny Jellicoe

Danny Jellicoe in his Connah’s Quay Nomads days. Picture: Connah’s Quay Nomads FC

Was alongside Danny as a player at Denbigh, Ruthin and then again at Newtown (not a bad car share – me, him and Tommy Mutton travelling to Newtown). Danny was a monster in the air, brave and one of the best tacklers I ever played with. A great leader and made several appearances in the Welsh Premier for Caernarfon, Connah’s Quay, Newtown and Bala. He also had a spell at Hednesford Town

Max Peate

Played with Max at Cefn Druids; he was my captain in the invincible Denbigh Town team that won Welsh Alliance in 2013/2014 and then I managed him at Rhyl. Max was very dominant in the air, a clever defender and a great character to have in the dressing room.

Kevin Scott

Was with Scotty at Newtown. He had a very sweet left foot, was a dead ball specialist and had an unbelievable throw. I think the throw in took away how good a player he was and he had a very successful career in the Welsh Premier notably at Bangor City. Also part of the car share when he turned up!

MIDFIELDERS

Steve Thomas

I was a player with Steve at Flint Town but only briefly as it was in the days when you could dual register. He was only a young kid then probably about 17 but you could see the talent even then. Sweet left foot, pace, strength and one of the best engines I have seen on a player. Loyalty probably stopped him from making hundreds of Welsh Premier appearances although he did play for Llandudno recently and I also managed him at Rhyl.

Craig Wilkinson

Played with Wilko at Ruthin Town in the CA. He came into the team as a 16 year old and lit the CA up and wasn’t there long before Druids signed him, then Preston snapped him up. He used to glide past players as if they weren’t there and had an unreal football brain.

Warren Duckett

Woz was a player at Cefn Druids and Bala same time as me and I managed him at Denbigh Town. The absolute dream midfielder as he could do anything. Deceptively strong, ridiculous feet, an absolute winner and when you needed him to dig deep he would be the first one to dig in.

Owain Roberts

I played youth footy with Yogs since a young age with Denbigh, Ruthin and Bala. The most under-rated I have ever played with and could and would play anywhere. A fantastic footballer and one of my dad’s favourite ever players in the years he has watched me – as he would say and 8 out of 10 every week!

STRIKERS

Tommy Mutton

Tommy Mutton playing for Nomads. Picture: Connah’s Quay Nomads FC

Tommy was two years older than me in school but I played with him at Denbigh and Newtown. The most exciting player I have ever played with and an even better character which is why he signed a pro at Burnley. His goals record was ridiculous at any level and saw him score every goal possible. Went on to Swansea City eventually and with more luck could have had a long pro career.

Marc Lloyd-Williams

Marc Lloyd Williams lets fly for Newtown

Doesn’t need much introduction does he? I played half a season with Jiws at Newtown in 2007 and he is the best finisher I have ever seen hands down. Right place at the right time. He was at the back end of his career but banged in 20 goals before Christmas for us then moved on to Rhyl.

Leon Gierke

Leon Gierke shields the ball for Llansannan (orange shirt)

Same age as me and was prolific in youth football which led to him signing for Burnley. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for him but he was a brilliant player. Fast, strong as an ox and would score with either foot. Still rattling the goals in at 40 now for Llansannan.

SUBS

Stuart Vernon: very clever footballer if managed well

Llion Roberts: old school centre half from Bala

Geth Lloyd: great player and a nasty streak

Andrew Swarbrick: on his day he was unplayable

Calvin Davies: pace, power and lethal in front of goal

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