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Managers All-Time North Wales XI’s – Sean Eardley (Caernarfon Town)

Sean Eardley (left) meets members of the Gwynedd and Anglesey Netball League with club captain Nathan Craig (far right). Picture: Paul Evans CTFC media

Sean Eardley is one of North Wales football’s most dynamic young managers.

Brother of Wales international Neal, Llandudno lad Sean started out at Oldham Athletic, progressing through the Welsh Youth ranks and was destined to become a professional footballer.

Health issues ended his hopes of a pro career and he began a long spell playing for hometown club Llandudno.

Sean then moved out to play in Australia where his medical problems took their toll, and this resulted in him having to prematurely end his playing days.

He went straight into coaching, having a spell as assistant-manager to Alan Morgan at Llandudno before becoming number two to Iwan Williams at Caernarfon Town in May 2017.

In November of the following season, Sean became Caernarfon manager after Williams took over at Llandudno.

The Canaries did not lose another league game as Sean led them to the Cymru Alliance title and a return to the Welsh Premier after a 10-year absence.

In their first two seasons back in the WPL, the Cofis have twice achieved top six finishes.

Today Grassroots North Wales is honoured to have Sean Eardley choose his All-Time North Wales XI.

He said: “This was a very difficult task, but I think this team would compete.”

Formation – 4-3-3

Goalkeeper

Wayne Hennessey

Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey (Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Played with Wayne in the Welsh Under 16 and 17 squads. He scored an equaliser from the halfway line in a qualifier against Turkey which looked completely effortless. His distribution was as good then as it is now and he’s obviously gone on to play in the Premier League and become a full Welsh international.

Right Back

Neal Eardley

Lincoln City’s Neal Eardley during the Sky Bet League One match against Gillingham at LNER Stadium on February 22, 2020. (Photo by Chris Vaughan – CameraSport via Getty Images)

The year I had to give up playing professionally in 2006, Neal made his debut for Oldham against Scunthorpe last game of the season against past Everton legend Peter Beagrie and got man of the match! He became professional at Oldham the following season and has had a fantastic career since, I was lucky enough to share the pitch with him in the Oldham youth team and makes me a proud big brother to this day!

Centre Back

Michael Johnston

Michael Johnston has always been a class defender

We were apprentice footballers at Oldham Athletic and Tranmere Rovers respectively and we had some great battles. Through a family member he qualified to represent Wales and I played with him in the Under 16 Victory Shield side and Under 17 team. A winner, leader, loved a tackle and good in the air. He was quick off the mark too, which baffled me as he had the biggest backside of a centre half – he won’t mind me saying that!

Centre Back

Neil Coverley

Played with Neil at Llandudno, became a great team-mate and friends to this day. A fantastic communicator backed up with a great football education at Crewe, a funny character to have around the place too, you had to be on your guard! Great to see the work him, Hoggy and Mark Orme are doing at Colwyn Bay.

Left Back

Chris Williams

Played against Chris many times when he was at Llangefni and I was at Llandudno. I then managed him when taking over at Caernarfon. Mr Consistent and a pleasure to work with. I did my utmost to get one more season out of him but couldn’t convince him sadly. A great left foot and a great lad off the field too.

Central Midfield

Danny Hughes

Jags pips it for the amount of games I played with him, shared a couple of weddings and stag do’s too!
When I began playing at Llandudno he was another youngster there and simply went from strength to strength season in and season out. He played every position bar GK I think and led the team wherever he played, scored a fair share of tap ins too!
When I was told I had to stop playing completely, Jags sent me his goal against Airbus when playing for Rhyl to cheer me up with a wink emoji, certainly raised a smile. Great lad too.

Central Midfield

Leo Smith

Leo Smith (right) with Sean Eardley

I’ve worked with Leo just over a year now, and he’s certainly a special talent. He looks after himself off the pitch and strives to do everything to the best of his ability every week. Can certainly get back into the professional game in my opinion, but for now he’s going nowhere!

Central Midfield

Ryan Williams

Technically one of the best players I’ve played with, could use both feet and was unbelievably agile. Played international Futsal for England at the time he was with us. Fantastic lad off the field too and keep in touch when we can.

Right-Side

Gaz Evans

One of my best mates off the field and a fantastic domestic senior career to date. He came to Llandudno from Tier 3/4 and worked his way into the first team from the reserves. He then went on to sign for Colwyn Bay where he had a few promotions. We got promoted with Llandudno and promoted with Caernarfon and have shared many good times in the football circle.

Left-Side

Darren Thomas

A fantastic, consistent performer for many years now. I played against Darren for many years when he was at Llangefni and he certainly brought the best out of me. We have a bit of banter now that I subbed him a few times, but he ended up with the league title so can’t really come back from that. Made up he got the Wales C call up and certainly hope after this pandemic he can fulfill this, great player.

Centre Forward

Lee Thomas

Lee Thomas (right) celebrates a return to Llandudno. Picture: Llandudno FC

Raw talent who made me feel welcome at Llandudno when I first signed and knew where the goal was. Wouldn’t stop running during games and was a nightmare for defenders. Also the scorer of the best goal I’ve seen domestically against Bangor City in the North Wales Coast Cup.

Honorary mentions:

Gaz Edwards: Played against Gazza many years ago for Llandudno against Buckley. Leader on the pitch and great lad off it.
Tom Dix: Loved a tackle, fantastic captain and good friend
Mike Pearson: Great career, followed him all over the UK, biggest forehead in North Wales
Craig Hogg: Great captain to play alongside, fantastic talker, helped me a lot.
Chris Boulton: Played together at Llandudno, old-fashioned No 9 scored goals and good in the air. Great lad, not bad for a Utd fan!

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