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All-Time Managers’ North Wales Football XI’s: Darren Garmey (Holyhead Hotspur)

Darren Garmey (centre) with Nick Dumbarton (left) and Mike Taylor of Holyhead Hotspur

Darren Garmey of Holyhead Hotspur is the latest manager to choose his North Wales All-Time XI.

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

Darren took over as first-team manager following the departure of Campbell Harrison at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

Previously a long serving player at the club, Darren is a UEFA B licence coach and is also renowned for his work with youth teams.

He said: “I have picked my side without including any of my current players (but there would most definitely be a few of them in my team otherwise). Instead I have picked it from players I have played alongside and against over the years. It was far from easy but it was nice to feel that managerial headache again after so long away from football!”

This is No 14 in this series of features already! Time really does fly when you are having fun.

Formation – 4-3-3

Paul Pritchard

A very good friend, and an even better goalkeeper for almost two decades now. We have played together many times but started out playing for Gwelfor Athletic in the Anglesey League while still U16s and since then Pritch has gone on to play for the biggest and best clubs in Wales as well and being a regular for the Ynys Mon team.

Lee Webber

Lee Webber won the Welsh Cup with Bangor City in 2007/08. Picture: Mike Smith, Citizens Choice website

Campbell managed to sign Lee the season after he had lifted the Welsh Cup for Bangor City. It was a massive coup for us at the time and his quality, experience and respect he commanded took us to the next level and we were very unlucky not to finish the season as 2008/09 Cymru Alliance champions, just missing out to Bala Town.

Tom Nathan Edwards

Tom Nathan lifts the Welsh Alliance league title trophy with Hotspur back in 2011/12

Tom was as reliable as they came and one of the best competitors I’ve ever seen. He could play any position on the left side and never gave less than 110%. He had so much to his game, he was great aerially, he had pace, he could tackle and had a sweet left foot. Unfortunately he was hampered by knee injuries but that did not stop him and he played through the pain during the 2011/12 season and won the treble.

Grahame Austin

In my opinion one of the best players of the Cymru Alliance era. Played against him so many times over the years and I don’t think he ever had a bad game! He was the leader of both the Llangefni and Caernarfon sides that had so much success over the years, and I always felt the ability to consistently perform to the level he did was so impressive. He also scored a lot of important goals and always gave everything on the pitch.

Simon Flower

I played alongside him briefly towards the end of his career. I was 18/19 years old and he came across to me like a man among men. Physically dominant, a fantastic talker and so much football intelligence. He played for many of the top clubs and is well respected on the Island and even after playing alongside him for a short time I can see why.

Chris Saxon

Chris Saxon. Picture: Llangefni Town FC

Another tough competitor! Played for us on a couple of occasions and a player I would much rather have playing on my side and not against. I don’t think I saw him lose an aerial challenge or a tackle for about two seasons and that is no exaggeration. Another player haunted with injuries but on his day he was unplayable and always posed a threat in the opposition box.

Nigel Barry

Probably the most complete midfielder I ever played against. I remember I was just breaking into the first team and one of the older players said to me as we walked out that I will find out just how good I was after playing against Nige for 90 minutes as he was the benchmark for all midfielders. I never got anywhere near him that day and I probably still wouldn’t to this day! Such a great player who could do everything and a gentleman too.

Warren Duckett

Always a tough afternoon ahead when he was playing. Played against him when he played for Lex XI, Bala and then he played against our sides for Denbigh more recently. Another top midfielder who for many years consistently played well against us and had everything in his game. He was physical, could run box to box all afternoon and was clinical in front of goal.

Shaun Beck

Shaun Beck. Picture: Flint Town United FC

In my opinion the best striker the Cymru Alliance has seen. He is similar age to me so I have faced him and also watched on as he scored goals for fun over the years justifying his place as a Flint Town legend. Another player that I haven’t always enjoyed facing on the pitch but a top guy nevertheless.

Gerallt ‘Gerry’ Jones

Gerallt Jones. Picture: Llangefni Town FC

Gerry was a fantastic player for Llangefni, Glantraeth and more recently Gwalchmai. Another player who very rarely had and off day against us and became a bit of a nemesis for us at Holyhead. A very clever player, super fit with a great touch and an eye for goal. I had many frustrating afternoons chasing him around the pitch.

Ady Owen

The most talented player I’ve seen outside the professional game. Ady could score any type of goal imaginable and was would back himself in any situation on the pitch. It sounds crazy but he would almost effortlessly score 20/25 goals a season for us and we were a bottom half Cymru Alliance side. He made himself a hero in Holyhead being the first Welsh player to score a hat-trick against England in the Victory Shield live on TV. A player that could and should have gone on to have a football league career

Campbell Harrison (Manager)

Island Games gold medal winning manager! Campbell was a breath of fresh air when he took over Hotspur in 2006. He brought with him structure, organisation and a clear way of playing that almost got us to the Welsh Prem in 2009.

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