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Managers’ All-Time North Wales Football XI’s: No 15 – Ricky Williams (Bodedern)

Ricky Williams (right) receives a Manager of the Month award from Welsh Alliance League official Alun Griffiths

Bodedern Athletic manager Ricky Williams selects his All-Time North Wales XI today.

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

Under Ricky’s leadership Bodedern have become one of the leading football clubs on Anglesey, having finished runners-up in Welsh Alliance League Division One last season.

Ricky said: “I haven’t picked any of my current players as it wouldn’t be fair. I’ve gone with players that I’ve managed a few years back and faced as a manager.”

Formation: 4-2-3-1

GOALKEEPER

Gareth O J Roberts

Gareth O J Roberts (seated) was an exceptional keeper

There is only one choice here and that’s Gaz O J Roberts. I used to watch him a youngster for a fair few years playing for Boded and he was top class.
He had everything you need to be a top keeper and his attitude was second to none to go with it, as I found out managing him at Boded at the tail end of his great career.
If it wasn’t for his loyalty to Boded he would have played in the League of Wales without doubt.

RIGHT-BACK

Tomos Jones

The ever consistent Tomos Jones

Another player I used to watch playing for Boded as a youngster before going on to manage him.
Tom was a class act…in his younger years he was a full-back who loved chipping in with goals, but as grew older he became a top class centre half – big, strong, great in the air and loved a tackle.
A winner and you need players like Tom in any team. Good friend of mine.

LEFT-BACK

Kenleigh Owen (KC)

Kenleigh Owen (blue and white) in action for Hotspur. Pic: Chris Howells

I remember KC getting released from Oldham and signing for Holyhead Hotspur. I went to watch him in a friendly and thought he should be nowhere near this standard; he was electric, had pace to burn, a lovely left peg and could score from anywhere as i found out managing against him for Boded.

CENTRE-BACK

Rich “Bach” Jones

Rich is talked about as being the best player to come from the island – and that’s a massive statement in itself.
He’s another I used to watch growing up playing for Boded and he was class, had everything you need.
He was solid, great on the ball and could read a game better than anyone. For a small lad he never used to lose a header either. I had the privilege of managing him for a season in my Sunday side and the goals he scored then were a joy to watch.

CENTRE-BACK

Tom Taylor

Tom Taylor (red) on the ball for Ynys Môn. Pic: Dai Sinclair

Tom has to be in the side, Big, strong, good in the air and loves a battle.
He’s someone I came across when I managed against him playing for Glantraeth and thought this guy has everything. He was a big part of Ynys Môn winning gold in the Inter-Island Games last summer.

CENTRE-MIDFIELD

James Harper

James is someone I came across three seasons back when my Boded side battled for the Welsh Alliance Division Two title with Prestatyn Sports.
He has everything needed to be a top CM and he can dominate games if you let him. A big influence in them pipping us for the league title.

CENTRE-MIDFIELD

Dion Donohue

Dion Donohue in his Caernarfon days. Picture: Paul Evans, CTFC media

Not much I can say on Dion that everyone doesn’t already know.
He’s a class act and always has been. Great on the ball, vision is second to none and has the best left peg I’ve ever seen and it’s no surprise to see him playing in the Football League.
Managed him at 16 years old in the Welsh Alliance and he won the league player of the year. Says it all really in his first season of men’s football.

CENTRE-MIDFIELD

Jay Gibbs

Ynys Môn’s Jay Gibbs (red) battles for possession. Picture: Dai Sinclair

I remember watching Jay playing in a friendly for Tranmere against Holyhead Hotspur as a 16 year old and he ran the show.
A superb midfielder that has it all, and a wand of a right foot to go with it. With a bit of luck would have played in the Football League no doubt.

ATTACKING-MIDFIELD

Gaz Wyn Roberts

Gaz Wyn Roberts (back row – fifth from left) lines up with Bodedern’s Welsh Alliance title-winning side of 2004/05. To Gaz’s immediate left is Gareth O J Roberts, who is Ricky Williams’ choice as goalkeeper in this team. Picture: Col Smith

Gaz was a magician for Boded over the years. I used to watch him growing up and he was sensational on his day and was a big part of Boded’s success under Kev Hughes.
Most definitely the most skillful player I’ve ever managed against or seen in local football.

STRIKER

Darren Thomas

Darren Thomas celebrates another goal for Caernarfon. Pic: Paul Evans, CTFC Media

The Cofi Messi needs no introduction either.
I remember seeing him playing against my Boded side a fair few years back now and thought how do you stop him?
He was class and had everything as the Welsh Prem know only too well these days. A top, top player.

STRIKER

Marc “Logs” Evans

I managed Logs as a 16 year old for Boded and he was the complete number 9.
He could get by players, his runs were intelligent and his finishing was the best I’d ever seen. I think he scored over 20 goals in the Cymru Alliance at the age of 16 and that says a lot.

MANAGERS

Kev Hughes and Bwj Hughes

Both from Boded and put me on the right path into management.

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