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Managers’ All-Time North Wales XI’s: Carl Thomas (Bethesda Athletic)

Carl Thomas (blue) in action for Bethesda Athletic

Former Bethesda Athletic assistant-manager Carl Thomas is the latest to select his All-Time North Wales football XI.

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

Carl was a key defender in Bethesda’s Welsh Alliance League title-winning sides of 2007-08 and 2008-09.

That 2008-09 team is regarded as one of the greatest ever to win the Welsh Alliance, taking the championship by the biggest margin in the league’s history (19 points) and scoring the most-ever goals (146). Carl contributed 13 goals himself from defence.

The rock-solid defender went on to represent Pesda in the Cymru Alliance and over the years played for other local teams including Glantraeth.

He is also a cricketer of much ability, formerly opening the bowling for Menai Bridge in the North Wales League Premier Division.

On revealing his all-star team, Carl said: “The majority of the players I’ve picked, I played alongside, but there’s a few I didn’t as well.”

Carl Thomas’s All-Time North Wales XI

GOALKEEPER

Stephen Thomas (Glantraeth)

Glantraeth celebrate winning the 2005/06 Cymru Alliance double

Brilliant goalkeeper, commanded his box and made important saves. Was unlucky with injuries

RIGHT BACK

Grahame Austin (Llangefni Town/Caernarfon Town)

Although he’s left footed I’ve had to fit him in my team. Admired his ability at centre back, not been many better locally.

LEFT BACK

James Carberry (Bangor City)

Jimmy Carberry. Pic: Mike Smith, Citizens Choice website

The best left back I’ve seen in Welsh football, great delivery of the ball and also chipped in with goals.

CENTRE BACK

Harry Wiggins (Bangor City)

Harry Wiggins. Pic: Mike Smith, Citizens Choice website

Brilliant player, always looked like he had plenty of time on the ball. Read the game brilliantly and was very tough.

CENTRE BACK

Warren Gibbs (Glantraeth)

Warren Gibbs

He’s done it all in local football. Great centre half, unbeatable in the air and good on the floor for a big lad.

MIDFIELD

Nigel Barry (Glantraeth – captain)

Nigel Barry. Picture courtesy of Bangor 1876

He was a box to box intelligent midfield player and had plenty of composure on the ball. A leader on the pitch.

MIDFIELD

Rob Gobs Williams (Glantraeth)

Underrated player, would walk in any team in my opinion. Two-footed with the best football brain I’ve played alongside.

MIDFIELD

Mark Thomas (Glantraeth)

Mark in his role as manager of Llangoed. Picture: Richard Gregson

My brother was a terrific midfield player in his prime. Played around 100 games in Welsh Premier, Bangor City, Rhayader, Caernarfon Town and Porthmadog among his clubs. Major player with the Glantraeth Cymru Alliance double-winners of 2005-06. Now manager of young Llangoed side in the Gwynedd League. Mark was brilliant in the air and scored plenty of goals but had a mouth the size of Conwy tunnel!

STRIKER

Richard Owen (Glantraeth/Bethesda)

Carl Thomas (left) and Richard Owen celebrate winning some silverware during their time at Bethesda

I couldn’t leave Pigeon out. He worked hard off the ball and found a way to always score goals, great record. Netted 59 goals in all competitions in 2008-09 when Bethesda won the title. He only managed 47 the season before, though.

STRIKER

Les Davies (Bangor City)

Les Davies

Played a lot with Les. He’s the most complete footballer on the list, a winner on the pitch. Scored 128 Welsh Premier League goals – 15th on the all-time list.

WINGER

Lee Noble (Bangor City)

Lee Noble (right) in action for Bangor City. Pic: Mike Smith, Citizens Choice

Best left-sided player I’ve seen play in Welsh football. Ran at defenders at pace, had amazing close control and loved a goal.

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