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Managers’ All-Time North Wales XI’s: Rhys Lane (Llandudno Athletic)

Llanrwst v Abergele Abergele No 7 Galvin Thomas

Leighton Griffiths (right – red) in action for Llanrwst United

Llandudno Athletic’s Rhys Lane is the latest manager to select his All-Time North Wales XI.

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

Rhys Lane celebrates cup glory with Llandudno Athletic

Rhys has been Athletic boss since the club formed in 2014. Last season was the team’s best yet, as they lifted the Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League President’s Cup and Premier Cup.

He said: “As a manager in the Vale of Clwyd and Conwy, and from watching the league in its former guise, I’ve picked a mix of players I’ve seen over the last 30 years, and I’ve decided to exclude my own players so I can’t be accused of bias.”

GOALKEEPER

Paul Whitfield (Llandudno Albion)

Paul Whitfield makes a save

Former Wrexham and Wales Under-21 keeper. Played against Paul back in the 1990s and he was head and shoulders above the rest of the keepers in the area. Usually needed something special to beat him. Great to see him still playing occasionally for Albion.

CENTRE BACK

Dave Williams (Llandudno Amateurs)

Dave Williams (Wills)

Dave’s a player I’ve long admired from his time with Llanfairfechan, a great example to younger players around him, calm and despite the lack of pace his positioning makes him a tough opponent.

CENTRE BACK

Joel Lloyd (Llandudno Albion)

Joel Lloyd and Jordan Kane (No 9)

Probably the most consistent performer I’ve seen locally over the last 5 to 6 years I’ve been running Athletic.
Albion’s “Skip” as their fans and players call him has often contributed vital goals for them (50 in five and a bit seasons) and has handled every step up the pyramid with relative ease.

CENTRE BACK

Dyfrig Howatson (Bro Cernyw)

Dyfrig Howatson. Pic: Dafydd Chilton

Possibly a surprise to most this one but anyone who faced Dyfrig during the 1990s will understand.
A giant of a man and strong as an ox, a leader on and off the field. Loved the physical side of the game and I don’t remember many getting the better of him. Also could play too.

LEFT WING

Jack Williams (Llandudno Albion)

Jack Williams (looking at camera)

A player we had at Athletic for three years and one who was always going to move on.
Unbelievably skillful and left many a defender on there bums over the years. Moved to Albion at the beginning of the season and took a little while to settle but soon showed why he’s a top player.

CENTRE MIDFIELD

Mike Williams (Llandudno Albion)

Mike Williams

The liar promised a hat trick every week – never delivered. Nicknamed The Jigsaw for going to bits in the box, but it can’t be denied that Mike’s one of the best CM’s in the area, comfortable in possession and a calming influence on a side. Sadly out of action following a serious injury; really hope he can get back on the pitch soon.

CENTRE MIDFIELD

Jordan Kane (ex-Llandudno Albion)

Over the last 6 years I’ve seen Jord play centre-back, left-back, centre midfield, left wing, centre forward and in goal and still he’s one of the best players on the pitch whatever position he’s playing. Has scored some great goals, 60 in his time with Albion. Works away from home now so not seen him play for a while but a very good player.

RIGHT WING

Matty Beach (Rhuddlan Town)

Matty Beach

Not really a right-winger but wanted him in the side. Quiet player but does his talking with a football. Rhuddlan really benefited re-signing him from Llandudno Amateurs this season and he’s been instrumental in them heading the Premier Division table. Technically very good player.

CENTRE MIDFIELD

Leighton Griffiths (Llanrwst United)

Leighton Griffiths (red)

A player who has been around for nearly 20 years; another who was head and shoulders above others in the area from a young age. I played college football for a short period with Leighton. Think he’s retired 2 or 3 times now but still can’t resist putting the boots on now and again. With a casual style of play, he can be underestimated. A great passer of the ball, can open up defence with ease at times and scores plenty of goals, especially from set pieces or penalty spot.

STRIKER

Euryn Williams (ex-Bro Cernyw)

The legendary Euryn Williams

With 683 goals in 16 years I just can’t leave this player out.
Not blisteringly quick but always found a yard to beat the defender and get his shot off and for a relatively short player he still managed a decent amount of headed goals.
Still see him on the sidelines supporting the current Bro Cernyw side; should have been given a crack at a higher level. I am certain he would easily have been at home further up the pyramid.

STRIKER

Dave Maddock (Llandudno Albion)

Frightens the life out of defenders; strong, quick aggressive and Albion’s all-time top scorer – little wonder why. More than 80 goals for the club to his name now. Even in games where he’s not having the best of times never take him lightly as he will drill one in from 30 yards out of nothing.

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