Here’s part two of Grassroots North Wales’ name association article.
When a North Wales football club is mentioned, who is the first player/person you think of?
(there’s no right or wrong answer – it’s just the first person who comes into your head)
On Friday, I covered the Cymru Premier, Cymru North and Welsh Alliance Division One.
Today, it’s Welsh Alliance Division Two, Welsh National League Premier Division, Gwynedd League, Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League, North East Wales League and Anglesey League.
These are just my personal instant selections.
Welsh Alliance Division Two
Y Felinheli: Islwyn Owen – first saw him shine as a keeper in the Welsh Alliance in the mid-1990s. Phenomenal shot-stopper, later joined management team.
Penmaenmawr Phoenix: Paul Cassidy – stunning talent who would not have been out of place in the Welsh Premier at his peak.
Gaerwen: Howyn Roberts – former chairman, first person I really knew connected with the club.
Llannefydd: Cled Pierce – dynamic goal-getter from my days living in the Vale of Clwyd, especially for Henllan in the Summer League.
Pwllheli: John Gwynfor Jones – probably better known for his time with Porthmadog or Nefyn United, but first name that comes to mind with Pwllheli for me.
Gwalchmai: Geraint Thomas – Ger Bach (I hope it is Thomas or I’ll look a fool – again). Midfield maestro, figurehead of the club for many years.
Kinmel Bay: Bill Darwin – before any player, manager, the club’s ‘Godfather’ springs to mind first.
Barmouth and Dyffryn United: Ieuan Brooks – a name I always associate with netting lots of goals for Bermo.
Llandudno Amateurs: Sandy Malone – who else? Restarted the club and its main driving force winning back-to-back titles as manager.
Amlwch Town: Adrian Jones – big contender for club’s best ever player. Wayne Jones a close second for all his help over the years.
Aberffraw: Gerallt Roberts – player-manager and keeper, very tall! Otherwise it would be Mark, a brilliant goalkeeper for the club in the 1970s, but I cannot remember his surname!
Llandudno Junction: Jake Cassidy – made his name with the Railwaymen before going on to play in the Football League.
Mochdre Sports: Howard Vaughan – now chief at Glan Conwy, but always link him with his spell at Mochdre too.
Pentraeth: Peter O’Neil – Llangefni Town legend, but hopefully he played for Pentraeth too? If not, I’ve failed, sorry. Second choice ex-manager Jamie Davies, now coaching in China but former rock band leader and lawyer.
Welsh National League Premier Division
Cefn Albion: Nicky Williams – he scored 59 goals in Albion’s debut season of 2014-15. Oliver Davies was also prolific with 53.
Holywell Town: Johnny Haseldin – about 10 names came to me at once, but the manager who has led them to so many glories just edges to the front.
Rhostyllen: Gareth Parry – another club I’ve really enjoyed watching rise to prominence in recent years and former manager Gareth is the man who guided me through it.
Queen’s Park: Martin Ford – when I first started covering Wrexham area football in more depth, there was this amazing character Fordy who told me everything I needed to know. Sadly no longer with us, but never forgotten.
Mold Alexandra: Vernon Keep – played for Mold in the early days of the League of Wales. Also spent time with Conwy United, but probably better known for his stints with Connah’s Quay Nomads.
Brymbo: David Jones – Aston Villa and Wrexham front man later to make a big impact with the Steelmen in the Cymru Alliance.
Saltney Town: Rob Lythe – When Saltney were performing well in the 1990s, I always remember Rob being a stand-out player.
Penycae: Steve Walters – there will only ever be one! Former Crewe Alex and Rhyl star managed the Afoneitha Road outfit in the Cymru Alliance, taking over in December 2013.
Llay Welfare: Mike Gadie – current manager and a passionate character who is extremely proud of his club.
Llanuwchllyn: Sion Tudor Jones – manager did a great job in charge before moving on to Porthmadog and current club Corwen.
Rhydymwyn: Neil Wilson – former Caernarfon Town player who was part of the great Rhyd sides which won the FAW Trophy twice in the 1990s.
Plas Madoc: Nicky Williams – goal machine in Plas’s unbeaten Welsh National League Division One title-winning side of 2018-19.
Rhos Aelwyd: Gary Harris – one of the finest goalkeepers to perform in the WNL.
Chirk AAA: Phil Pearce – colossal defender and “Mr Chirk” for me.
Brickfield Rangers: Peter Gabriel – the famously-named former manager who was one of the first people I worked with covering Wrexham area football. One of the best, hope he manages again one day.
Castell Alun Colts: Mike Pritchard – went on to play at Welsh Premier clubs such as Rhyl and Cefn Druids. Great striker, top finisher, one of Castell Alun’s finest former stars.
Bangor 1876: Les Davies – didn’t have to think too hard! Former Bangor City all-time great has banged in 23 goals for 1876 so far this season.
Trearddur Bay Bulls: Dave Webb – outstanding midfielder in a team progressing really well.
Menai Bridge Tigers: Sean Brett – he’s not the manager there any more, but he was for so many years, did a fantastic job, especially bringing through youth.
Nefyn United: Eifion Parry – six months since he passed away, this true stalwart of North Wales football will forever be remembered, especially for his service to his beloved Nefyn.
Waunfawr: Ioan Gwynedd – evergreen campaigner for the Beganifs, top defender but can adapt elsewhere.
Llangoed: Mark Thomas – current manager and first person to really connect me with the club.
Bro Goronwy: Paul Scholes – the most reliable press correspondent I’ve ever worked with. Absolute legend at the club.
Talysarn Celts: Rob Daniels – always known him as a consistent and often prolific goalscorer.
Bontnewydd: Cai Penny Williams – a genuine goal-getter and star man for the village club.
Glantraeth: Ian Fidler – top scorer for club (think he still holds all-time record) and a man who has done as much for Glantraeth’s reputation for success as anyone.
Caergybi FC: Dale Moffat – dedicated young manager with plenty more to offer with this still very young club.
Ogwen Tigers: Marc Wilson – early days for this club, still to get to know them well, I know Marc, though, from his many years great service to Valley FC.
Llanystumdwy: Sion Parry – now with Bangor 1876 but scored a remarkable 210 goals in 170 games during his time at Llanystumdwy.
Bethesda Athletic: Richard Owen – notched 59 goals in Pesda’s 2008-09 Welsh Alliance title win. One of so many great players involved with the club over the years.
Llannerchymedd: Gavin Sharpe – stand-out player in better times for Medd, such as the treble-winning 2013-14 season. Hopefully happier days ahead for club.
Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League Premier Division
Rhuddlan Town: John Trevor (Charlie) Jones – ‘Mr Rhuddlan Town’ sadly left us two years ago. His contribution to football in North Wales will forever be remembered.
Abergele FC: Jack Hoult – former league top scorer with Gele. Also had a spell with Rhyl in the Cymru Alliance.
Llanfairfechan Town: Curtis Murray – tremendous defender, outstanding servant, will always be first to mind when the name Llanfairfechan Town is mentioned.
Bro Cernyw: Euryn Williams – easiest answer of the night! Helped form Cernyw in 1990 and registered 683 career goals. North Wales football icon.
Llansannan: Adrian Howatson – brilliant keeper for the villagers in years gone by.
Meliden: John Edwards – “Teddy” is one of my all-time favourite keepers in North Wales and certainly a Meliden great in every sense of the word.
Cerrigydrudion: Ian Ellis – regular net finder back in the 1990s when Dei Rich Jones was in charge.
CPD Y Glannau: Daniel Parsons – has been involved with the club for many, many years, both as part of the playing and management side.
Llandudno Athletic: Rhys Lane – done so much to raise the club’s profile since it formed in 2014.
Llanelwy Athletic: Shane Evans – a club in just their second season I’m still getting to know, but the excellent Evans is a player who stands out for me.
Rhos United: Mark Goldsmith – could play anywhere down the middle, always gave 100% and notched plenty of goals. Later went into football administration.
Vale of Clwyd and Conwy Division One
(selected sides – I’m not going to bluff, I don’t know many of these teams that well. A lot are new also, so not a lot of history to go on)
Llysfaen: Emlyn Robert Jones – manager and mainstay of the club who is finally getting just rewards for his determined efforts to build a strong team with this season’s amazing results. Season shutdown came at just the wrong time for Llysfaen.
Machno United: Rich Richards – he seemed to score every week when I worked for the press in the 1990s/2000s. Hope he is doing well.
NFA: Niall McGuinness – saw him score back-to-back hat-tricks this season. You can’t forget something like that! Also does a bit of management at Flint Town United – second in Cymru North!
Betws-y-Coed: Phil Jones -a great man. Local lad who led the club with enthusiasm for so many years. Second choice would be Wayne McCabe.
North East Wales League
Brymbo Victoria: Paul Messham – stand-out goalscorer.
Chirk Town: Tom Freeman – league leading scorer, impressive past CV
Penyffordd Lions: Nathan Lavender – football and cricket talent.
Caerwys FC: Steve Griffith – known him for more than 30 years as player, secretary…will always be ‘Mr Caerwys’ to me.
CPD Sychdyn: Terry Pughe – top-scorer when Sychdyn won the league in 2016-17. Great track record at higher level.
Borras Park Albion: Jack Hanley – consistent marksman for a much-improved team.
Acton: Joe Garner – dropped down three levels from Gresford in Cymru Alliance to become player-manager of Acton in 2016-17.
Mold Town United: Aaron North – name that appears regularly on the scoresheet.
Belle Vue: Delwyn Derrick – another easy one. Award-winning manager for whom football inclusion means so much more than results.
Cemaes Bay: Colin Hawkins – head and shoulders above any player because of his magnetic personalty and excellent track record as manager during a golden period for Cemaes in the 1990s.
Holyhead Hotspur Reserves: Andy Batsford – performed marvels in the development of the reserve team at the New Stadium.
Mountain Rangers: John Hayes – goal king and the greatest to wear a Rangers shirt, simple as!
Llanfairpwll: Alun Mummery – not many club secretaries are more famous than any player or manager, but in my view, Mr Mummery has been such a colossal figure at Y Gors and Maes Eilian over the years, he’s the Pwll No 1.
CPD Y Fali: Marc Wilson – joined Ogwen Tigers this season, but what a servant to Y Fali.
Bodorgan Juniors: Luke Allaway – wherever Bodorgan are in the table, Luke always bags the goals.
Arriva Bangor: Scott Hughes – golden boots, scores for fun every season.
Pentraeth Reserves: Kenny Williams – regular marksman for the team since they formed.
CPD Cefni: Graham Jones – known as “Squeeze”. A great man leading a club of tremendous spirit.
Holyhead Town: Tom Hadley – very early days for this team (who replaced the reserves this season), but getting stunning striker Hadley into the club is a tremendous move.
Llandegfan: Def Parry – who else could we choose? Two-goal hero as Llandegfan won their first game in two-and-a-half years in January.