Good news and bad for football in the Bethesda area today.
Bethesda Athletic have been served a massive boost by landing the much-respected Mark Hughes as manager, but neighbouring club Ogwen Tigers’ senior team have announced they are calling it a day just one season after forming.
Hughes started playing in the Welsh Alliance at the age of 16 with Y Felinheli.
Over the years he has represented a number of clubs including Llanberis and Bethesda Athletic, as well as Glantraeth in the Cymru Alliance.
He stopped playing due to work and family commitments at 26, although he returned at 30 in 2008 and spent a couple of seasons with Llanberis.
Hughes then joined Mynydd Llandegai as player and manager in a quest to help them up through the leagues.
Llandegai were promoted from the Gwynedd League to the Welsh Alliance in 2013-14.
In 2016/17, they elevated to Division One after finishing Division Two runners-up.
The club has held its own in Division One over the past three seasons.
Bethesda have a proud history.
As recently as 2007-08 and 2008-09 they won back-to-back Welsh Alliance titles under Chris O’Neal, then were promoted to the Cymru Alliance where they finished an excellent ninth in 2009-10 only to be one of 10 clubs relegated due to a revamping of the Welsh football pyramid.
Under Mark Hughes, Pesda will be looking to climb back up the pyramid.
He said: “With all the current uncertainty now is the time for everyone to come together and to start afresh. Hopefully we will start the new season in Tier 4 following the proposed restructure, which will be a huge challenge for the club.
“Ex-players David Ball and Paul Feaver will be joining me on the management team, whilst the team itself will predominantly be made up of young, local talent with 4 or 5 experienced lads to help them along.
“I can promise that everyone who puts on the shirt will always put in a shift, and that I will encourage them to get the ball down and play, to express themselves, take risks, and to enjoy it.
“With that in mind anyone interested in being part of this new project can message me. The club has wonderful facilities and big plans for the future and hopefully together we can restore the club to where it historically has always been.”
Ogwen Tigers have decided not to run a senior side next season.
The team, which played home matches at Bethesda Rugby Club, competed in the Gwynedd League last season and finished 12th out of 15 clubs.
Tigers are perhaps best known as the first ever competitive opponents of 2019-20 Gwynedd League champions Bangor 1876.
Ogwen put up the following announcement on social media: “We at Ogwen Tigers Seniors would like to express our gratitude to the players, fans, sponsors, management team and Bethesda Rugby Club for their efforts over the last season.
“It is with regret though, due to various circumstances, including lack of permanent pitch, the new pyramid structure ground criteria and the financial costs involved in running the team, we have to announce that there will not be a Seniors team for the coming season.”