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They have played for Caernarfon Town and Porthmadog – Part 1

Darren Thomas. Picture: Caernarfon Town media

In big-time football, it is not that common to find players who have represented both Liverpool and Everton, Manchester United and Manchester City or Celtic and Rangers.

It has certainly happened in all three cases, but not as frequently as seen in a North Wales football equivalent over the years.

Countless players have, for instance, turned out for both coastal rivals Rhyl and Bangor City, switches between Conwy United/Borough and Llandudno have proved very regular and as for Caernarfon Town and Porthmadog…..

Let’s just say the list is pretty long!

There are about 20 miles between the Arfon-based town and Eifionydd tourist attraction, so while they are not exactly ‘neighbours’ the term ‘derby’ when the Gwynedd rivals clash is accurate enough.

During their respective histories, the clubs have spent a good few seasons playing at the same level as well as quite an amount of years in different leagues.

One thing which has remained fairly constant is the transfer of players between these distinguished foes.

This weekend, we have seen defender Iddon Price transfer from Port to the Canaries, as well as striker Cai Jones return from Y Traeth to The Oval.

Here is a list of 10 well-known players who have represented both teams.

These examples are fairly recent and represent part one of this feature.

Part two will mainly comprise players from further back in time.

Darren Thomas

Darren Thomas celebrates a goal for Caernarfon

After a short spell early in his career at Caernarfon Town, Thomas moved to Bontnewydd, where his scoring exploits caught the eye of Llangefni Town.
After helping Cefni win the Cymru Alliance in 2006/07, Thomas went on to be leading scorer for the Anglesey side in their single season in the League of Wales.
In June 2011, Thomas joined Porthmadog, going on to net 22 goals in 52 outings before in January 2013, Lee Dixon signed him for Caernarfon.
It proved a masterstroke as the local lad played a major role in the Cofis winning a Welsh Alliance title, FAW Trophy and Cookson Cup treble.
Following a short stint with Aberystwyth back in the WPL at the start of 2015-16, Thomas returned to Caernarfon, where he has been a key player ever since, winning Cymru Alliance League and Cup doubles in 2015-16 and 2017-18.
Nicknamed the “Mini Messi”, Thomas has shone brighter than ever since rejoining the WPL with the Canaries in 2018-19.
He has netted more than 100 times for the club, including an individual effort in the 2014/15 season which was named Goal of the Decade by S4C football show Sgorio last year.

Paul Pritchard

Paul Pritchard. Picture: Paul Evans

Outstanding goalkeeper who has served the last two seasons with Porthmadog in the Cymru North.
Pritchard was between the sticks in Caernarfon’s 2012-13 treble-winning squad under Lee Dixon and in Iwan Williams’s Cymru Alliance double-winners of 2015-16.
The Holyhead-based stopper also represented the Cofis in the Welsh Premier under Waynne Phillips, making in all more than 200 appearances for The Oval side.

Clive Williams

Winner: Clive Williams. Picture: CTFC

Penygroes lad Clive made his first team debut for Bangor City at the age of 17 and went on to be part of three Welsh Cup winning squads as well as playing a part in the Citizens’ Welsh Premier League title win of 2010-11.
Williams spent the 2011-12 season on loan at Porthmadog, making 22 first-team appearances and netting two goals.
Clive joined Caernarfon Town in 2012/13 and proved to be a versatile performer, effective in defence, midfield or up front.
He was part of Lee Dixon’s 2012-13 Welsh Alliance treble-winning squad which lifted the FAW Trophy, then later a vital member of Canaries sides which twice won the Cymru Alliance.
Unfortunately, since Caernarfon’s return to the Welsh Premier, injury issues have curtailed his career.

Jay Gibbs

Jay Gibbs on the ball for Porthmadog

Midfield maestro who has been an outstanding performer at both Porthmadog and Caernarfon over the years, while also clocking up numerous appearances for Holyhead Hotspur, where he won the Welsh Alliance treble in 2011-12.
Jay has had three spells at Caernarfon Town where he has contributed many useful goals – some of them spectacular.
He was a member of the 2015-16 and 2017-18 Cymru Alliance double-winning squads.
This former Tranmere Rovers scholar and Wales U-19 international has been at Porthmadog for the past two seasons, notching 10 goals in 38 games.

Ywain Gwynedd

Ywain Gwynedd (right) in his time at Caernarfon

Such is Ywain’s lofty standing as a pop star these days it could for some overshadow the fact he had a very good football career too.
Those of us who have followed our football since the start of the millennium though, will never forget his quality on the pitch.
He began his career at Porthmadog in 2004, spending three seasons at Y Traeth before Llangefni Town signed him up for their single campaign in the League of Wales.
The hard-working midfielder joined Caernarfon in 2010 and scored on his debut against Llanberis.
“Yws” was also a key figure in Lee Dixon’s treble heroes of 2012-13 and in all he made 132 appearances for the Cofis between 2010-15, bagging 21 goals.
The popular Ffestiniog man briefly returned to action in 2016-17 for Porthmadog before hanging up his boots due to a persistent hip injury.

Neil Thomas

Scored on his Welsh Premier debut for Porthmadog in a 3-3 draw against Caersws at Y Traeth on October 8, 2005.
He returned to Port in 2013-14 when, with the club now in the Cymru Alliance, he netted nine goals in 27 matches.
Thomas made almost 200 WPL appearances across spells at Porthmadog, Llanelli, Bangor City, Haverfordwest County and Port Talbot.
Neil was a big-name signing for Caernarfon Town in 2012-13. Converting from midfield to striker and made captain, Thomas delivered the goods by finishing top-scorer on 26 goals as the Cofis won the Welsh Alliance title, FAW Trophy and Cookson Cup treble.
The Penygroes man later starred for Llanrug and Llanllyfni, for whom he scored six goals in a Welsh Cup tie against Llanystumdwy in 2016-17.

Rhys Roberts

Rhys Roberts (right) in action for Caernarfon

Colossal defender who represented both Porthmadog and Caernarfon Town in the Welsh Premier League before retiring at the end of 2018-19.
He spent four seasons in the top flight with Port between 2005-09 before joining Airbus, where he featured in another 25 WPL games.
Rhys returned to Port, who were now in the Cymru Alliance and played there for another four campaigns, nabbing a very impressive 19 goals in 100 matches.
He later switched to Holyhead Hotspur, where he was captain and a defensive mainstay for three years, before landing at Caernarfon in summer 2017.
Roberts won the Cymru Alliance title with the Canaries and played 32 times in their comeback season in the Welsh Premier.

Gruff John

Gruff John. Picture: Paul Evans CTFC

Ever-improving young defender has just committed to Caernarfon for a second season in the Welsh Premier.
Impressed in his debut top-flight campaign with the Canaries, featuring in 26 games and scoring twice.
Prior to 2019-20, Gruff spent his entire career at Porthmadog, making his first team debut in 2011-12.
He made 145 starts (plus 16 appearances as substitute) at Y Traeth, netting 16 times.

Carl Owen

Carl Owen

Will always be remembered at Caernarfon Town for his extra time winner as a substitute in a 3-2 Welsh Cup victory over Rhyl in January 2017.
Owen was only re-signed by Canaries manager Iwan Williams in midweek to assist with a player crisis as the hosts had six regulars missing for the visit of Welsh Premier Rhyl.
Better known for his time at Porthmadog, Carl was the club’s top-scorer in the WPL for three consecutive seasons.
Overall, he scored 64 goals in 174 Welsh Premier appearances, also representing Airbus and Rhyl.

Sion Bradley

Sion Bradley. Photo: Paul Evans CTFC

Joined Caernarfon on their return to the Welsh Premier in 2018-19 and has produced two very impressive seasons as an attacking player.
He has featured in 62 first team matches for the Canaries, chalking up 11 goals.
Before moving to The Oval, Sion was a big hit at Porthmadog, scoring 18 times in 2017-18 from 34 appearances.
The 23-year-old has also had a productive spell at Blaenau Amateurs.

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