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Women’s football: Bethel retain ex-Cymru Premier pair

Bethel’s squad and management of last season minus Jordanne Greenough and Fflur Williams

CPD Merched Bethel are delighted to have retained the services of two former Welsh Premier League players for the 2020-21 season.

Ex-Llandudno stars Jordanne Greenough and Fflur Williams joined the Caernarfon-area club in February, just a fortnight before the campaign was brought to a permanent halt by the coronavirus pandemic.

Both girls did manage to get in an appearance for their new club, each scoring in Bethel’s 7-1 North East Wales FA Cup semi-final victory at Wrexham.

With Llandudno set to return to football this term in the new-look North Wales Women’s League after resigning from the Welsh Premier last season, there was speculation as to whether Greenough and Williams would go back to their former club.

Fflur Williams (left) and Jordanne Greenough are staying with Bethel

However, Bethel manager Ben Bolton told Grassroots North Wales this will not be the case.

“The big news is that we have managed to sign Fflur Williams and Jordanne Greenough on a permanent basis, to our delight!” he said.

“We have managed to retain every player that was with us last season, which is massive.

“We have also brought in four players from under 16 level, Ellie Jones, Ellie Williams and Mali Henshaw (younger sister of first team regular Llio) have come up from Bethel 16s, whilst Eli Jones joins from Caernarfon 16s having previously played for Bethel.”

Ben added: “My aim has always been to build a squad of homegrown players who have played football with each other through the junior ranks who have years of chemistry, along with bringing in some experienced talent and with the hard work of Aaron (Jones-Evans) and Lenny (Jones) too, we’ve been able to put a very strong squad together.”

Further good news for Bethel is club captain Gwenno Gibbard Bolton is back in training, eight weeks after the birth of her and Ben’s son, Henri, and the midfield ace aims to play her part this season.

Last season’s 21-goal top-scorer Erin Maloney is away studying in Cardiff, but will be available for some games.

Bethel will play in a seven-team Premier Division this season, which will also include Llanfair United, CPD Y Rhyl 1879, Airbus, Amlwch Town, Connah’s Quay Nomads and the returning Llandudno.

“I’m fairly happy with the league set up to be honest,” said Ben.

“The standard of the Premier Division is very good, probably the best it’s been in years. I’m glad it’s a smaller league with only 7 teams because there’s more chance of finishing the fixtures, which has been a big problem in recent seasons. I just hope everything is run smoothly and consistently throughout the season.”

While many clubs are angry at the Welsh Government for the delay in permitting men’s football from tier 2 downwards and women’s football to return, Bethel boss Ben is more philosophical.

Ben Bolton

“I completely understand why we are in this position at the moment, and of course we cannot take any risks during this time.

“I think maybe a start date or something to aim for would be good, but honestly all of us at Bethel are just so happy to be back training and spending time with one another again.

“We’ve been working and will continue to work incredibly hard to be ready for the start of the season, whenever it may be.”

As for how he thinks Bethel will fare in the season ahead, Ben said: “Like I’ve said it’s a strong looking Premier Division, every game will be tough and we are going to need to be at our best.

“I know what this team is capable of, we’ve shown over the past couple seasons what we are capable of and this year we’re looking to continue to improve, work hard every week and enjoy our football.”

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