Penblwydd hapus i gôl-geidwad enwog – Elena Julio (CPD Merched Pwllheli)

Elena in past goalkeeper action for Caernarfon. Picture: Dai Sinclair

Elena Julio has not had the best of luck in her football career of late, but a successful past has certainly ensured she is regarded as a star of the North Wales game.

While last season was cut short anyway due to the coronavirus pandemic, Elena’s campaign ended even earlier than most after she suffered a serious injury while captaining Mountain Rangers in North Wales Women’s League Division Two.

She had started the season really well, netting five goals, before shoulder damage ruled her out of action for several months.

Following the resignation of manager Irfon Hughes, Rangers announced Elena and fellow veteran Sara Williams would take over as joint bosses for the 2020-21 season.

However, two months later the team disbanded.

Elena was not without a club for long, as in August Pwllheli stepped in to sign the versatile performer as well as other former Caernarfon Town players Katie Bowe, Sioned Bohana. Kim Broadbent and Charley Davies.

The bad luck continues, however, with Covid ensuring the current season is still to start for the women.

Elena had joined newly-formed Mountain Rangers as captain at the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

Elena (front – piws) lines-up with the Caernarfon team which won the 2015-16 Betty Pickering Cup, beating Amlwch 1-0 in the final thanks to a Lexi Musgrave goal

Before that she was part of a Caernarfon side which lifted the North Wales Women’s League title and Betty Pickering Cup double in 2016-17. She also featured in Town’s success in the same cup the previous season.

However, the Canaries struggled on their return to the Welsh Premier in 2017-18 and Elena decided to make a fresh start at Mountain Rangers the following season.

Today (January 4) is Elena’s 30th birthday and Grassroots North Wales wishes her many happy returns.

Her surname is Portuguese, with Elena’s dad having been born in Portugal.

She showed an interest in many sports at a young age, but opted for football as both her brothers played.

Elena’s first team was Cae Glyn United under 9 boys, a pretty decent team which once won the Gwyrfai League.

From the age of seven onwards, she played in midfield, but as time went by she fell out of love with the game and stopped for a few years.

When she returned, she decided to give the goalkeeping position a go and from there she developed into one of North Wales’ finest stoppers in the colours of Caernarfon Town.

Elena in her Mountain Rangers days

Although she chiefly starred as a keeper during Caernarfon’s golden years, she still occasionally played outfield. In the 2016-17 double-winning season, she contributed six goals.

All of her time with Mountain Rangers was spent as an outfield player.

Elena has had to put up with a longer break from the game than most, so she cannot wait to get back to playing when restrictions are finally lifted. At present we do not know when that will be.

Penblwydd hapus Elena.

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