I’m not an expert on any particular football club but I have followed a number closely in North Wales over the years.
One team which has always fascinated me is Porthmadog, not least because of the amazingly detailed and accurate records they keep, as well as their great nostalgia section.
I thought to myself today, it’s been a while since we had an All-Time North Wales Club XI, so why not begin 2021 with Port.
In 2016, long-standing Porthmadog fan TREVLYN JONES chose his all-time club XI.
His selections were largely from some years back, although I am sure all very capable indeed. Mine is more modern-day.
I will publish Trevlyn’s team at the bottom of my line-up.
All figures were compiled with the help of the CPD Porthmadog website’s statistics section.
Massive thanks to Porthmadog FC website, especially Gareth Williams and Emyr Gareth for photographs, as well as Mike Smith of the Bangor City and Bangor 1876 based (but offering so much more about North Wales football) Citizens Choice
RICHARD HARVEY (GOALKEEPER)
One of the finest keepers to represent a North Wales club this century, Harvey has made more than 370 appearances for Porthmadog, serving in both the Welsh Premier and Cymru Alliance leagues.
Port first signed him from Cemaes Bay in summer 2002 and he played in 10 matches before the Traeth club brought in Gerard McGuigan as a replacement and Harvey moved to Llangefni Town.
Porthmadog won the Cymru Alliance League that 2002-03 season.
Harvey returned to Port in 2004/05, featuring in a Welsh Premier League Cup defeat at Carmarthen, before becoming a permanent first-choice in 2005-06 after McGuigan joined Rhyl.
For the next 13 seasons, Harvey was Port’s No 1, playing in 361 matches for the club before retiring at the end of 2017-18.
That was not the end of the story, as Harvey was drafted in for the final three games of last season for Port in the Cymru North.
JOHN GWYNFOR JONES (RIGHT-BACK)
Strong, solid and super-fit right-back John Gwynfor represented Port for five seasons in the Welsh Premier between 2003-04 and 2007-08, featuring in 138 games.
He signed for the club from Nefyn United towards the tail end of the 2001/02 season.
The following campaign, John was part of one of the most successful Porthmadog squads in the club’s history, that 2002/03 season delivering the Cymru Alliance League title, League Cup and NWCFA Challenge Cup.
There was an extra honour for John, who was named Clubman of the Year.
The following campaign was Port’s first back in the League of Wales after a five-year absence and their very first goal was a 25-yard rocket from John Gwynfor in a 3-1 victory at Connah’s Quay.
John is also very highly regarded at other former clubs Nefyn and Pwllheli.
MIKE FOSTER (LEFT-BACK)
Left-back and set-piece specialist who made a record 371 Welsh Premier League appearances (plus 6 as a sub) for Porthmadog.
A local boy who emerged through the youth ranks at Y Traeth, Foster was a trainee at Tranmere Rovers early in his career and also represented Wales Under-21s.
He possessed a sublime left foot which delivered umpteen top-class crosses, free-kicks and successful penalties.
Mike made his League of Wales debut for Porthmadog as a 19-year-old in 1993-94 and soon became a regular in the side.
He also played for Aberystwyth Town and Bangor City in the LoW, making it 425 top flight outings in all (13 of them as a sub).
Foster was in the Aber side which lost 4-3 on aggregate to Floriana of Malta in the 1999-2000 Inter-Toto Cup.
In 2002/03, he was a major force in the Porthmadog side which won the treble of Cymru Alliance title, League Cup and NWCFA Challenge Cup.
During the 2009-10 season, he briefly left Port to join Holyhead Hotspur, but soon returned to Y Traeth to assist in the club’s fight against the Welsh Premier drop (ultimately unsuccessful).
Mike celebrated his testimonial match against former club Tranmere by scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory for Port in August 2006.
RHYS ROBERTS (CENTRE-BACK)
Commanding centre-back with a real knack of getting goals.
Anglesey-based Roberts signed for Port in summer 2005 and went on to impress in both the League of Wales and Cymru Alliance across eight seasons with the club.
In total, he made 250 starts, plus seven as a sub. and came up with 31 goals. His time with Port finished at the end of 2013/14, but he had been an outstanding performer at Y Traeth.
Early in his career, Rhys played for both Llangefni Town and Bangor City, later had a spell in the Welsh Premier with Airbus and was captain of Holyhead Hotspur for three years.
In 2017, he joined Caernarfon Town and was a key part of their Cymru Alliance title-winning squad. He retired at the end of 2018-19 after helping the Canaries settle back in the Welsh Premier.
Rhys is also a veteran of the Island Games, having scored for Ynys Môn in wins over Alderney (5-0, 2011) and Freya (3-0, 2009) in past events. He made his Games debut in 2005.
RYAN DAVIES (CENTRE-BACK)
Formed a great central defensive partnership with Rhys Roberts at Y Traeth for a number of seasons, in both the WPL and Cymru Alliance.
Elder brother of much-celebrated striker Les, Ryan joined Porthmadog in January 2004, making his debut in a 2-0 win over Afan Lido at Y Traeth.
He spent 10 seasons with Port, playing in 232 matches (eight as a sub) and scoring 23 goals. Like fellow defender Rhys Roberts, he knew where the goal was.
Ryan left Port in 2012-13.
JAY GIBBS (MIDFIELD)
Right up to the present and a player who if he got the breaks could make a big impact at Welsh Premier level.
Jay joined Porthmadog in 2018-19 and had scored 10 goals in 33 starts for the club (plus 5 sub appearances) before returning to Holyhead Hotspur last summer.
He could have fitted into any era at Port. His outstanding performances for Ynys Môn in the 2019 Inter-Island Games, where hosts Anglesey won the gold medal, were further evidence of his class.
A former Tranmere Rovers scholar and Wales Under-19’s international, the 28-year-old is a proven star performer at the tier-two level of Welsh football.
Gibbs has everything required in a central midfield player.
His short and long game with both feet is second-to-none, he can slow a game down and speed it up when needed. He has a penchant for scoring spectacular goals and is a constant threat at set-pieces.
Jay was a key man in Caernarfon Town’s Cymru Alliance title-winning side of 2015/16, netting 10 times in 38 matches. He was also part of Town’s 2017-18 championship squad before signing for Llandudno in January 2018.
GARETH JONES-EVANS (MIDFIELD)
Another midfield dynamo who is in my opinion one of the best to wear a Port shirt in the past 10 years or so.
GJE rejoined Porthmadog in January 2020 having had two previous spells at the club between 2010-13 and 2016-18.
A creative midfield player, he gives his manager options right across the centre of the park.
Great ball distribution, he can open defences through the middle or with his deliveries from wide positions.
A threat from set pieces and with accurate strikes from outside the box. His previous clubs include Caernarfon Town, Holyhead Hotspur and Pwllheli.
Exciting to watch and his record of 14 goals in 85 starts for Port is pretty respectable. His assist stats would surely be impressive.
NIGEL BARRY (MIDFIELD)
Further back in time but what a midfield operator Bangor lad Barry was in a Port shirt.
Scorer of goals, creator of goals, box to box intelligent midfield player and plenty of composure on the ball. A leader on the pitch.
Nigel also played for the Citizens of Farrar Road, coming on as a substitute in their 1994-95 and 1995-96 Uefa Cup ties against IK Akranes of Iceland and Poland’s Widzew Lodz respectively.
In 1997-98, Barry was part of Colin Hawkins’ Porthmadog squad which lost its League of Wales status (albeit finishing fourth from bottom).
He stayed with the club in the Cymru Alliance and notched an impressive eight goals in 1999-2000.
Later he was to enjoy major success with Glantraeth, winning the Cymru Alliance title and League Cup double in 2005-06.
His son Cameron now plays for Bangor 1876, where Nigel is part of the coaching set-up.
GARETH S PARRY (MIDFIELD)
Calm and composed central midfielder who joined Porthmadog in 2002-03 and in his first season was part of the Cymru Alliance treble-winning squad.
Moved up to the Welsh Premier with the club and thrived, making 153 top-flight appearances and notching 22 goals. A truly quality performer in red and black.
In June 2010, Gareth was appointed manager at Y Traeth following the sudden departure of Tomi Morgan to Carmarthen Town. At the age of only 29 years and 5 months he was one of the youngest managers in the club’s history.
Gareth had filled in for Morgan in three North Wales Coast Challenge Cup games at the end of the season and finished up winning the competition, beating Llandudno in the final.
Unfortunately, Porthmadog had been relegated from the Welsh Premier, so Gareth had to start afresh in the second-tier Cymru Alliance.
In his first season, he led Port to the Huws Gray Cup final, where they lost to Guilsfield.
After four years at the helm, he stepped down in 2014.
Gareth is now a highly respected sports consultant and is chairing Anglesey’s bid to host a future Island Games.
NIGEL SMITH (STRIKER)
Known to everyone as Kippax. Personally I don’t know why, but I am sure a lot of people do.
What I do know is Kippax is a CPD Porthmadog legend who built a fantastic reputation with the club as a top-class forward over several seasons.
He was Dave Taylor’s striking partner during Pixie’s record-breaking season of 1993-94, when he was Europe’s top marksman with 43 League of Wales goals.
So why is Taylor not in my team?
Well Kippax was at Porthmadog for much longer and was a regular hitman over a number of seasons..
He even had to come out of retirement for Port in 1997/98 when there was a major injury crisis.
I’d like to know Kippax’s Porthmadog stats if anyone has them.
PAUL ROBERTS (STRIKER)
Although far more renowned for his goals tally in a Bangor City shirt, Paul made a massive difference to Port – on and off the field.
A fantastic young prospect of the early 1990’s, he netted many great goals for the club and was League of Wales top scorer before Wrexham signed him for £10,000 in December 1996.
That fee proved vastly beneficial to the club’s financial position, which was precarious at the time.
Paul made one substitute appearance for Wrexham and earned a Wales Under-21 cap before joining Bangor, where he netted 97 Welsh Premier goals over two stints and scored vital winners in the 2000 Welsh Cup final and versus Sartid Smederevo of Yugoslavia in the 2002-03 Uefa Cup.
Robbo returned to Port in 2007-08, bagging 14 goals in 32 starts, and was back at Y Traeth again in 2009-10 – the season the club was relegated from the Welsh Premier.
The following campaign, in the Cymru Alliance, he pocketed 24 goals in 33 matches for the red and blacks.
Roberts netted 147 Welsh Premier goals in total and is now just outside the all-time top 10 marksmen.
More than anything, he was a prolific net finder and a scorer of great goals.
The Criccieth Cannonball will never be forgotten at Y Traeth.
TREFLYN JONES ALL-TIME PORTHMADOG XI
J O Williams
Subs: Adrian Jones (Twm), Ifor Pritchard (GK), Pat Laverty.