My North Wales women’s football dream team: Abby Williams (Airbus)

Abby Williams (blue – facing) in aerial action for Airbus. Picture: Matthew Jones @mattjimages

In the first of a new series, we ask female footballers to choose their all-time North Wales women’s football XI.

Ladies can select players from any era, as long as they have a North Wales connection.

Who better to start us off than Abby Williams, captain and midfield star of Airbus UK Broughton FC Women.

Abby’s Angels….

GK – Beth Thomas (Northop Hall)

Bethan saves from Airbus striker Becky Lees. Pic: Matthew Jones @mattjimages

Bethan has long been regarded as one of the very best goalkeepers in the North Wales Women’s League.
The 20-year-old won the North Wales League and NEWFA Cup double with Northop Hall in 2017-18. Really good shot-stopper.

DF – Jenny Broughall

Jenny Broughall in action for Airbus. Picture: Matthew Jones @mattjimages

Now retired from football due to becoming a world-class foot-golfer.
Outstanding former defender with Airbus, she also represented Llanidloes Town in the Welsh Premier and reached the League Cup Final with the Daffs.

DF – Claire Colville (Llandudno)

Claire (red) boots one off the line. Picture: Chris Howells

Experienced defender who has been involved in everything good Llandudno have achieved over the past 10 years or so.
Reached the Welsh Cup final with Tudno in 2015-16 and featured for the club over eight Welsh Premier League seasons, from when it was known as Llandudno Junction, through to MBi Llandudno and then just Llandudno.
Great tackler, always gives 100%.

DF – Jemila Bukari (Llandudno)

Jemila (red) on the ball for Llandudno. Pic: Chris Howells

Returned to her native Ghana in 2018, but will never be forgotten for her brilliant defensive skills during seven years in North Wales football with Llandudno.
Played in the 2015-16 Welsh Cup final for Tudno, but an early injury reduced her effectiveness in the game and was a contributory reason for the North Wales side’s defeat.
In 2014/15 she was nominated for the Welsh Premier League Player of the Season award – a rarity for a North Wales club.

MF – Emma Parry (Airbus)

Elegant Emma Parry. Picture: Matthew Jones @mattjimages

Centre midfielder no longer involved in football, having last appeared for Airbus in 2018-19.
Also played for Buckley Town Boys, Buckley Girls, Connah’s Quay Nomads academy, Quay Celts, Chester City Ladies and UWIC (now Cardiff Met).
Classy midfield operator noted for her accurate passing.

MF – Ffion Owen (Caernarfon Town/Amlwch Town)

Ffion Owen (blue) is the complete midfielder. Picture: Gethin Jones, Amlwch Town FC

One of the most complete midfielders to appear in North Wales football.
Captained Caernarfon to the 2016-17 North Wales League title and won Division Two in her first season with Amlwch last time out.
Goal scorer supreme who also won a silver medal with Anglesey at the 2019 Inter-Island Games.

MF – Mari Gibbard (Bethel)

Mari Gibbard (left) on the ball for Llandudno. Picture: Chris Howells

Pacy, hard-working attacking midfielder who first made her name at Bethel.
Went on to join Llandudno and finished up their top-scorer in the Welsh Premier League.
Has been developing her football experience in America over the past couple of years.

MF – Tegan Hewitt (Airbus)

Tegan Hewitt (blue). Picture: Matthew Jones @mattjimages

Ever-improving player with an eye for goal,
Tegan has come through the ranks at Airbus and is now one of the most consistent players in the squad.
Was leading scorer for the Wingmaker-esses with nine goals in the curtailed 2019-20 season.

MF – Lexie Smith (Denbigh Ladies)

Lexie Smith (front row, third from right) with Denbigh Town

Versatile player who can be an outstanding goalkeeper, but has also shone outfield in defence and midfield, finding the net often.
Won the North Wales League title with Denbigh in 2014-15 and has been one of the team’s leading players for a number of years.

Striker – Laura Pennington (Wem Town, ex-Northop Hall)

Laura Pennington (centre – white top)

Super striker who has won the North Wales League twice with Northop Hall, in 2015-16 and 2017-18. In the latter season she netted 48 goals.
Penno joined The New Saints a couple of seasons ago and is part of the renamed version of that team, Wem Town, who have reached the second round of the Women’s FA Cup, where they are due to visit Stoke City.
Penno is skilful on the ball, fast and a great finisher.

Striker – Becky Lees (Airbus)

Becky Lees. Picture: Matthew Jones @mattjimages

Such a steady and consistent front player for Airbus over the years.
Tall and good in the air, she is also more than capable on the ground.
Her goals tally is very impressive; she is usually either top-scorer for the team or very near the top of the chart.

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