My North Wales women’s football dream team: Gwenno Gibbard Bolton (Bethel)

Gwenno Gibbard Bolton chooses her North Wales Women’s Dream Team XI today

In the second 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.

Today’s team is picked by Gwenno Gibbard Bolton, midfielder and inspirational captain of CPD Merched Bethel.

GOALKEEPER

Sioned Hughes-Williams (Bethel)

I’ve been playing in the same team as Sions now for the last 6 years and over the last couple of years the transformation in herself as an individual, in her confidence and ability has majorly improved and she’s been working hard to develop herself.
We definitely couldn’t have won the league without her 2 years ago.

DEFENDERS

Beca Williams (Bethel)

My husband Ben has been coaching Beca since she was playing for the U-14’s. He was lucky enough to have such an amazing talent in that team.
Over the years I’ve seen Beca play in numerous positions, her positive attitude and fearless personality stands out in games.
The switch from U-16’s to Ladies came easy for Becs and she thoroughly deserved to win Bethel Ladies Player of the Season last year.

Llinos Jones (ex-Bethel)

Llinos was a reliable and calm defender, who timed her challenges and wasn’t afraid of anything.
Her communication skills were key on the pitch and she was a great team-mate – even though she was late arriving everywhere!

Anest Roberts (Bethel)

Again my husband Ben has been coaching Anest since she was playing for the U-12’s.
I’ve lost count by now on how many goals I’ve seen her score.
She wasn’t always a defender, but by now she’s developed to be the best defender in the league.
Comfortable carrying the ball up front, winning crucial challenges and scoring from most of her free kicks (if she hasn’t been out the night before!!).

Alison Mummery (Caernarfon Town)

Alison (front row – furthest right) with a title-winning Caernarfon team from 2010

When playing for Caernarfon Town when I was 16.
Alison played left-back. Her tackling was good, her passing and crossing ability was great!

MIDFIELDERS

Mary Griffiths (Llanfair United)

Mary Griffiths. Pic: Ian Francis

By now I’m fed up with playing against Llanfair, especially after facing them 3 times in cup and league competitions in one season!
Mary stands out in midfield, making a nuisance of herself with her quick feet, her passing and through balls and also her ability to score goals.
I can confirm she’s the same on the hockey pitch too!

Awen Hughes (ex-Caernarfon Town)

Awen (back row – third from right)

Played alongside Awen for Caernarfon Town and Ysgol Brynrefail.
Hard-working, confident on the ball and could run smoothly past opponents.

Mari Gibbard (Bethel)

Mari (left) with sister Gwenno when they played in opposing teams

I’m proud to say that I’ve had the opportunity to play alongside my sister – even though we’ve had our moments of disagreeing on the pitch!
Growing up in school I was gutted about our age gap as I’ve seen her lift 2 school Welsh Cup trophies.
Comfortable on her left and right foot, her eye for an assist is brilliant and she’s got the ability to score wonderful goals, natural footballer!

STRIKERS

Lois Regan (current Bangor 1876 women’s coach)

Lois (left) in her latest role as Bangor 1876 women’s coach

She played for Llanrug and Caernarfon, the teams my mum and dad both coached through from U-12’s to U-16’s, and I was there every weekend watching and giving them a hand with training.
I remember seeing Lois for the first time, straight away I knew she was a player to look out for. Her confidence, skill and ability to score goals was amazing.
I got a chance to play one game alongside her when I was in year 11 in school and she was in year 7, and she scored a hat-trick. Unbelievable player and a determined individual.

Ceryl Jones

Reached the highest levels of the game during the 1990s and 2000s, representing Wales and playing for both Merseyside giants, Everton and Liverpool.
Also won three Welsh Cups with Bangor City.
I played alongside Ceryl for Caernarfon Town when I was 16.
I knew of her talent before this, and was very entertaining to watch. She definitely had an eye for goal!

Kelsey Davies (Wem Town)

Kelsey (left – red) challenges for the ball for Llandudno against Aberystwyth. Pic: Chris Howells

I’ve only played against her once, but after my sister Mari joined Llandudno, I went to watch a lot of their games.
Kelsey stood out in each of them with a frightening pace, totally unselfish on the ball with some great crosses and can score goals!

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