Goalkeeper Paul Pritchard joins Llangefni on loan after Port season scrapped

Paul Pritchard lifts the Inter-Island Games trophy for Ynys Môn in 2019. Picture: Dai Sinclair

Ynys Môn goalkeeping great Paul Pritchard has returned to the island to play his football for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.

Pritchard, 36, has signed for Llangefni Town on loan from Porthmadog, whose campaign ended before it started with the news last week that all North Wales football from tiers 3-5 is cancelled due to coronavirus.

The tier 2 Cymru North, where Llangefni play, is due to restart next month with a curtailed season of 15 league games per team plus inclusion in the Welsh Cup.

This will happen provided the country either returns to Alert Level 3 in accordance with the Welsh Government Covid-19 Control Plan, or when the ‘Elite Status’ as defined by Sport Wales is redesignated to the Cymru Leagues, whichever is the sooner.

Pritchard said: “It’s really disappointing that Porthmadog’s season is cancelled which means I won’t be playing for them this season.

“I can’t thank Craig Papirnyk enough for allowing me to join Llangefni for the remainder of the season.

Chris (Roberts – manager) and Llangefni have given me a great opportunity to play in tier 2 again which I’m really looking forward to and working with Chris, Gerry, Tommo and Mike Innes.”

Town manager Chris Roberts said: ‘’Pritch is a top class keeper and will be a great addition to our squad. We knew that a re-start would mean playing a number of games in a short space of time so strength in depth will be vital.

“With Steve Sinclair and Pritch I now have the two best keepers on the island in my opinion which gives us great cover for all scenarios. I want to also thank Paps and Porthmadog for allowing Pritch to join us.”

Pritchard previously played for Llangefni on loan in 2002.

In a long and distinguished career, he has also represented Holyhead Hotspur, Bangor City, Glantraeth, Llanfairpwll, Caernarfon Town, Connah’s Quay Nomads, Rhyl, Warrington Town and Porthmadog.

With more than 100 Welsh Premier appearances to his credit for Caernarfon, Nomads and Rhyl, Pritchard has also kept goal for numerous Cymru Alliance sides, including Hotspur, Glantraeth, Llangefni and Llanfairpwll (the latter three when they competed in the second-tier league).

Confident and self-assured, he is an outstanding shot-stopper and renowned for his ability to save penalties.

Perhaps his most famous spor-kick stop came in the 2019 Inter-Island Games Final, where he was man of the match as Ynys Môn defeated Guernsey 2-1 at Holyhead.

The highly-respected keeper has made more than 550 career appearances and is closing in on 200 clean sheets.

Paul has also represented Wales Under-18’s and the national semi-professional side.

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