Happy birthday Huw Griffiths – a man who seems to be the perfect fit for his role as manager of Caernarfon Town.
As a player, he was a strong, no-nonsense defender, full of passion and he has carried those attributes into his managerial career.
He joined the Canaries management set up in January 2020, but became sole first team boss six months later.
In this disrupted 2020-21 campaign, Huw has guided the Cofis to the Cymru Premier top five, boosted by a 10-point haul from the last possible 12.
Last week Huw signed a two-and-a-half year deal to remain at The Oval until summer 2023.
The news received a positive response from the Cofi Army, who have taken the affable fluent Welsh-speaker to their hearts.
Yesterday (February 9) saw Huw celebrate his 44th birthday, the new contract serving as an early present.
As a player, Huw represented Wrexham area clubs Gresford Athletic, Lex XI and Cefn Druids before a short stint at League of Wales Newtown.
He rejoined Druids in 1999, by which time the club had progressed to the LoW.
After two years at Plaskynaston, Huw was signed by former Manchester United striker Peter Davenport at Bangor City.
The centre-back became a crowd favourite at Farrar Road, representing the team – and scoring – in a 4-1 Welsh Cup final defeat to Barry Town in 2001-02.
Huw also played in the Citizens side which celebrated a famous 1-0 home win over Yugoslavia’s Sartid Smederevo in the 2002-03 Uefa Cup.
Unfortunately persistent knee injuries cut short Griffiths’ playing career.
He worked alongside Davenport as assistant-manager both at Bangor and then Southport before moving to Chester with Simon Davies, another ex-Citizen and Manchester United player.
After a brief spell out of football Huw was appointed manager at Welshpool in November 2008 following the departure of Tomi Morgan.
A two-year stint at Maesydre was followed by a return to old club Cefn Druids – this time as manager.
The 2011/12 season saw the club reach the Welsh Cup Final for the first time in 108 years after claiming the scalps of Premier League sides Prestatyn Town, Aberystwyth Town and Airbus UK Broughton.
A 2-0 reversal by The New Saints in the final ended the club’s fairytale story but, as the winners had also won the Welsh Premier League, Druids reached Europe for the first ever time.
In addition to the Welsh Cup run, Druids landed their first trophy since 1999 after a 4-0 win over Ruthin Town at Wrexham’s Racecourse Stadium gave the club the North East Wales FA Challenge Cup.
The 2012/13 season started with a Europa League first qualifying round tie against Finnish side MyPa-47. A creditable goalless draw in the first leg at the Racecourse Stadium was followed by a 5-0 defeat in Finland.
In 2013-14, Cefn stormed to the Cymru Alliance title to secure promotion back to the Welsh Premier, but Huw left the club that summer to join Colin Caton’s management team at Bala Town.
Uefa Pro licence holder Huw was back with Druids in 2015 and in 2017-18 guided them into Europe for a second time after winning the WPL play-off final against Cardiff Met.
Cefn also achieved a highest-ever finish of fifth place and Huw scooped the Welsh Premier League Manager of the Season award.
In the Europa League preliminary round, the Wrexham side lost just 2-1 on aggregate to FK Riteriai of Lithuania.
It meant that in two spells in charge of the Ancients, Huw had led the club into Europe twice, reached the Welsh Cup final, won the WPL play-offs, landed the Cymru Alliance League title and lifted the NEWFA Challenge Cup twice.
Huw left Druids in January 2020 and less than 12 hours later had joined Caernarfon Town.
Sorry it’s a day late Huw (actually just an hour late as I am writing this between midnight and 1 am) but happy birthday/penblwydd hapus iawn. ⚽🎂🎂🍾🍾🍺
1993-95 Gresford Athletic
1996-97 Lex XI
1997-98 Cefn Druids
1998 Gresford Athletic
1999-2001 Flexsys Cefn Druids
2001-04 Bangor City
2004-05 Bangor City (assistant-manager)
2007-08 Southport (assistant-manager)
2008 Chester City (assistant-manager)
2008-10 Technogroup Welshpool (manager)
2010-14 Cefn Druids (manager)
2014-15 Bala Town (manager)
2015-2020 Cefn Druids (manager)
2020- Caernarfon Town (manager)