North Wales football updates: including Bethesda, CPD Cefni and Y Rhyl 1879

Mark Thomas is the new first team coach at Bethesda Athletic

Bethesda Athletic

Bethesda Athletic have boosted their management team by appointing former player Mark Thomas as first team coach.

Manager Mark Hughes and assistant-boss Geraint Jones (Gus) announced the news this week.

Dylan Griffiths will be the new Pesda assistant coach for the forthcoming season. He has previously played for and coached at the club.

Thomas had an illustrious playing career which included stints in the League of Wales with Bangor City, Caernarfon Town and Porthmadog.

Perhaps his finest moments came at Glantraeth, where he won the Cymru Alliance league and cup double in 2005/06.

Known popularly as “Cabbage”, Thomas was also part of the Glantraeth side which famously beat Bangor City in a Welsh Cup tie at Farrar Road on October 4, 2003.

After a spell at Bangor City in the early 2000’s, Mark joined Mid-Wales club Rhayader Town.

Dylan Griffiths

Following one season at Y Weirglodd, he joined Cemaes Bay under Paul Whelan, then followed him to Glantraeth.

He represented Caernarfon Town and Porthmadog in the top flight before due to family and work commitments he went to Bethesda and finished at Llangoed. In 2018, he also helped coach at CPD Cefni FC.

On the appointments, manager Mark Hughes said: “I’ve known Mark a long time and his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for the game will be a huge asset to the club.

“He’s also passionate about developing young players and therefore fits in with what we’re putting in place.

“Dylan, having previously been part of the club, knows what it’s all about and his infectious personality will be a tremendous benefit to the changing room.”

CPD Cefni

Craig Evans had some great days at Gwalchmai. Picture: DAI SINCLAIR

CPD Cefni have scooped a major signing in the shape of one of the most decorated footballers on Anglesey.

Craig Evans has joined the tier 5 North Wales Coast West Division One side following a successful spell at Gwalchmai, where he was latterly player-manager.

Craig, 37, has enjoyed plenty of success over the years with Llangefni Town, Gwalchmai, Bodedern Athletic and Glantraeth.

In 2009-10, he won the Gwynedd League treble with Gwalchmai, scoring the all-important goal – a 30-yard cracker – in a 1-1 draw with Bodedern which secured Paul Owen and Rob Hughes’ side the title.

Gwalch also scooped the Gwynedd Premier Cup and Cwpan Gwynedd and reached the NWCFA Intermediate Cup and Barritt Cup finals.

The 2010-11 campaign saw Craig part of a Glantraeth side which picked up a remarkable four trophy wins in 14 days, lifting the Cwpan Gwynedd, Gwynedd Shield, Bob Owen Memorial Shield and NWCFA Intermediate Cup.

They finished runners-up in the Gwynedd League, but still clinched promotion to the Welsh Alliance as champions Bro Goronwy were unable to go up.

Craig netted 32 goals that season for the Bodorgan-based team.

In 2014/15, Craig scored a magnificent 34 times for Llangefni Town when they finished runners-up in Welsh Alliance Division Two to seal promotion.

Craig added another 20 goals the season after, when Cefni finished third in Division One.

In November 2018, Craig took charge of Gwalchmai and led them to promotion from the Gwynedd League.

He remained a potent force in attack for Gwalch right up to when their 2019-20 season in Welsh Alliance Division Two ended early due to coronavirus.

There’s no doubt Craig will bring plenty of goals and creativity as well as experience to CPD Cefni.

Another new signing is goalkeeper Lee Williams, who had already committed to Cefni prior to Danny Jones taking over as manager, but the pair will be happy to be working together again.

Lee is a cultured keeper who organises well, plays with passion and puts everything on the line for his team.

Returning to Cefni from Caergybi is Nathan Lewis. Nathan is a battler up front and gives defenders a headache. A talented striker who gets goals, is composed and works tirelessly for the team.

CPD Y Rhyl 1879

Rhyl 1879’s pre-season fixture schedule to date

CPD Rhyl 1879 have started training for the 2021-22 season with sessions on Wednesday and Saturday.

Almost a year since being appointed manager, Gareth Thomas still awaits leading his team in a competitive game due to the restrictions caused by Covid-19 since March 2020, with most of the Welsh football fixture list decimated.

1879, who will play in the Tier 4 North Wales Coast East Premier Division, but were boosted by securing a Tier 3 licence this week, have not announced any new signings recently, but Thomas reports numerous players are performing well in training.

The 24 players signed up to last November were: Reece Fairhurst, Dan Sim, Owen Hallmark, Jordan Manley, Miles Todd, Elliot Evans, Jay Whitehouse, Ryan Roberts, Matty Beach, Ollie Staveley, Jack Parry-Jones, Carl Lamb, Tyler Joyce, Dan Lloyd, Tony Davies, Eamon Buhalfaia, Chris Bennett, Michael Walsh, Tom Cain, Hayden Hughes, Casey Faulkner, Macauley Taylor, Ryan Hassett, Toby Sylvester. Davies has since announced his retirement.

The Rhyl side, who will play at Belle Vue, have also announced a set of friendlies (see illustration).

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