When deciding upon who wins what in the Grassroots North Wales 2021 Football Awards, the task was made much easier by the fact the majority of our teams have only played five months’ worth of fixtures.
While the top-flight Cymru Premier completed its 2020-21 season, none of the leagues below tier 1 even began their campaigns due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Wales.
Therefore, football in 2021 for tiers 2, 3, 4 and 5 only commenced in July – the start of the current season.
So here are our 2021 awards, with only the Cymru Premier spanning the entire year
Tier 1 Cymru Premier
Team of the Year: Connah’s Quay Nomads
Who else? Back-to-back championships secured in May and they have reached the Nathaniel MG Cup final and Welsh Cup last eight.
Manager of Year: Andy Morrison (Connah’s Quay)
The Scot proved title success in the shortened 2019-20 campaign was no fluke by doing it all again.
Something of a surprise when he resigned at the end of September, but he had achieved all he wanted to at Deeside Stadium.
Player of the Year: Michael Wilde (Connah’s Quay/Flint Town United)
Cymru Premier Player of the Season for 2020-21 after scoring 18 league goals for champions Nomads, including a stunning hat-trick in pivotal 4-1 win at TNS.
Moved to Flint Town United in the summer and has carried on banging in the goals, with 12 in the league so far.
Tier 2 Cymru North
Team of the Year: Airbus UK Broughton
Outstanding this season in the Cymru North, currently leading the table by four points and well on course for a quick return to the Cymru Premier.
Just one defeat in 17 games, 15 wins, 60 goals scored and a GD of +43, a country mile better than any other side.
Manager of the Year: Steve O’Shaughnessy (Airbus)
Vastly experienced player in the Football League and Welsh Premier is having a superb season at the helm with Airbus.
Previous management experience in the Welsh Premier is no doubt standing him in good stead.
Player of the Year: Adam Davies (Airbus)
Leading scorer by some distance in the Cymru North with 23 league goals and 26 in all competitions.
Former Aberystwyth striker has been an absolute sensation for the Wingmakers since joining at the start of 2021.
TIER 3 ARDAL NORTHERN
Ardal North West
Team of the Year: Mold Alexandra
It is some achievement to be top of an Ardal North West table which includes the likes of Denbigh Town and Porthmadog breathing down your necks.
Alex went undefeated for four months and 17 matches at one point and are also into the FAW Amateur Trophy quarter-finals.
Manager of the Year: Michael Cunningham (Mold)
Now in his fifth season as either manager or joint-boss at Alyn Park, Michael and his team are really flourishing.
Former manager with Argoed United, Saltney Town, Lex and Rhydymwyn, all that experience is proving to be of great benefit at Mold.
Player of the Year: Jonny Taylor (Llay Welfare)
This outstanding striker has accumulated 30 club goals for Llay this term, including 14 in the Ardal North West.
A hard-working front man who has Wrexham AFC, Bradford Park Avenue, Gresford Athletic, Flint Town United, Buckley Town and Cefn Druids among his former clubs, Jonny scored seven in a match for Welfare Reserves in August, and hit four for the firsts versus St Asaph and a hat-trick against Brymbo.
Ardal North East
Team of the Year: Chirk AAA
Despite going off the boil a little in December, Chirk made a marvellous start to the league campaign, winning 12 in a row and going 14 unbeaten before losing to title rivals Llanfair United.
The Colliers are also into the NEWFA Challenge Cup quarter-finals, where they face the mouthwatering prospect of a clash with Chirk Town.
Manager of the Year: Andy Pryde (Chirk AAA)
Andy’s flying start to the season meant he landed the Ardal Northern Manager of the Month award for August, during which the team won six out of six.
Appointed Chirk’s new manager in April 2020, Andy had to deal with the frustration of his first scheduled season in charge being cancelled, but 2021-22 has seen him and his players hit the ground running.
Player of the Year: Josh Astley (Llanfair United)
What a season this 22-year-old has had so far.
Astley has netted 39 club goals for Llanfair, 28 of them in the Ardal North East.
Tier 4 North Wales Coast League West Premier
Team of the Year: Bodedern Athletic
No-one else comes even close.
Fourteen straight league wins, 22 victories in 23 matches in all competitions, 119 goals scored.
The only game they have lost was in the Welsh Cup to Ruthin Town from two levels above Cymru North. They were 5-0 down, fought back to 5-4 and were a goal away from forcing a penalty shoot-out.
Manager of the Year: Ricky Williams (Bodedern Athletic)
Ricky has had some good past seasons in charge of Bodedern, but nothing compares to this.
He has put together an awesome squad of island players, with the icing on the cake the twin strike-force of Marc Evans and Asa Thomas – 73 goals in all competitions between them.
Player of the Year: Marc Evans (Bodedern Athletic)
A prolific goal-getter throughout his career, the player known as Logs is on course for his best-ever netbusting season.
To hit 39 goals in just 23 games is phenomenal form – whatever level you play at.
Tier 4 North Wales Coast League East Premier
Team of the Year: Llannefydd
Not only are they the sole team to take a point off CPD Y Rhyl 1879 this season, Llannefydd also ended Prestatyn Sports’ unbeaten record in October.
Currently second in the table, just one behind Sports in the goal difference stakes, Llannefydd have a great chance of being among the prizes in 2022.
Manager of the Year: Gwyndaf Pritchard (Llannefydd)
Has gathered together an excellent squad of players who can be relied upon to give everything for the cause.
Gwyndaf has been with Llannefydd since the village club was formed in 1998 and led them into the Welsh Alliance after success in the Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League.
Player of the Year: Carl Lamb (CPD Y Rhyl 1879)
Class act up front for a team expected to be bang in the title race until the end of the season.
The vastly experienced Lamb, whose former clubs include Chesterfield, Droylsden and The New Saints, has bagged 20 goals so far for his new side.
Tier 4 North East Wales League Premier
Team of the Year: Chirk Town
Having won the former North East Wales League title in their debut season, the Taverners are well on their way to repeating the feat in the new tier 4 version.
With just one loss in 15 matches, Town are four points clear at the top and stand a great chance of being crowned champions in the new year, although Greenfield are definite dangers.
Manager of the Year: Chris Hughes (Chirk Town)
Hughes continues to do a tremendous job with the Tav’s, putting them in the frame for back-to-back league titles after a brilliant start to 2021-22.
Player of the Year: Nicky Williams (Chirk Town)
Williams’ goal-scoring feats for Wrexham area sides are the stuff of legend and this season Chirk Town are benefiting from his lethal finishing.
The much-travelled striker has hit 32 goals across all competitions for the Taverners, including 23 in the league.
Tier 5 North Wales Coast League West Division One
Team of the Year: Bethesda Athletic
Difficult one this with there being so many good sides in Division One and many looking like title contenders.
We’ll just edge towards current leaders Bethesda who have lit up the division with some of their attacking football and end 2021 on a fine run of form.
Manager of the Year: Meirion Grieves (Llannerchymedd)
It has been a promising return to the Tan Parc hotseat for Meirion, who is assisted by Iwan Williams.
The pair have assembled a fine squad which has been beaten just once in the league and have to be looked upon as real championship material.
Player of the Year: Jay Finter (Llanfairpwll)
Like choosing the best team, selecting the player of the year in this division is really difficult with so much talent on show.
However, 20-year-old Jay Finter has been so consistent and razor-sharp for Llanfairpwll, scoring 20 goals in 18 matches across all competitions so far.
Tier 5 North Wales Coast League East Division One
Team of the Year: Cerrigydrudion
Although the likes of Llanelwy Athletic and Abergele could overtake Cerrig if they won their games in hand, no-one can dispute the fact the village reds keep winning, with just a single loss on their record from 20 games.
With hitmen like Tirion Griffiths and Tomos Tryfan Jones on form – 42 league goals between them – Cerrig might just go all the way.
Manager of the Year: Sandy Malone (Llanelwy Athletic)
The formidable Scot, who has celebrated past success with Llanfairfechan Town and Llandudno Amateurs, is also doing a grand job with his latest club Llanelwy.
Athletic won their first 10 league games before Amateurs ended their run.
Malone’s side are still in a good position to push for the title in 2022.
Player of the Year: Mike Chapman (Llanelwy Athletic)
Scored 23 times for Llandudno Amateurs this season before a move to Llanelwy to rejoin former boss Malone.
Chapman will grab goals wherever his plays – he has hit five in his first two outings for Athletic. Brilliant striker.
Tier 5 North East Wales League Championship
Team of the Year: Penyffordd Lions
An awesome first five months of the season has seen Penyffordd go unbeaten in 13 league games with 12 wins and a draw on their slate.
Although their cup results have been disappointing, that stand-out league form makes them the Championship team of the year.
Manager of the Year: Gareth Tunnicliffe (Penyffordd)
Great work from the manager and his assistants so far with a league title push the chief aim in 2022.
Player of the Year: Keiye Williams (Sychdyn)
There are many good goalscorers in this division, but Sychdyn’s Williams leads the way with 30 goals covering all competitions in just 17 matches.
At just 19, he is definitely one to watch.
Goal of the Year
Ben Evans (Mochdre Sports)
An absolute long range stunner from a player normally not renowned as a goalscorer.
Upset of the Year
Llay Welfare 5 Denbigh Town 1
Llay did not only end Denbigh’s unbeaten run in the Ardal North West – they did it in ruthless style.
Tom Wells (2), Ryan Merrill, Jonny Taylor and Jonathan Collo grabbed the goals which smashed Town’s 10-match undefeated streak.
Story of the Year
Saltney Town’s brilliant run to the Welsh Cup last 16
The Ardal North West side were the only tier three side to reach the fourth round of the 2021-22 competition.
On the way, the giant-killers knocked out Cymru North outfits Llanrhaeadr YM and Penrhyncoch before heartbreakingly going out on penalties to Aberystwyth of the Cymru Premier.
OVERALL NORTH WALES AWARDS
Team of the Year
Manager of the Year
Ricky Williams (Bodedern Athletic) – one thing Ricky will definitely say to me (and he’s right) – “nothing has been won by any team yet!”
Player of the Year
Adam Davies (Airbus UK Broughton)