Familiar pairing become the new management team at CPD Bangor 1876

Michael Johnston (right) signs for Mel Jones at 1876 in June 2019

There will be no major upheaval at Bangor 1876 following the weekend resignation of Dylan Williams as manager.

Taking the helm at Treborth will be former first-team manager Mel Jones and assistant player-boss Michael Johnston.

The vastly-experienced Jones was 1876’s first-ever manager in the club’s debut 2019-20 season.

In a shortened campaign due to coronavirus, the blue and whites won the Gwynedd League title under his leadership with a 100 percent record.

September 2020 saw Jones take on the club manager role, while Williams became first-team boss and Johnston remained assistant.

The new regime frustratingly had to deal with the entire 2020-21 season being cancelled through Covid.

This season 1876 sit second in the new tier 4 North Wales Coast West Premier Division with 13 wins, two draws and a single defeat in 16 games.

Last weekend, Williams announced he was stepping down. He went out on a high note with the fan-owned club whipping Aberffraw 5-0 in the NWCFA Intermediate Cup.

New assistant Johnston was actually one of Jones’ first two big-name signings for 1876 in June 2019, along with Les Davies.

Bangor 1876 chairman Glynne Roberts said: “As a club we are delighted that Johnno and Mel are going to take charge of the first team.

“Continuity is important, and we are very fortunate to have two candidates of their calibre to take over.

“The board looks forward to working with them, and we will support them both as we aim to have a strong finish to the season.”

Mel Jones

Mel Jones

As a player, Mel started out with Bangor City juniors and youth, and then played for the reserves and first team.

His outings for the firsts came in the late 1970s, when City were in the Northern Premier League and Mel would have played alongside club greats such as Tony Broadhead, John Hughes and John McClelland.

In 1977-78, the team Mel featured in also once had Sir Bobby Charlton on its side when Bangor beat Treviso in the Anglo-Italian Cup, the Manchester United and England legend netting the winner at Farrar Road.

Mel also played for Nantlle Vale and Bethesda Athletic in an impressive career.

To develop his managerial experience, he once took on a coaching role at Wrexham under Brian Flynn and Kevin Reeves.

In December 2005, Mel had a stint as acting first-team manager at Bangor City following the departure of Peter Davenport.

He was in charge for six games, recording wins over Newtown and Caernarfon Town, before ex-Manchester United and Wales defender Clayton Blackmore became manager in mid-January 2006.

Mel stayed on as assistant to Blackmore and the pair reached the Welsh Cup final at the end of that season, only to lose 2-0 to rivals Rhyl at the Racecourse, Wrexham.

A UEFA A licence holder, Mel took charge of the Bangor City Academy before being appointed assistant to Paul Whelan at Porthmadog in 2008.

Whelan departed eight months later, but Mel remained Porthmadog Academy manager until July 2009.

In September 2009, he became joint first-team manager of Caernarfon Town with Derek Roberts for a short spell.

Mel returned to Bangor City and became renowned for his outstanding work with the club’s Academy.

In 2016-17, he was joint-manager with Dave Cavanagh as Bangor City Reserves wrapped up the Welsh Alliance Reserves Division title. He was also heavily involved in the Bangor City Under-19’s Welsh Premier Development League championship sides.

In June 2019, the formation of new club Bangor 1876 was announced. Mel was appointed manager and Dylan Williams his assistant.

Mel switched to a club manager role in September 2020 before becoming first team boss again on February 10, 2022.

Michael Johnston

Michael Johnston

The 34-year-old is ranked as one of the greatest defenders in Welsh Premier League history.

Johnno is best known for his medal-winning achievements at Bangor City between 2008-11, but has also represented Wales at under-17, U-19 and U-23 semi-professional levels.

After signing for Tranmere Rovers as a youth in 2006 he joined the reserve squad, but just before the September 2007 transfer window, under-16 manager at Prenton Park, Alan Morgan, who had also become number two to Neville Powell at Bangor City, persuaded Johnno to move to Farrar Road on loan.

Michael made his debut for the Citizens at Welshpool Town on September 15, 2007. He impressed over the season and during the summer of 2008 was released by Rovers and wasted no time in signing for City on a permanent basis.

Johnno was superb throughout that 2007-08 campaign, finishing off with a Welsh Cup winners’ medal when Bangor beat Llanelli in the final at Newtown.

He went on to make it a hat-trick of triumphs in Wales’ premier national knockout, with City also lifting the trophy in 2009 and 2010.

The following season Johnno was again a key man at the back as the blues defied the odds to win their first Welsh Premier title in 16 years, breaking the top flight stranglehold of full-timers The New Saints, who they beat 1-0 at Farrar Road in the championship decider.

In total, Michael made 240 Welsh Premier appearances for Bangor over eight seasons, four of them as a substitute.

He also holds the record for the most appearances in European competition in a Bangor shirt, starting all 14 of City’s matches in Europe between 2008-14.

The highlight was the 2010-11 Europa League tie against Honka Espoo of Finland, which the Citizens won 3-2 on aggregate.

In 2015-16, Johnno joined Llandudno in their first season as a Welsh Premier club, but left the following summer. He later had spells at Caernarfon Town, Brickfield Rangers and briefly Runcorn.

The 2018-19 season saw Michael make a surprise return to Bangor City, who were now in the tier two Cymru Alliance.

Then in summer 2019, the defender joined former City team-mate Les Davies as marquee signings for new club Bangor 1876.

Michael had an outstanding debut season for an 1876 side which lifted the Gwynedd League title at the first attempt.

On February 10, 2022, he became part of 1876’s new management team alongside Mel Jones.

Copyright Dave Jones © All rights reserved. CoverNews by AF themes.
%d bloggers like this: