Holyhead Town are taking a leaf from the book of another successful club as they aim to make a major impact in 2022-23.
The Harbourmen are signing a raft of young talent in a bid to build a strong squad to challenge for honours and, hopefully, rise up the pyramid in seasons to come.
Town have been inspired by the achievements of Bethesda Athletic, who last term placed a big emphasis on youth and won the North Wales Coast West League Division One Cup, as well as finishing runners-up in the table.
Holyhead, one of Anglesey’s most prolific clubs with 32 honours on their CV. have had contrasting fortunes in their long and proud history, but memories of back-to-back titles, Anglesey League in 2016-17 and Gwynedd League 2017-18, still remain fresh and relevant.
The club’s manager for those unforgettable seasons was the man who is in charge now, Craig Brodie.
Alongside him is assistant Carl Taylor, one of the island’s finest midfielders of years gone by.
Head coach David Jones, another with widespread experience in North Wales football, completes the main management set-up.
Here’s a look in more depth at the staff, retained players and new faces…
Manager: Craig Brodie
Craig returned to the club last season following the departure of Mark Owen after a break away from management. Craig has had great success in the past as Holyhead Town manager and is enthusiastic to restore the club back to past glories.
Assistant-Manager: Carl Taylor
Carl joined the club last season as Craig’s assistant manager following a short stint at Gwalchmai. He has vast experience within the local game and this experience will be invaluable as we look to take the club forward.
Carl managed in the Cymru Alliance with Hotspur for four seasons, having great success and was a founding member of the club in 1990.
He is also a past Holyhead Town manager who was able to gain promotion to the Gwynedd League and celebrate a Cup win in the same season .
Head Coach: David Jones
David joined the club as assistant-manager to Mark Owen and continued into his role following Mark’s departure.
David is a B licence coach and has managerial experience at Holyhead Hotspur, Trearddur Bay and CPD Glantraeth.
Last season was a bit of a transitional one for the club with many comings and goings throughout.
However, after the Christmas break the club managed to settle on a consistent group of players which resulted in a strong finish to the season.
Based on this the club assessed who was key to that consistency and from last season’s squad have retained the services of…..
Goalkeeper: Mike Bentley
Defenders: Aidan Batsford, Tony Meyer, Luke Jones, Dan Pritchard and Andy Hill
Midfielders: Charlie Diamond, Paul Williams, Chris Hughes, Rickie Lavelle
Forwards: Kaine Bentley, Ian Williams, Mike Williams.
The retention of Kaine Bentley is a major boost. Voted the players’ player last season and top scorer with 17 goals, he produced 13 assists also.
Kaine will play an integral part of the rebuild at Town, and is one to look out for in the future for sure.
New Signings (player pen pictures written by club)
Due to the large turnover in players last season the club decided it was time to change its approach to recruitment.
The recruitment focus is now to bring in younger players to help build the club for the future – something Bethesda Athletic did very well last season.
Craig Moore: Last season goals were hard to come by and in signing Craig we believe we have solved that problem. Although he is not a young player any more, he compliments the players we have and will be among the leading scorers in the league come the end of the season.
Callum Queen: At only 16, this will be Callum’s first year in men’s football. He’s a dynamic midfielder with great potential. Great on the ball, he can use both feet. Has a range of passing and has great turn of pace.
Queenie’s a really exciting prospect for the season that will make an instant impact on the team even at such a young age.
Callum Moore: Callum is joining us from Holyhead Hotspur Reserves and follows his brother Craig over to the club. Callum is technically a very good wide player who can play on either wing.
Michael Jones: young, skilful, attacking player who can bring a lot to this Town team; he’s coming from Holyhead Hotspur Reserves and we hope he can flourish in this Town side.
Callum Batsford: First season in men’s football coming up from playing U-16’s. We hope he can learn off the more senior players in the squad and adapt to men’s football quite quickly. He is a pacy full-back who has great delivery on the ball and is growing in confidence at every training session.
The club are still working hard to secure a couple more signings before the start of the season so keep an eye out for these.
What are your hopes for the season ahead?
We believe the club is in a very good place compared to 12 months ago. We have recruited to the committee and have a clear plan moving forward.
On the pitch our aim next season is to continue our form from the second half of the season. It is very difficult to predict in Tier 5 as usually a team comes from nowhere and takes everyone by surprise.
We have added the right players to the squad and the players are working hard in pre-season – our aim like any other team would be to be in and around the top come the end of the season still challenging.
I think as the season progresses and the young players develop, we have every chance to do so as well.
Sponsors (words of thanks from the club)
We at Holyhead Town have been very fortunate in the past 3 months as we have looked for sponsorship towards the club.
We ran a bus-stop raffle in April to raise funds for our new home kit, designed by Instagram kit concept designer FMK, which was won by J M Plumbing.
We would like to extend our gratitude to all that entered, and these companies have been added to our website which is due to be relaunched in the coming weeks.
Following a generous donation in the raffle, Mon Aquatics became our sleeve sponsor on both our home and away kit.
The A-Team Charity shop provided a generous £500 sponsorship and became our away shirt sponsor.
Mr Holt’s Monuts has become the sponsor of our training t-shirts for the squad; we would like to thank Richard at Melin Llynon for his sponsorship of the team.
Taylor Made Windows have also sponsored the club for training tops for the coming season this was another generous donation made by another local business.
Finally, following discussion with the Cybi Sports Bar they have agreed to sponsor polo shirts for the players for next season.
The club would like to extend its full gratitude to all our sponsors for this season and will aim to make them proud on the pitch.
Holyhead Town are still in talks for further sponsorship opportunities which will be announced via our social media in the coming weeks.
HOLYHEAD TOWN – Honours (32)
League titles: Welsh League (North) 4; Anglesey League 4; Gwynedd League 2.
Cups: NWCFA Amateur Cup 1; Cookson Cup 5; Dargie Cup 2; Megan Cup 4 (2 1st team, 2 reserves); Elias Cup 4 (first team 2, reserves 2); NWCFA Challenge Cup 2, NWCFA Junior Cup 1; Gwynedd Cup 1; SK Williams Challenge Shield 1. Lucas Oil Cup 1