Nothing makes me happier than the lighter side of football, especially when it occurs at grassroots level.
Now and again, those little off-beat, quirky stories emerge that make covering our beautiful game a total pleasure.
One of my favourite footballing subjects away from the field of play is club nicknames.
My long-time friend and fellow sportswriter Mark Jones is an expert. I’m confident he can reel off the nicknames of every English Premier League and Football League club – and most non-league ones.
I could probably manage about 60% of the EPL and EFL nicknames on a good day.
As for North Wales football? I’m not so sure. I might be able to give Mark a run for his money when it comes to Llysenwau y Gogs!
Not every North Wales team has a nickname, while some even have names devised for them for media purposes!
Jamie Davies, a musician, martial arts expert, football manager and coach who used to provide me with match reports a few years ago, was quite a dab hand at giving local teams new identities!
He christened Llandegfan Antelope, who he managed, The Lope, before going on to refer to Pentraeth as The Sandmen (we used to suggest Enter Sandman by Metallica as their walk-on music) and Gaerwen became The Auctioneers overnight (the Anglesey village is renowned for its auctions).
Another man who was not averse to dropping an unexpected sobriquet in a report was former Denbigh Town media officer Peter Glynn.
Sadly, I have forgotten many of his gems, but I do remember him referring to Halkyn United as The Mountainmen.
I’ve even done it myself! Back in 1992-93, Denbigh played against a team called Kwik Save in the Clwyd League and I gave the opposition the moniker The Trolley Men.
Where is all this leading to?
Well, in recent weeks, a popular North Wales club has adopted a ‘new’ nickname which is catching on fast.
CPD Llangoed’s badge includes the design of a puffin. a seabird which lives in large colonies on coastal cliffs or offshore islands.
With Puffin Island being so close to the village as the crow flies (or the puffin waddles – do they waddle? or is that just penguins?) it is obvious why the bird is on the badge.
However, this season CPD Llangoed of North Wales Coast West Division One are either adopting or relaunching the club’s nickname as The Puffins!
It’s a fantastic idea for sure and hopefully will inspire other North Wales clubs to take on new nicks.
New Llangoed player Laurence Mandel is the main man promoting Operation Puffin.
He said: “I’m pretty new to the area as last year was my first at Bangor University.
“I can’t claim I invented it, but when I realised it was a puffin on the badge I thought it would be a good nickname for the team.
“And of course it suits us with Puffin Island being so close.”
So there we have it – The Puffins it is.
It really would be good to see other nickname-less clubs in the north join in the fun.
I have seen Rhuddlan Town referred to as The Rhudds recently, which I haven’t heard before, so there’s a start…….
And with Greenfield formerly being the home of the famous Courtaulds clothing factory, how about naming the football club The Fibres or The Fabrics?
Feel free to send any suggestions for new North Wales football club nicknames to email@example.com