The story of the season so far as North Wales writer Arron Evans talks the Kon-X Anglesey League
With the festive period well and truly upon us, football on Anglesey will be coming to a halt for a weekend as families get together to celebrate Christmas.
With that said, now seems as good a time as any to review the action that has unfolded so far in the Kon-X Anglesey League.
Here, reporter Arron Evans, who works for Bangor-based North Wales Chronicle, gives his verdict on who’s stood out so far this season and who he thinks could go on to lift the title come to the end of the season.
The story of the season so far
This time around, there are nine teams competing in the Kon-X Anglesey League, (compared to eight last year) due to Arriva Bangor’s late arrival into the division. This means that one team is given a week off each Saturday.
As expected in pre-season, four teams are currently running away with the points in the league, while the others behind them try and make up some ground.
League newcomers Mynydd Tigers currently sit at the top of the table on 22 points heading into Christmas, whilst fellow debutants Caergybi FC sit in second on 21 points. Behind them are more experienced sides Bryngwran Bulls (also 21 points) and Valley Athletic (18 points), who both have two games in hand over Caergybi and one over the Tigers.
The four sides all have positive points to take from the first half of the campaign. Mynydd are top and have lost just once, whilst Bryngwran Bulls have the best defensive record alongside them. Caergybi have the league’s top scorer in their ranks in Gary Jo Owen (24 goals) and Valley are the top scorers overall having hit 60 goals.
From fifth place in the table downwards, you can see that the massive gap in points begins to take place.
Pentraeth Reserves are currently sitting in fifth on seven points, whilst Arriva Bangor and Llangoed & District Reserves are just behind on six. Bodorgan and Llandegfan are on three points each and it seems as though all of these teams are likely to battle it out to try and avoid finishing bottom of the pack.
So, it is well and truly a tale of two halves when it comes to the Kon-X Anglesey League table, but it certainly hasn’t been short of action or goals so far.
For me, it has to be Mynydd Tigers.
The management team have previously stated that their objective for the Tigers at the start of the season was to challenge for the league title and push for promotion and they’re on their way to achieving just that.
They’re a youthful side, with nine of their players that have featured this season aged just 16 or 17 years old, but they’ve been helped on by the more experienced individuals at the club.
They’ve certainly shown early signs of maturity, picking up seven wins and just the one loss.
The 17-year-old midfielder, Herbie Hofsteede, who was signed from Caernarfon Town in the summer, has run the show in the middle of the park, picking up 13 goals in just nine games.
Striker Adam Evans has been another 17-year-old who has shined for Mynydd. Having previously spearheaded the title-winning attack of Bangor City’s Reserves and U19’s academy teams, the former Wrexham schoolboy signed for Mynydd in October and blazed onto the scene with nine goals in his first five matches.
Top of the table at Christmas is a fantastic achievement for this group of young players, but they will no doubt looking to push on in the New Year now and claim that title.
Surprise star of the season
I’ll give this award to Scott Hughes of Arriva Bangor who has come out of nowhere to hit 19 goals to date and is sitting in third in the goalscoring rankings.
Arriva moved from Sunday League football to Saturday league football at the beginning of the season and whilst many expected that transition to be a tough one, I think they have handled themselves very well thus far.
Having played under manager Kevin Jones for three seasons now, Hughes has shown loyalty to him and now that he has been given the chance to play in a more challenging league, he certainly hasn’t disappointed and deserves credit for his performances.
Best players of the half-season
There are a few players who could be picked in this category, particular stars from the “top four” teams in the division. It would be very hard to choose just one so I will name a few.
As mentioned previously, Mynydd’s Hofsteede and Davies have been phenomenal at times, as has their captain and centre back Mike Williams.
Caergybi’s Gary Jo Owen (who also played for Valley at the start of the season) is the current top-scorer in the league, having hit 24 goals, whilst Bryngwran’s James Ryan has 22 to his name.
Valley has a squad packed full of goalscorers too and with Mike Williams on 19 goals, Justin Williams on 18 goals and winger Konner Druce (recently brought in from Caergybi) on 17 goals, it’s little wonder that they have already hit a total of 60 goals in the league before Christmas.
The other five teams have also had their standout stars as well though.
At Bodorgan, striker Luke Allaway has hit 14 goals in total, whilst midfielder Sam Hallas has stood out in midfield.
Llangoed & District Reserves’ Arwyn Morris has been in good form too, netting 11 goals so far and as mentioned before Arriva’s Scott Hughes has really impressed with his 19 goal haul.
Meanwhile, pacey forward Jack Diamond has hit six goals for Pentraeth Reserves and Llandegfan’s player-manager Jordan Love has five goals to his name.
Manager of the half-season
The management team at Mynydd Tigers certainly deserve credit for what they have achieved in their first season in the league, particularly with such as a group of young players, and Caergybi boss Dale Moffat has done well with his side too.
For me though, the manager of the season so far has to be Bryngwran Bulls’, Richard Owen.
The way that they have come back into matches from being a goal or two down this season has certainly stood out for me and I think Owen’s change in formations at halftime or at certain points in the game has worked well for his side.
Having been at the club for many, many years now, since their Sunday League days in fact, Owen knows his side inside out and after finishing third last season, he will be looking to take the Bulls one step further this year and earn promotion.
They’ve impressed so far this year and are still very much in with a shout in several domestic cups, so I would be very surprised if they didn’t win some sort of silverware during 2018 and they will certainly have Owen to thank if they pull that off.
Who is likely to go on and win the league?
This is a very tough one to call as I think the league has grown in both strength and talent this season. Although, of course, it is down to four teams, unless one of the other five teams makes a miraculous resurgence during the New Year.
This is the top four as it stands ahead of the next set of fixtures which will take place on Saturday, December 30:
Mynydd Tigers – 22 pts (9 games played)
Caergybi – 21 pts (10 games played)
Bryngwran Bulls – 21 pts (8 games played)
Valley Athletic – 18 pts (8 games played)
For me, despite the fact that they’re currently fourth in the table, I fancy Valley to go on and lift the league title as they have such a strong attack that is capable of scoring so many goals. As well as that though, they have a talented and experienced midfield too, with the likes of Marc Wilson and Jordie Lees available to them.
I’ll go for Mynydd Tigers as the division’s runners-up as, although their a new team to the division and are a youthful side, they have already shown what they are capable of. With some key players returning from injuries/holidays in the new year, they should be strengthened even further.
Bryngwran Bulls and Caergybi will push them all the way through and with both teams still in various cup competitions, it looks as though all four of these teams could have something to celebrate come to the end of the season.
Personally, I’m very much looking forward to the second half of the Kon-X Anglesey League season during 2018 and can’t wait to see what stories unfold.
(Featured Image: Wynne Evans)