Y Clwb Pel-Droed Awards Round-Up
After receiving nominations from across the country and all of the Welsh football pyramid, the Y Clwb Pel Droed winners for the 2017/18 season have been announced.
These unofficial awards aim to showcase the success of football clubs in Wales from the JD Welsh Premier League to the grassroots level.
JD Welsh Premier League Player of the Season – Alec Mudimu, Cefn Druids
Mudimu has been a breath of fresh air for Cefn Druids and the JD Welsh Premier League. The midfielder uses his strength and height to impose himself on each and every game, and rarely looks overwhelmed in any situation.
He has also helped put the league on the map with international call ups for Zimbabwe and is of course on the plane to Europe with Cefn Druids this summer. He has been a key man in the Druids season and scoops this season’s award.
JD Welsh Premier League Manager of the Season – Huw Griffiths, Cefn Druids
Huw Griffiths scooped the league’s official manager of the season prize on Saturday evening and Y Clwb Pel Droed can’t look past him for this award either.
Griffiths achieved Cefn Druids’ highest ever league finish of fifth and got them into Europe via a play off final win. Druids played a compact and strong style of football that other sides found difficult to break down, with key wins over Bala Town and Connah’s Quay helping them clinch a home tie in the play off final.
In his second spell in charge of Druids, Huw Griffiths has taken the club from the Huws Gray Alliance to the Europa League and for that he scoops this prize.
JD Welsh Premier League Club of the Season – Cefn Druids
Congratulations Cefn Druids, it’s a clean sweep this year after a fantastic season for the Cefn Mawr club.
Druids, who boast some of the best facilities in the league at the immaculate Rock ground, spent some seasons in a yo-yo between the top flight and Huws Gray Alliance, but this season the club has established itself as a major force, clinching a top six finish on the final day of phase one.
Druids never looked out of place in the top six and ended up worthy Europa League entrants. Based on their form, they can into Europe with belief that they can get a result and progress to qualifying round one.
Huws Gray Alliance Player of the Season – Llyr Morris, Ruthin Town
Huws Gray Alliance Manager of the Season – Sean Eardley, Caernarfon Town
There were many great managerial achievements in the North Wales second tier this season, but the award goes to Sean Eardley for guiding Caernarfon Town to promotion.
Upon the departure of ex-Cofi boss Iwan Williams the club could have easily been distracted from its promotion battle, and Eardley showed great professionalism to keep the Canaries on track.
A popular personality with players and fans alike, he will be a great addition to the Welsh Premier League manager roster.
Huws Gray Alliance Club of the Season – Denbigh Town
Denbigh shocked some to clinch the runners up place this season – their highest ever finish in the league.
Guided by the now-Rhyl FC boss Eddie Maurice-Jones, the side were notoriously tough this year despite a poor start to the season.
Their heads could have gone down after losing their first four games, which included a 7-0 loss to Caernarfon, but the players showed composure to recover and go onto enjoy a stunning season.
The club faces a new era after the departure of Maurice Jones, but remains in good stead to push on and challenge in the Huws Gray.
Welsh National League Premier Division Player of the Season – Joe Williams, Corwen
Welsh National League Premier Division Manager of the Season – Dan Moore, Buckley Town
Dan Moore wins this award after guiding Buckley Town straight back into the Huws Gray Alliance.
They didn’t do it the easy way, securing the title and promotion on the final day of the season in a play off against second placed Brickfield Rangers.
After a winter hampered by postponements due to weather, Moore faced a packed fixture list but organised the side well to maintain momentum in the title race. More so, he kept Buckley on track after losses against Mold Alex and Llanuwchllyn threatened to damage their title hopes.
Moore is a driven and ambitious coach who will fancy his chances of keeping Buckley in the second tier for the 2018/19 campaign.
Welsh National League Premier Division Club of the Season – Buckley Town
Buckley take the prize after immediate promotion to the Huws Gray Alliance in what heralds a new era of success at the club.
Just two years ago financial matters meant the club’s very existence was on the brink, but their hardworking team of volunteers on the committee secured vital sponsorship to continue.
Their squad of skilful and pacy players eventually clinched the title to reach the second tier again, in a great example that there is always a way back up for clubs on a downward spiral.
Welsh Football League One Player of the Season – Chris Ham, Cwmbran Celtic
Chris Ham clinches the second tier player of the season accolade after an action packed season for Cwmbran Celtic. A constant threat going forward, he was vital for Celtic’s top half of the table finish and he will be looking to take the side higher next season.
Welsh Football League One Manager of the Season – Andy Hill
Whilst dealing with the threat of a strong Haverfordwest County side and the pressure to return Llanelli to the top flight, Andy Hill delivered.
Whilst star man Lee Trundle took the limelight, Hill guided Llanelli through a packed end of season fixture list to win the league, organising the side extremely well in a key home victory over Haverfordwest.
The Reds will find it tough in the JD Welsh Premier League, but Hill will have the side ready to deal with the demands of the top flight.
Welsh Football League One Club of the Season – Cambrian and Clydach
Cambrian & Clydach finished the season in fourth place, a highly respectable position which is a reflection of the club itself.
Offering the only Welsh Premier accredited academy in Rhondda Cynon Taff, the club is renound for producing talent and giving them a shot at senior football.
They win this season’s award after some fantastic performances this season – if it’s more of the same for the 2018/19 campaign, a title challenge might not be far off.
Welsh Football League Two Player of the Season – Luke Gullick, Pontypridd Town
Gullick was an instrumental figure in Pontypridd Town’s successful promotion charge this season. Scoring a hatful of goals, the forward led the line for the Ponty side as the club secured promotion after missing out by the skin of their teeth last season.
Welsh Football League Two Manager of the Season – Karl Lewis, Llantwit Major
Lewis has arguably been one of Llantwit Major’s most successful managers in the club’s history. Having won the #WFL3 title last season, Major’s manager stated his aim for the season was to avoid relegation. But the manager led his side to the title at the first time of asking.
Welsh Football League Two Club of the Season – Llantwit Major
It has been a whirlwind few seasons for Llantwit Major. Last season the club secured the #WFL3 title, and at the first attempt the secured the title in #WFL2. Along the way, the club managed to self-fund their own ground improvements to achieve the Tier 2 Ground Criteria for next season’s #WFL1 campaign.
Welsh Football League Three Player of the Season – Nick Hyden, Swansea University
Nick Hyden played a starring role for Swansea University FC as they secured an immediate promotion to #WFL2. In a tightly contested title race between the club, Bridgend Street and Trefelin, Swansea Uni marched to the title, but not without the influential role played by Hyden who’s goals and assists were essential in securing the #WFL3 title.
Welsh Football League Three Manager of the Season – Dafydd Evans, Swansea Uni
Dafydd Evans guided his Swansea University side to the title this season. It is easy to forget that the manager not only had to deal with the constant threat of both Bridgend Street and Trefelin, but also had to deal with the BUCS fixtures for the University side. With constant comparisons with Cardiff Met, Dafydd Evans has done a stellar job in leading the side through the season and to culminate it with the title.
Welsh Football League Three Club of the Season – Bridgend Street
Bridgend Street have been on the brink of promotion from #WFL3 for a couple of seasons, and it would have been easy for everyone involved to take their eye off the ball. However, the club did the exact opposite. This season, under the pressure of both Swansea Uni and Trefelin, Craig Dale, the players and the club united to achieve promotion. The club ended the season with 12 consecutive wins. In their final game of the season, they came up against Swansea Uni knowing only a win would secure second place and promotion. In front of a bumper crowd, the Street won 2-0 to book their place in #WFL2. Deserved for all their hard work this season.
Welsh Alliance Division One Player of the Season – Corrig McGonigle, Conwy Borough
It’s been two remarkable seasons for Corris McGonigle. After guiding Glantraeth to the title last season with his goals, and he’s reproduced the goods this season with 43 goals as Conwy Borough secured the Welsh Alliance title.
Welsh Alliance Division One Manager of the Season- Gareth Thomas, Conwy Borough
Gareth Thomas led the Conwy Borough side with expert management this season. The club faced relegation last season, but Thomas has secured an immediate return to the Huws Gray Alliance. The manager guided the club to the title with 64 points having won the league by a margin of three points. Thomas deserves this success for securing the title for Conwy.
Welsh Alliance Division One Club of the Season – Llangefni Town
Llangefni Town are an example that the prospect of rebuilding the first team squad is not one to be feared, but is an opportunity for change and optimism. In 2013/14, the club pulled out of the Welsh Alliance League and played in the Anglesey leagues. Attempting to utilise local players, under the leadership of Chris Roberts, they secured a mid-table finish before achieving promotion the season after. To secure a high finish in the Welsh Alliance league so soon after shows the remarkable efforts of the club to create a sustainable club for the town.
Spar Mid Wales League Division One Player of the Year – William Thomas, Welshpool
William Thomas was the main man at Welshpool Town this season. Bagging 32 league goals in the process, Thomas helped guide the club to second place in the division, but he was some eight goals ahead of his nearest competitor, Matthew Davies of Aberaeron. He led the line as Welshpool bagged 99 league goals in the 2017/18 season.
Spar Mid Wales League Division One Manager of the Season – Marcus Griffiths and Graham Evans, Llanrhaedr
Join player-manager Marcus Griffiths and Graham Evans led Llanrhaedr both on the field and from the dugout this term. The club coasted to the title this term, scoring over 100 goals and with a positive goal difference of 87 it is clear Griffiths and Evans are a formidable duo, as they have the club solid at both ends of the field.
Spar Mid Wales League Division One Club of the Season – Llanrhaedr
Llanrhaedr are the clear cut winners of the club of the season this term after romping to the title by an impressive 20 points this term. Ferocious in attack, and solid at the back, it has been a phenomenal season by the Mid Wales outfit.
Spar Mid Wales League Division Two Player of the Season – Nathan Prodger, Llansantffraid
To score 30 goals in one season is some feat. But, this is exactly what Llansantffraid’s Prodger achieved this term. The forward was prolific in front of goal, and finished 7 goals ahead of his nearest challenger Joel Evans from Brecon Northcote.
Spar Mid Wales League Division Two Manager of the Year – Chris Jones, Builth Wells
Chris Jones was instrumental in leading Builth Wells to the title in Division Two this season. The manager guided the club to a season in which they lost just once. The manager was key in leading the club to the title by some eight points. A remarkable achievement.
Spar Mid Wales League Division Two Club of the Year – Builth Wells
No-one can dismiss the achievements of Builth Wells this campaign. Promotion on the pitch, the club thrived and lost just one time in the season. This is evidence of the hard work of the club off the pitch in order to achieve glory on the field this season. Their work and performances were a credit to the area this campaign, and now Division One beckons for the club.
North Wales Grassroots Player of the Year – Nicky Williams, Plas Madoc
Nicky Williams fired his side Plas Madoc to the title this season with an impressive 43 goals. The league was abundant in ruthless goalscorers, but Williams was the best of the lot with seven goals more than second placed Tommy Hallam. An amazing feat to surpass 40 goals from Williams.
North Wales Grassroots Manager of the Year – Ryan Roberts, Plas Madoc
The success of Roberts and his side is undeniable this season. Roberts was playing for Chirk last season and his maiden managerial role, the new boss has led Plas Madoc to the title by an impressive nine points. In just his second season, he will be leading the side after a successful promotion winning season.
North Wales Grassroots Club of the Year – Plas Madoc FC
It’s a clean sweep for Plas Madoc! In their debut season as a club, Plas Madoc have shown their value in the division this season and have undoubtedly played some of the best attacking football. In just 26 games, the club found the back of the net an impressive 130 goals to make a charge for the title. A new club, with a first time manager and it ended with a title. An amazing feat for the side in their inaugural season as a football club.
South Wales Grassroots Player of the Year – Christopher Colvin-Owens, Penydarren
There would be few who would question Colvin-Owens being named player of the season. Instrumental in Penydarren’s success this season, the striker scored over 50 goals for his club this term. The club went the whole season unbeaten, reached the WJ Owen Cup final, and reached the quarter-finals of the JD Welsh Cup as a fifth tier side. A remarkable feat that likely wouldn’t have been achieved without the goals of Colvin-Owens, whose season is yet to end as he has joined up with the South Wales FA sqaud for the UEFA Regions preliminary round this week.
South Wales Grassroots Manager of the Season – Kerry Mullins, Penydarren
Mullins has led his side Penydarren to a unprecedented season. The club reached the quarter-finals of the JD Welsh Cup as a fifth tier side, becoming the first fifth tier side to ever achieve this. The manager led his side to lofty heights, and despite the massive backlog of fixtures in the league after the JD Welsh Cup run, the manager guided his club to an unbeaten league season, with 27 wins in 30 games. The man at the helm even made an appearance on the final day of the season and scored to top of what was an excellent season for the club.
South Wales Grassroots Club of the Season – Blaenrhondda
It is easy to overlook the achievements of Blaenrhondda as a consequence of Penydarren’s success this term. However, the club also went the whole season unbeaten, achieving promotion with 88 points having won 29 out of their 30 league games. However, the icing on the cake for the South Wales Alliance Division Two outfit came in the WJ Owen Cup final, where they toppled heavy favourites Penydarren 2-0. A fantastic season for the club.
Up and coming club of the season – Trefelin BGC
In the tight end of season run-in that was the #WFL3 title race, Trefelin missed out by a solitary point thanks to a victory by Bridgend Street against champions Swansea Uni on the final day, 2-0. It would be easy to forget the successful season they had as a result. But, under first-time manager Richard Ryan, a former prolific Welsh League goalscorer, Trefelin have made remarkable progress this season. Despite missing out on promotion this term, the club made huge strides on the field and the club magnificently secured the Welsh League Cup against Llanelli at the end of the season. Beating higher tier opposition on the way to the final, Ryan and the club showed their resilience against heavy favourites and soon to be JD Welsh Premier League outfit Llanelli Town to secure the title. With Ryan in charge, it seems the future is most certainly bright for the Welsh Football League 3 side.
Community club of the season – FC Queens Park
The late Martin Ford founded FC Queens Park to represent one of the largest estates in Wales, offering the local area a football team to follow. Ford was the heartbeat of the football club and offered the local youngsters and local members an outlet of entertainment, and the possibility of playing recreational and competitive sport for their local side. Unfortunately, Ford recently passed on. But, the hard work of Ford and the club to provide a team for the local area is of significance for the area. After his passing, circumstances could have been difficult for the club, however they continued to give Wrexham youth a chance in the game, a memory that will serve Ford’s lasting legacy well.
Club of the season – Penydarren
The story of the season in Welsh football this campaign has without a shadow of a doubt been Penydarren. How could anyone forget the remarkable run of a Welsh fifth tier side to the JD Welsh Cup quarter-finals? Backed by Kerry Mullins as manager, and a host of local players, the club have shown remarkable progress on the field for a side in the South Wales Alliance League Premier Division. With a massive backlog of league fixtures, the side then went the whole season unbeaten, winning 27 of their 30 league matches. It has been an unforgettable season for the club who challenged on all fronts, and have put their name in Welsh football folklore in becoming the first fifth tier side in history to reach the quarter-finals of the JD Welsh Cup. A scintillating story filled with success, and with the same crop of players spearheaded in attack by the ruthless Christoper Colvin-Owens, there is no reason to believe why the Penydarren story has to end here.
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