Predictions: Welsh Alliance One and Two 2018/19
Teams across North Wales are preparing the season’s start this weekend, and the Welsh Alliance is gearing up for enough fiercely competitive campaign.
This competitive nature was shown when Conwy Borough’s relegation to the Welsh Alliance saw most predict a breeze back into the Huws Gray Alliance.
And while they were ultimately successful, it wasn’t as straightforward as one might have imagined due to a strong end of season run in from Llangefni Town.
Here, we predict how the division one and two may play out with a place in the Huws Gray Alliance at stake.
— Tomos Wyn Jones (@tomoswyn2003) February 8, 2018
Welsh Alliance Division One
Champions: Llangefni Town
It will come as no surprise that Llangefni are favourites going into the 18/19 season. The Anglesey club have been progressing well for the past few years, and now could be their time to return to the second tier.
Strong signings like the capture of prolific strikers Alan Mark Owen, Liam Morris and talented midfielders Chris Saxon and Marvin Pritchard, have added to an already strong squad.
And with many positive changes off the field, this season may actually help the favourites to be better prepared for tier two football should they be crowned champions come May.
Runners-up: Llandudno Albion
Ex-Albion boss Paul Cheung put some great work into the club before he left earlier in the summer, and new boss Darren Jones will endeavour to continue this. The Mawddach Cup winners may not be the obvious choice for the runner-up spot, but they’ve made incredible strides over the past few seasons.
New signings Lee Ellis, from Llandudno Junction, and Peter Jones, who has gained experience of top-flight football with neighbours Llandudno, should help to provide some firepower up front and keep the club going in the right direction.
Albion have an impeccable record at home, losing only two games over the past two seasons, but they struggle when away. Having played on 3G previously, they must adapt to grass once again.
If Jones can keep the good feeling around the club going, Albion could challenge Llangefni for the top spot.
Teams to watch: Llanrug United and Prestatyn Sports
Llanrug United have perched quietly behind the promotion pack for the past few seasons, and they will be expected to stay there this season.
If Llandudno Albion struggle to sort out their away form, Llanrug will be snapping at their heals to grab that second place slot.
The re-signing of keeper Dylan Roberts was a big talking point, as the keeper originally chose Albion before changing his mind to stick with the Eithin Duon side.
The loss of striker Alan Mark Owen has been compensated with Kevin Lloyd coming in as his replacement, and new boss and former United midfielder David Noel Williams will be looking to cement another top three finish.
Prestatyn Sports may have only been promoted to the first division this season, but they won’t be settling for a mid-table finish.
An impeccable record last season saw them lose only once, and they finished the season eight points ahead of their nearest rivals Bodedern Athletic, despite having three points deducted for player ineligibility.
Home form will be crucial to the success of Sports. Maintaining a 100% record last season, they will be keen to carry on this performance during their fledgeling start to life in division one.
The Prestatyn side have kept the same squad as last year, while also re-signing Ross Hannen and Darren Cassidy.
— Tomos Wyn Jones (@tomoswyn2003) March 17, 2018
Welsh Alliance Division Two
Champions: Glan Conwy
Glan Conwy spent a large portion of the season sitting, it appeared comfortably, at the top of the table.
While they avoided the poor winter that most others had to endure, leading to a temporary hike in their placing, they subsequently finished six points behind second place Bodedern Athletic.
The drafting in of experienced players like fullback Dean Wright, keeper Carl Roberts and Jordan Phillips from Mochdre Sports will give them confidence that the season can be a success.
Runners-up: Y Felinheli
Y Felinheli have had a good pre-season so far: beating Pwllheli, coming close against newly promoted Bodedern Athletic and thumping Mynydd Tigers 9-0.
Previously, the Gwynydd side have remained stable, but it seems possible that they could finish in second place this season.
However, the resignation of Treaddur Bay from the first division, together with Pwllheli getting a reprieve and being re-instated back to Division One, means that it is not a guarantee that promotion will be offered.
Teams to watch: Holyhead Town and Meliden
The Welsh pyramid often looks kindly on newcomers, and Holyhead certainly is in a position to be this season’s quick risers.
The management are building a strong team with experience, meaning they should be able to handle the pressures of the Welsh Alliance and could become a household name within the league.
It would be hard to ignore Meliden given that they have last season’s runaway top goal scorer, Matty Griffiths, on their books.
Consistency was a huge concern for the Denbighshire side, but if they can shore up their defence and Griffith fires on all cylinders, they will be an outfit to break down and could cause the favourites problems.