Under 16’s Season Review by Gethin Jones
Firstly I would like to thank Dan and Kyle for supporting me this season in running the U16’s. Also a big thank you to Andy and Carwyn for everything they have done for us too behind the scenes. It has been a very steep learning curve for me personally, but one that I have enjoyed and learnt so much from. But most importantly thank you to the lads who have been part of the squad this season. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of lads to work with. They are a talented, committed and hard working group and I wish you all the best going forward.
Nearly 12 months ago now we assembled the squad for the coming season with 10 new players two of which were from the U15’s and we added Gerwyn later in the season after he impressed in the first half of the season. With so many new additions it was hard to see how the season was going to go but these boys stepped up and exceeded expectations. Pre-season went well considering the squad was new and we were able to experiment with formations and players playing in various positions and quickly settled into a formation that suited the lads we had.
We went into the first stage full of confidence after some good performances in pre-season. We went away to Bangor first game which is always a tough place to go. We started well and raced to a three goal lead. We weren’t at our best and rode our luck but good enough to get three points coming away with a 3-2 win. Sion Hughes and Cai being stand out performers in this game going forward and at the back Cian was superb and kept us in the game. Josh also came off the bench and started to show his true ability after a difficult pre-season.
Next we faced Porthmadog where we really clicked and put in a professional and clinical performance and we started to click as a team going forward. Tom Roberts and Ows in the middle of the park were outstanding and Sion Sully at the back began to show his class on the ball. Next up was Llandudno away, another test for the lads but in my opinion this was our best performance of the group stages. We went to Llandudno knowing a win would seal our place in the Super 6. We were unplayable that day and should have come away with a bigger scoreline. Owen Heath and Ifan impressing on the day for me and also Callum who scored a wonderful headed goal in the first half. Ollie started at full back and was also brilliant. The final game of the group saw us play Caernarfon at home and we drew 2-2, coming back from 2-0 down which showed character. We hit our target for the season which was to reach the Super 6.
The Super 6 didn’t get off to the best of starts as we lost heavily to Airbus away, who were superb that day and we never got going. Next we played TNS at home and we drew 2-2 having conceded a late goal. Same story next game where we faced a good Connah’s Quay side. We didn’t play our best and losing Ilan to injury here was a big blow, as he had been outstanding all game. We came away with a 2-2 draw but Connah’s Quay will feel they could have had the 3 points off their first 80 minute performance, but we dug in and showed great character and missed 2 great chances at the end to steal 3 points.
Another draw was on the cards for us against Caernarfon at home. A game we dominated in my opinion but didn’t take our chances and Caernarfon battled until the end and got a late goal to take a point. The last game before Christmas saw us take on Flint away and we suffered a 3-1 defeat. At Christmas we had 3 points from a possible 15 and sat at the bottom of the table. A lot of missed opportunities and what ifs.
After Christmas we went on a run of 4 wins out 5. We went away to Caernarfon and won 1-0. Another game of missed opportunities. New signing Morgan impressed in his first game for the club. Dion who has improved greatly in this season also had a great game at left back. The midfield three of Ows, Tom and Sion were also impressive. Our next game was Flint at home which in my opinion was our best game of the season. We played some brilliant football and were clinical going forward. Sully and Ilan were immense at the back. Gerwyn scoring possibly goal of the season with an overhead kick from the edge of the box was a highlight. Next we played a very good Connah’s Quay side at home. We have had some great contests with this team over the season having played them at home, a game which we won 2-1. The penultimate game saw us travel to a very impressive TNS side. We lost on the day. We just didn’t turn up and were outplayed by TNS. The last game saw us beating Airbus at home 2-1. With a few injuries this was an impressive performance. Jack who started at full back was brilliant this day and really impressed me.
We finished the season 3rd in the super 6 table. Some dropped points before Christmas and a couple of below par performances left us thinking of what could have been. Every player in the squad deserves huge credit for what they have achieved this season. To finish 3rd in the table after having to bring in so many players in the summer, just to have a squad to play, is a massive testament to the lads. The most impressive thing for me was ending the season undefeated at home. Maes Tegid was a real fortress for these lads and they loved playing games at home.
Thank you to the lads, coaches and everyone involved with club. Also the parents who have dedicated their time to support us, making this season a very memorable one for all involved. Diolch.