With football at a standstill, we have decided to took back at some of Town’s history making squads!
On 2nd July 2013 history was made as Bala Town made their first ever appearance in the Europa League, welcoming Levadia Tallinn from Estonia to Belle Vue, Rhyl.
It was a dream for a team that only ten years previous were playing in the Wrexham Area but the dream continued as Bala walked away as 1-0 winners at Rhyl to take an almost unexpected lead over to Estonia the following week.
The line-up that night was: Ashley Morris, Ben Collins, Stuart Jones, Ryan Valentine, Mark Connolly, Kenny Lunt, Conall Murtagh, Mark Jones, Stephen Brown, Ian Sheridan, Tony Davies. Subs: Lewis Codling, Paul Lewis, Stef Edwards, Matthew Boswell, Eddie Renaud, Ryan Jones, Kristian Pierce.
So what happened to that Town squad? Find out below!
ASHLEY MORRIS – Still a Lakesider, Ashley is currently on loan at Penybont since January. One of the longest serving Town players, he has been with us for seven seasons representing Wales C aswell as picking up a number of accolades at Maes Tegid.
BEN COLLINS – Fitness has become Ben’s love after his time at Maes Tegid. Opening Nuyu Fitness in Chester, he is a successful personal trainer and has just teamed up with current Lakesider Kieran Smith to promote their running sessions. After leaving the Lakesiders, Ben played for Conwy Borough and then Brickfield Rangers. Married to wife Jade, they have a son and daughter together.
STUART JONES – Like Ashley, Jones is one of our longest serving Lakesiders and is also out on loan at Flint Town United since January. Our centre half since 2011, Stuart has been a loyal member of the Bala squad with numerous Europa League appearances aswell as winning the Welsh Cup with Town.
RYAN VALENTINE – Another member of the squad who is still with the Club. Val took a step back from playing and took on the role as coach in 2018, undertaking his UEFA ‘A’ Licence. Dad to Ashton and Issy, Ryan works locally in the Bala area and is a valueable member of the Bala dressing room.
MARK CONNOLLY – After almost 200 appearances for the Lakesiders, Conno left Maes Tegid in 2019 to retire but it was shortlived as he put pen to paper with Holywell Town. Known for his goals during his time at Town, that has continued with the Wellmen with 21 goals in 18 games this season. Married to wife Tiff, they have a son and daughter.
KENNY LUNT – Kenny retired from playing with the Lakesiders bringing an illustious playing career to an end. Lengthy spells at Hereford United, Sheffield Wednesday and Crewe Alexandra saw him notch over 600 Football League appearances as a midfielder. 71 starts over a three year spell gave Town fans a glimpse of Kenny’s class so it was no surprise that a career in football management has followed. Appointed in 2017 as Assistant Manager at Crewe Alex alongside another former Lakesider David Artell, the Railwaymen are currently top of League Two and they have visited Town during pre-season over the last two summers with Kenny leading the teams from the away dugout.
CONALL MURTAGH – The midfield machine of Conall Murtagh had to reluctantly put his football playing career on hold after being appointed as First Team Fitness Coach at Liverpool! Working alongside Jurgen Klopp, Conall works with some of the Premier League’s best footballers on a daily basis, got himself a Champions League medal last summer as part of the coaching staff and looks like he might get a Premier League medal come the end of the season! He spent 8 fantastic years at Maes Tegid scoring against FC Differdange in the Europa League in 2015.
MARK JONES – What a midfield we had for this Cup game! Jonah as he was known to all at Maes Tegid ended his time with us in 2017 after turning semi pro in 2011. He made himself a fans favourite at Bala and many still claim that he is one of the best players ever to have played for the Club. He briefly signed for Airbus after departing the Club but hung up his boots at the end of the season.
STEPHEN BROWN – Midfielder Stephen spent four and a half years at Maes Tegid and was an important player back in the day as he notched up quite a few assists during a crucial period for the Town in their ealy years in the then Welsh Premier.
IAN SHERIDAN – Sheds was a history maker himself on that night as he was the goalscorer and became Town’s first ever goalscorer in the Europa League. Ian spent 8 years at Maes Tegid with 200 (+50 appearances) in all competitions, leaving last summer to join fellow Cymru Premier side Newtown. We faced Newtown last month where he scored and was sent off against the Lakesiders and he has scored 3 goals in total for the Robins. Married to wife Chelsea, he is a qualified Criminal Lawyer at MSB Solicitors in Liverpool.
TONY DAVIES – We still see plenty of Tony Davies who is still a familiar face around Maes Tegid as he pops in often to support the Town. Currently playing at Cymru North outfit Flint Town United, Tony has scored once in 22 games this season for the Silkmen after signing for them last summer. Davies spent five seasons with the Lakesiders and also met partner Kacey whilst with the Town. He has a son Charlie and daughter Aria.