FORMER Porthmadog FC hotshot Marc Lloyd Williams has led Wales Schools’ Under-18s side to their first Centenary Shield for the first time in over four decades
History was made at The Oval, the home of Caernarfon Town FC, when the team beat the Republic of Ireland 2-0 in their final game to win the shield.
The Centenary Shield is an international competition for under 18s schoolboys and college students. Teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland compete against each other in a round robin format.
The Welsh Schools FA is a national education provider, and its key goals are to develop football participation in schools and colleges, and inspire girls and people with disabilities to take part.
Team manager Lloyd Williams, known to football followers as ‘Jiws’ has been a programme leader, lecturer and academy coordinator at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai Coleg Menai’s Bangor campus for the past 16 years.
Lloyd Williams, who had two spells at Porthmadog and five at Bangor City and has extensive experience of playing professionally in the Football League with Stockport County, said after the final match victory: “The whole evening was an amazing experience, one that will stand out in my football career, especially as a manager.
“The feeling of being the first Welsh manager in over 40 years to win the shield was amazing, and to win it just a few miles away from where I grew up – with family and friends in the crowd to witness it – will be a memory that will stay with me forever.”
The team’s coach is Dave Webb, programme area manager for Sports and Public Services at Coleg Llandrillo, and two students were involved: Coleg Menai Sports Science student Caio Evans, and Gruffudd Ellis, who studies Construction at Coleg Llandrillo. Both also play for Caernarfon Town.
Marc hopes for more success for the Welsh Schools FA Team in the future: “This success is a great reflection of the importance the college has been to the Football Academy, with players and managers shining on the international stage, not only this season, but over the years. The hope now is to raise the profile of the college’s Academy and discover more students who will shine on the football field at a national and international level.”
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