Made in Holyhead – a winning approach
HOLYHEAD Hotspur’s recent managerial appointments typify the club’s determination to keep it local.
New first-team bosses Darren Garmey and Nick Dumbarton have both come through the ranks at Hotspur, while the latest reserves chief Mike ‘Cheds’ Kelly is Holyhead through-and-though – that very phrase could have been invented for him.
Appointing from outside the district works for some clubs, but Hotspur have always placed heavy emphasis on the family approach.
Previous first-team manager Campbell Harrison is an Anglesey man with strong roots in playing and management on the island.
It was the same before him, with the likes of Emlyn Manley-Williams, Carl Taylor, Gary Williams and Bob Brodie at the helm.
The emphasis on local development has worked wonders for the club up to tier-three level, where they have regularly landed the top prizes over the past 26 years.
And Hotspur have also made their mark occasionally in the Cymru Alliance, finishing runnersup in 2008/09.
The season ahead promises to be the most competitive yet in the Huws Gray Alliance, with the mighty Bangor City coming down to join a party which includes the likes of Rhyl, Airbus, Holywell Town, Flint Town United, Porthmadog, Denbigh Town and Guilsfield.
It will be difficult for Hotspur to break into the top group, but the captures of goalkeeper Carl Jones and forward Jamie Roberts, after spells at Prestatyn Town and Conwy Borough respectively, are a signal of the club’s ambitious intent.
Jones has already won the Huws Gray Alliance with Prestatyn and will be a fine replacement for Paul Pritchard, who this week has joined Porthmadog.
More good news for the club this week was striker and last season’s top scorer John Littlemore, and quality defender Tomos Clarke, both committing to Hotspur for 2018/19.
If passion and belief alone were a guarantee of success, Holyhead would already be up there challenging with the best.
With a freshening up at the top, the 2018/19 campaign could be one in which Hotspur emerge as one of the dark horses in the Huws Gray Alliance.
Whatever they achieve, it will be satisfying to have a special trademark stamped on it – Made In Holyhead.