Beaten 25-0, but boss backs his foot­ball team :

North Wales Weekly News - - FRONT PAGE - BY JEZ HEMMING [email protected]­i­tymir­ror.com @JezWeek­lyNews

THE man­ager of a Llan­dudno foot­ball team trounced 25-0 in a lo­cal derby on Satur­day has de­fended his play­ers after na­tional press cov­er­age mocked them.

Rhys Lane, 33, boss of Llan­dudno Ath­letic in Di­vi­sion One of the Vale of Cl­wyd and Conwy Foot­ball League, over­saw their crush­ing rout at the hands of lo­cal ri­vals Llan­dudno United.

He said he was keen to set the record straight after his side’s 25-goal re­verse made the na­tional press.

“One of the lads from the other team was ap­par­ently con­tacted by the Daily Mail but there was noth­ing for our side,” said Rhys, from Llan­dudno.

“Most of the lads want to for­get about it and move on. We had 16 un­der-18 play­ers and one walked off after 15 min­utes be­cause he didn’t fancy it.”

Rhys, who is a su­per­vi­sor for Topline Dig­i­tal which in­stalls Sky TV, said the player in ques­tion had just scored an own goal to give United a three-goal cush­ion.

Rhys, who takes the rib­bing in good part, ac­cepts the clos­est his side might get to Sky TV is his job, but it’s not about the glory.

“We all en­joy foot­ball and we know we are not the best team in the world but they don’t stop try­ing.

“It’s about a group of lads get­ting to­gether on a Satur­day af­ter­noon and do­ing what we en­joy do­ing - that’s play­ing foot­ball.”

It seems Satur­day’s match was a per­fect storm against the league’s third placed side.

Rhys, who stands six feet five inches tall and weighs in at 23 stones, started the match in goal due to a lack of num­bers but was soon drafted into mid­field due to another player’s in­jury.

“If you count me we had nine men,” he joked. “It was 10-0 at half-time. We col­lapsed a bit in the sec­ond half!”

Yet, along with a note of de­fi­ance for his side, whose av­er­age age was 18 years old at the week­end, Rhys got in an op­por- tunist plug for new re­cruits.

“They are a bunch of com­mit­ted lads and we will be there ev­ery week, no mat­ter what.

“If any­body wants to come and join us, we train be­tween 8-9pm ev­ery Wed­nes­day evening at John Brights’ leisure cen­tre.

“Any­one in­ter­ested is more than wel­come to come along.”

De­spite their lowly po­si­tion the side, which has been cru­elly dubbed Llan­dudno Un-Ath­letic, has made a fist of things in some matches this sea­son.

Most no­tably, with only nine goals to their credit in 13 league matches this cam­paign, they were six min­utes away from gain­ing a draw in a vi­tal base­ment bat­tle with sec­ond-from­bot­tom Betws-y-Coed in Oc­to­ber.

Sadly an 84th minute strike by Tom Cassey broke Ath­letic hearts after a spir­ited come­back from three-nil down.

Their league record reads, played 13, lost 13, goals scored nine, goals con­ceded 131.

Rhys, ever the prag­ma­tist, ad­mit­ted his side might not be blessed with enough raw tal­ent to pose a threat to the lead­ers this term, but it has po­ten­tial.

“We are short of a bit of qual­ity in our side but we have got some good young play­ers,” he said.

Rhys Lane (and in­set) with the Llan­dudno Ath­letic team ham­mered 25-0 at the week­end

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