Monday, 25 July 2011

Menai Bridge RFC

Please read below for my article on Menai Bridge RFC which was published here in Rugby Club.

Menai Bridge RFC

Menai Bridge may have discovered the perfect way to intimidate or distract their opposition when they arrive at their ground Llyn-Y-Felin. As the visiting players are introduced to their changing room, they find themselves greeted by four walls doused in pink paint. While it is not conclusively known if the colour affects the players, it certainly does no harm to the home side as Menai Bridge went on to win the Division Three North title last season. Team manager Gareth Lloyd Jones is also not sure if the traditionally feminine colour helped his side to pole position, but admits it often causes a stir. “The away teams changing rooms always raise a smile!”

With the success gained while the away dressing room is pink it is unlikely that Menai Bridge will paint it a different colour any time soon as they would like to repeat their league success in the next campaign, but Gareth has higher aspirations. “We want to win Division Three again as it's an automatic promotion next season, but we want to win a cup competition as well. We have been unlucky this season, we got to the semi final of the Gwynedd Cup and to the final of the North Wales Intermediate Cup which we lost to Division Two side Llanidloes.”

However Gareth - who also captained the side last season - has his work cut out for him. “We have a good set of players down at Menai Bridge, but some have been asked to go and play for the so called bigger clubs who play in Division One. We of course want them to go and play at a higher standard, but we have a small squad and would struggle to replace players of that calibre.”

To make matters worse, Menai Bridge are soon to be fighting increasing levels of fatigue as Gareth reveals the next campaign will involve more long distance travelling. “With Welshpool coming into our league next season, we will be having to travel a two hundred mile round trip to certain games which can be hard going for the players with full time jobs and young families.”

Despite the new found problems, Menai Bridge continue to be a club on the rise, especially in their development of youngsters. “We have a children's tag team and about thirty turn up every Friday evening. We actually had a youth side back in the late nineties in which ten current members
of the squad used to play for. We are always looking to develop players from any age to come to play at the club.”

Indeed, Menai Bridge have had numerous cases of successfully bringing through players who go onto great things. “We have a number of players that have represented North Wales throughout the years. Jack Owens played through all age groups along side a certain George North and three players represented Wales districts back in 2004. The club has also produced two Welsh Internationals, Stuart Roy who represented Wales in the 1995 World Cup and Robin McBryde, who went onto captain Llanelli, Wales and played for the Lions.”

Clearly Menai Bridge have been, and continue to be, an advancing club. Just one of the latest improvements is a new bar in the club house, so locals can now enjoy a refreshing beverage while watching the team. Gareth explains, “we were granted a license to sell alcohol last year and hold social evenings down at the club ranging from curry nights to poker nights every month. We also serve the best hot food around, which is just what you require after a hard game of rugby!” These latest developments appear to be helping to bring in additional funds for the club and now in the works is a new training pitch and the installation of new, brighter training lights later this year.

Although making a club successful on and around the pitch is essential, what is immediately clear about Menai Bridge is their commitment to being a truly community-based institution. Gareth is very proud of the work they do for their local town. “We recently competed in the Menai Raft Race raising money for local charities and last year we did a 'Keep Wales Tidy' afternoon where a large group of the players went around Menai Bridge collecting rubbish off the streets.”

When talking with Gareth it was obvious that Menai Bridge are well run and heading in the right direction. Just one example of their fantastic organisation is the fact that they have even started organising their end of season tour for next year, where they are hoping to treat themselves to a visit of southern France.

written by Will Lyon


  1. Why were Arthur Emyr and Iwan Jones the two first Welsh Internationals produced by the club not even mentioned?Huw Percy,one of the current coaches and Steve Taylor were both capped by Welsh Districts as well as Trystan Williams who played for Welsh Colleges.A comment from the current Chairperson, Darren Owen who has transformed the club would have been appropriate! W.P.Williams,President.

  2. Gareth's quotes were the only source of information I was able to use for this article.

    Rugby Club will have asked for quotes from the most suitable person who is willing to speak and Menai Bridge RFC obviously put forward Gareth.