MANY people I’ve spoken to over the years on the local football scene have sung high praises for Casey Boylan.
The first time I saw him play myself was at the beginning of the 2019/20 campaign. At that time, he was with CPD Y Fali (previously Valley Athletic), and I saw first hand just how good he was as he tore my team Llandegfan apart with ease.
We lost 9-3 and I’m sure he scored five of his side’s goals that day and I recall him completely running the show from the midfield and looking worlds apart to anyone else on the field.
Over the years, he’s worked wonders for his home village club and for Bodedern Athletic also.
Back in 2014/15, both Casey and his brother Shane were part of the Valley Athletic side which won a double back and were both later part of another double when Bodedern won a Gwynedd League and Cup double in 2016/17.
31-year-old Shane, a pacey and powerful forward who can also play as a defender, later moved to Australia where he played for Kyabram Phoenix FC – coincidentally under former Valley manager Barry Rowlands who was also in Oz at the time.
Shane has returned home when possible and played for both Valley and Boded during brief spells back on the island, where he again proved his talent.
Talking about growing up playing football alongside his brother, Casey said: “As kids me and Shane played for Trearddur Bay. He was a year older than me so we weren’t always playing together. We started playing properly when we both played for Bodedern.
“Shane has always been hard worker and full of energy. I’d say I’ve got the skill he’s the one with pace and fitness!”
Casey Boylan is a tall and commanding centre midfielder who returned to Fali’s Cae Mwd to spend the first few matches of the 2019/20 campaign in the Anglesey League where he completely walked the division early on. Such was his form, that he hit a hat-trick on the opening day of the season before following that up with eight more goals, seeing him score 11 goals in just six matches for the club.
But soon after, Casey returned to the level he belonged at to play in Welsh Alliance One with Bodedern Athletic. He maintained his fine form there too, scoring a few more goals before the pandemic ended the season. He has always looked brilliant no matter what division he plays in.
When he was previously with Ricky Williams’ side, he helped the club onto winning the Gwynedd League (2016/17) and moving on up to Welsh Alliance Two and finishing as a runner-up the season after to move up to Welsh Alliance One.
Boded went agonisingly close to making it three promotions on the bounce in 2018/19 – only to be beaten to the WA1 title by island rivals Llangefni Town – who remain in the JD Cymru North (tier two) to this day.
Talking about his time with Bodedern over the years, Casey said: “Whilst playing for Bodedern over the years we have done so much, we even managed to get to the last 16 in the Welsh Cup one season. We have had back to back promotions from the winning the Gwynedd league and then runners up in Welsh Alliance Two.
“Ive learnt a lot over the years from Ricky (Williams – Boded manager) as he has managed me for most of my playing career.”
And, of all the teammates he’s played alongside during his career, Casey regards one former Boded man as the one of the best – midfielder Dafydd Jones who is now playing in the JD Cymru North with Conwy Borough.
He said: “I’d say one of the best midfield players I’ve played with is Dafydd Jones. For me he’s so underrated.
“Over the years, I’ve played with many good players, gaining so much experience from the likes of Gaz Wyn, Tomos Jones, Alun Roberts, Kev Bach. The names could go on and on to be fair.”
When football resumes, Bodedern Athletic will play in the newly-formed North Wales Coast West Premier Division (Tier Four).
There, they will faces the likes of Trearddur Bay United, Bangor 1876, Amlwch Town and Menai Tigers among others.
The Green and White Army should be pretty confident of being able to compete for everything in that division, having had the experience of coming up against, and beating, some very strong sides in the Welsh Alliance over the years.
Looking forward to the future, Casey said: “Hopefully we can return in the next few months and hopefully win something – ideally, the league would be nice. Just getting back with the lads and having a laugh on a Saturday is the main thing to look forward to at the moment though.”