This summer saw Leo and I share our first real Father/Son World Cup experience. Too young to care last time round; the Panini albums, school World Cup events and wall-to-wall football firmly embedded the football bug in to Leo’s conciousness.
And so it was, suffering from withdrawal symptoms once FIFA’s jamboree was over, that we found ourselves on holiday in Anglesey in late-July and already in joint need of a pre-season football fix.
I finally managed to latch on to a shaky wi-fi connection and read that Llanerch-y-medd, the local village side of the Welsh Alliance Division 2 were playing a friendly match on Tuesday evening against Glantraeth from the division above. The trouble was, I couldn’t find Glantraeth anywhere on the map—Google was directing me to Ireland.
Our host for the week, David, knew full well where the ground was. He grabbed an old Ordnance Survey map to point out the directions to the village of Bethel and a single-track road that led to our destination.
Rocky Mountain High
Well hidden from the “main” road, Glantraeth Football Club’s ground lies in a rural setting with the mountains of Snowdonia forming a picture perfect backdrop to the vista, which included one covered stand that housed around 30 seats. A row of cars lined the other side of the pitch soaking up the incredible views, while a small flock of sheep were kept at bay behind one goal thanks to a newly erected fence.
(see website: http://glantraethfc.com/ground0708.html)
Situated behind the right-hand goal was Hel’s Kitchen. After passing the cordon and coughing up our £2 entrance fee (for an adult and two kids—bargain!) to a gentleman who may, or may not, have been an official of the club, we headed across to see what delights were being cooked up for the supporters. Sadly for us, the “Hel” (Helen) in question was away on holiday. “Reggie’s Ranch” was open for business, though, and we could have anything, “as long as it is tea, tea or tea!”
Thankfully, the tea came with a welcoming smile, free jokes and a potted history of the club.
— StuartHoward-Cofield (@grumpyoldfan99) July 30, 2014
The crowd of around 70 spectators and a few farm animals were treated to an enjoyable match that the home side won 1-0. Leo was enchanted by idea of crossing the white line with his ball and going on to the pitch at half-time with the local kids, and football—this time a million miles away from that witnessed through the TV screen—once again wove its magic spell on us.
If you are on Anglesey any time during football season, it is well worth the treasure hunt required to unearth this hidden gem.
Happy new season.