Y Ddraig writer Neil Jones has certainly got us talking about his selections in this piece. We hope you enjoy the article and please let us know your thoughts on his selections…. We have 😉
Over to Neil now to take you through his teams and his thoughts.
Seeing my colleagues writing about their all-time Wales XI previously, I thought I would take a different spin on this and do a best North Wales XI against a best South Wales XI. I thought this would then provide a decent argument as to which team would win in a match. Please bear in my mind that the XI’s I have chosen are my opinion and may not include some players who might have been better in that chosen position, but that is all part of the fun.
North Wales XI
GK – Neville Southall – what more can be said about Southall, one of Wales’ and the world greatest goalkeepers. It would take a lot to displace him from this list.
DF – Kevin Ratcliffe – A stalwart of the team during the 1980’s and Everton’s most successful captain
DF – Mike England – A classy defender who was an integral part of many successful Spurs sides
DF – Joey Jones -A player who gave his all each time he played for Wales and his club sides.
DF – Stuart Williams – A defender who received praise from Pele for his performances during the 1958 World Cup
DF – T G Jones – A classy defender before his time. Would rather play out of defence rather than booting the ball upfield
MF – Gary Speed – A versatile player who was good enough to play in any position and do it well
MF – Barry Horne – A ball winner who made over 50 caps for Wales and an FA Cup winner with Everton
MF – Billy Meredith – Wales and Manchester’s first football superstar. Would go on to win 48 caps for Wales when internationals were rare and clubs rarely released their players if they were playing well.
FW – Ian Rush – Liverpool and Wales’ record goalscorer, enough said.
FW – Mark Hughes – The man for the big occasion for Manchester United and Wales
South Wales XI
GK – Jack Kelsey – Arguably Wales’ second-best goalkeeper and one of Arsenal’s best goalkeepers of all time.
DF – Roy Paul – One of Man City’s greatest ever players and captain. Who led them to FA Cup glory in 1956.
DF – Alf Sherwood – A full back who Sir Stanley Matthews stated was one of his toughest opponents
DF – Fred Keenor – The legendary Cardiff captain who led his side to victory in the 1927 FA Cup final
DF – Mel Charles – Whose play during the 1958 World Cup earned praise from Pele, who declared him the best centre half at the tournament
MF – Cliff Jones – One of the greatest wingers in the world during his prime in the 1950’s and 60’s
MF – Ryan Giggs – Manchester United’s record appearance maker, who made over 60 appearances for his country
MF – Ivor Allchurch – The golden boy of Welsh football in the 1950’s, who was Wales’ joint top scorer with Ford until Ian Rush broke it
FW – John Charles – The greatest player that arguably Wales and Britain has ever produced
FW – Gareth Bale – A player that has the ability in my view, to surpass John Charles as the greatest ever Welsh player
FW – Trevor Ford – A record of 23 goals in 38 games for his country shows the ability of the man, were it not for a suspension he would have had more
Let me know what you think of the teams and what your ideal XI’s would be. I will be doing a poll on my twitter page asking who you think would win if these teams faced off against each other.