The Huws Gray Ynys Môn 2019 Inter-Island Games football tournament took place from 16th – 21st June 2019. Hosted on Anglesey because football had been dropped as one of the sports for the 2019 Island Games on Gibraltar. 10 different islands sent teams over for the Games to compete in either or both tournaments.
The Ynys Môn Women’s team gave their best performance to date by reaching the final and were unfortunate to lose out to a very strong Isle of Man team. The Ynys Môn team returned to Island Games action at Jersey 2015 with a very young inexperienced squad. The majority of the players returned for Gotland 2017 and then continued on into the Inter-Games. They have so much valuable experience of big games and of playing with each other now. It will be important going forward to Guernsey 2021 to keep the squad together and build on the performances over the week on Anglesey with the aim of going 1 step better and bringing home the Gold. There were so many brilliant individual performance over the week but the team as a unit were incredible together, really echoing the Together Stronger notion. Lexi Crawley finished as top scorer with 5 goals in her 4 games showing how her goals have been missed at the pas two tournaments.
In 1999 the Ynys Môn Men’s team beat the Isle of Man 1-0 in the final of the football tournament on Gotland to win the Gold medal. 20 years on they were aiming to repeat that feat by winning the tournament on home turf. There was a management team change from the past two tournaments with Campbell Harrison taking charge of the team and Iwan Williams as his number two. Campbell himself was part of the 1999 team and so knew what it was like to win the Gold. There were a number of returning faces from previous Games but also additions to the squad making their Ynys Môn debuts. Goalkeeper Paul Pritchard who’d represented Ynys Môn at 6 previous Island Games was given the captains armband. It was a brilliant tournament for the team as they won each of their Group games to finish top of the group before beating Shetland in the Semi Final and then Guernsey in the final after going 1-0 down. They kept their promise of bringing the Gold home and in front of record crowds across Anglesey. They will be a force to reckon with come Guernsey 2021 and will home to replicate their success at the Island Games proper.
A fantastic addition to the Men’s tournament was the team from St Helena. This was the first time the island had sent a football team to any of the competitions and we hope it won’t be the last time. It takes a huge amount of effort to send competitors from St Helena to the different Games and a lot of travelling to so it was brilliant that they chose to come to Anglesey. They added a huge amount of fun, colourful kits and friendliness to the week and it seemed everyone went away with St Helena as their 2nd team.
Finally the week can’t be reviewed completely without mentioning the huge crowds that turned out over the week to support not just Ynys Môn but all the teams where ever they played across the island. The Ynys Môn games themselves attracted vast numbers and really had the island of Anglesey coming together. With an estimated 14,000 spectators over the week it proved that Ynys Môn 2019 really was a success and adds to the belief that Anglesey can and should host the 2025 Island Games.
Re-live the Huws Gray Ynys Môn 2019 Inter-Island Games football tournament through this fantastic video.
Thank you to Dewi Fôn Evans Videography for his superb work!