Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logosColeg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor and Busnes@LlandrilloMenai logos

Phoebe’s starring role as Nomads push for promotion

The Coleg Llandrillo student has stepped up to the seniors for Connah’s Quay Nomads, and her goals have helped fire them to the top of the league

It’s been quite a year for Coleg Llandrillo student Phoebe Ellis Griffiths.

The 16-year-old football star has been a prolific goalscorer for Connah’s Quay Nomads women, who are top of their league after winning their first six games.

Phoebe first made an impact for the senior team last season when she scored in Nomads’ victory over Airbus in the North East Wales FA Challenge Cup Final.

After impressing for the under-19s, Phoebe came off the bench for the seniors during the final - and within minutes scored the goal that put victory beyond doubt.

Since then she has been a regular starter for the seniors despite her young age, and has really kicked on - scoring seven goals in her first three games of this season.

Phoebe scored a hat-trick in a recent 4-0 win at Felinheli, which kept Nomads at the top of the Genero Adran North division.

She is proving a key player for the senior team as they push for promotion to the Genero Adran Premier, which would see them mixing it with top Welsh clubs such as Wrexham AFC, Cardiff City and Swansea City.

“It’s a different level to what I’ve played before for the under-19s,” said Phoebe, who studies Level 2 Sport at Coleg Llandrillo’s Rhos-on-Sea campus.

“It’s so much more professional and I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s against people much older than me, and it’s very physical.

“But we’re top of the league, we beat Llandudno, and we need to keep winning to secure promotion to the Premier League.”

Phoebe’s goal in last season’s cup final gave her a huge boost in confidence which she has taken into this campaign.

“For the final I was a sub to start with because I hadn’t long joined,” she said. “I remember my manager looking at me and saying ‘I’ve got faith in you to go and change this game’.

“It was 2-1 and I came on, and we needed that bit of extra support to make sure we won the cup. I remember being in front of the goal and I just chipped the keeper and that was it, and the final whistle blew about 10 mins after that.

“That goal gave me loads of confidence, because when I first joined I was going into a more physical environment and I didn’t know how I’d apply myself to it, but now it’s just like the norm.”

Phoebe was first encouraged to play football by her brother Kie, who now plays for Rhyl.

She played for boys’ teams from the age of five, representing her hometown club Kinmel Bay, then Towyn, before joining her first girls’ team at the age of 10 when she started playing for Rhyl.

“Back then, I know it wasn’t long ago but there weren't many girls’ teams around, so I joined a boys’ team,” she said. “When I went at first I was a bit intimidated, but once I was on the pitch I didn’t care, I just went with the flow.”

Phoebe’s ambition is to play professionally, and she gained an invaluable insight into what it takes to make it at the highest level when she had trials with Manchester City aged 10.

She said: “I got scouted for City when I was 10. I was at a Rhyl tournament with the girls, and at the end of the game they asked if I wanted to come for a few weeks’ trial.

“I went there and it was a whole different environment again. I was 10, and I was playing with under-16s. I’d not long come out of the boys and joined the girls’ environment so it was a massive step forward going from grass roots to an actual professional level at 10.

“Recently I’ve had Stoke wanting to sign me as well, but I’m sticking with Connah’s Quay at the moment to see where it goes because I’m still only young.”

Phoebe also wants to represent Wales, and recently played for a Grŵp Llandrillo Menai team which made it to the semi-finals of a national competition in Cardiff.

College is also aiding Phoebe’s progression in the sport. She has lessons until about 2.30pm each day, before training with Llandrillo’s academy for the rest of the afternoon.

She said: “I’m chuffed that I picked this course, because I actually enjoy turning up and learning.

“I find anatomy and physiology really interesting, and sports injury and performance. It’s interesting to learn about the injuries that can happen because if I do become injured, then with what I’ve learned I know more about whether it’s serious or not, and I have more information on it.

“There are a lot of different topics that are all interesting - and even if football doesn’t go as planned, I definitely feel I’ll be able to go into coaching from what I’m learning on the course.”

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