I WONDER WHAT HE'S DOING NOW?
6 years 11 months ago
There are still a number of former City players plying their footballing trade in places far and wide.
Of course we know the obvious ones such as Aaron Ramsey making the step up to play for Arsenal and Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews who moved to play Champions League football with Scottish champions Celtic, but there are others whose whereabouts are perhaps less well known.
For example, Rhys Weston played for Cardiff City for six years until 2006. A Welsh international, Rhys moved on to Viking in Norway where after only twelve minutes of his debut, he dislocated his shoulder. After a non-English speaking manager was employed four days later, the defender found himself without a contract and returned to English league football. He played for Port Vale, Walsall and then moved to Scottish first division side Dundee. Rhys then signed for an unlikely side in the shape of Icelandic League champions KR Reykjavik on a two-year deal in May, but is currently having talks over his contract being terminated as the side are in financial difficulty.
THE WELSH LEAGUES
Many ex-Bluebirds end up continuing their career in the Welsh Premier League. Former striker/midfielder Jason Bowen is still playing for Llanelli AFC at the age of thirty-nine; however, his affiliation with the club did not end after he left the first-team circle in 2004. He was named player of the tournament in the 2008 Western Masters where he represented the City, while his son Jaye Bowen is a member of the Cardiff City Academy. Andy Legg is also at Llanelli - player-manger, in fact, at the age of forty-six. The long throw specialist has already featured in the league this season for the Reds, despite his increasing years. There is another manager in the Welsh Premier League who has played for Cardiff City - current Carmarthen Town manager Mark Aizlewood - now in is his third spell with the West Wales outfit after a time as assistant manager at Chester City and as a football agent.
LOWER LEAGUE JOURNEYMEN
There are a number of notable past Cardiff City players still playing down in the lower divisions of the Football League too. No-nonsense centre back and former City captain, Darren Purse for example is now playing at Plymouth Argyle after spells at Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall and Yeovil following his 2009 departure from South Wales. Paul Parry meanwhile has moved on to Shrewsbury Town from Preston North End, where he has linked up with the manager who started his career at Hereford United, Graham Turner and a former team-mate, Aaron Wildig. And remember, Miguel Comminges? He now plays for Stevenage in League Two, though hasn't made an appearance despite being named as a substitute earlier this month. In fact he had a spell in America for Colorado Rapids last season before making the move back to the UK.
Ex-Bluebirds are not only present in the lower leagues in a playing capacity either. Former Captain and City Player of the Year Kevin Nugent is assistant manager at Leyton Orient - the club where the former striker began his career. After an Achilles injury saw Nugent lose his place in the side in 2001, Graham Kavanagh took over the captaincy. He is also an assistant manager, but this time up north with Carlisle United. Kav was a member of the Cumbrian side's playing staff in a player-coaching role, before becoming the permanent assistant manager after his final appearance for the club in 2011.
Former Cardiff favourite Jimmy Mullen is another still active in footballing circles. He represented the Bluebirds as a player between 1981 and 1986, with two spells as caretaker manager within that time period too. After leaving Cardiff City and ending his playing days at Newport County, Mullen has had an extremely busy managerial career. He has managed teams in Wales, Ireland and England, including a spell assisting Neville Southall in the Wales under 19s setup. He is now the manager of Shropshire side Market Drayton Town who play in the eighth tier of English football.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Perhaps the person with one of the more interesting lives post Cardiff City is Billy Ronson. Ronson played twelve seasons in British football before leaving to play in the Major Indoor Soccer League in the United States for the Baltimore Blast. He scored an impressive 112 goals in 280 appearances for the club before making the trip back in to outdoor football for the Tampa Bay Rowdies. However, within the same year he moved back again to the indoor football leagues representing teams in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington and another two sides in Baltimore. During his playing days he had managerial spells with a Women's College Soccer team, not surprisingly in Baltimore, and back with Baltimore Blast and assistant manager at Baltimore Spirit. He was inducted into the Baltimore Bays Hall of Fame in 2009 and now has the slightly less interesting job of working for a Business Systems company in the United States!
And just in case any of you were wondering, 'Whatever happened to Eddie Johnson?' - he eventually returned to the United States to play for the Seattle Sounders after an unsuccessful loan spell at Preston. He did however score the winning goal for the MLS All-Star team against Chelsea when they toured the States in the summer in a 3-2 win over the European Champions.
More from the archives tomorrow!