WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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John Hulse
Hulse, Rhyl's most successful manager in modern times.

BORN in Birkenhead, John Hulse's playing career as a fullback or midfielder took him to West Ham United and Tranmere Rovers as well as Merseyside clubs Mersey Royal and St Lawrence's.
He played in Portugal with Lisnanrue CF and with Wrensberg in Germany before injury forced him out of the game at the young age of 23.
In his 20 years as a manager he has been involved in almost every level of the game.
He started his managerial run with two Birkenhead Sunday League sides ' Pacific Social and Avenue FC - before leading Ellesmere Port Town to promotion in the North West Counties League.
He then moved into the West Cheshire League with firstly Higher Bebbington and then Heswall. During his five year stint in the WCL he put two championships and seven cup wins under his belt before a one year spell as assistant at Bangor City in the League of Wales.
Then Vauxhall Conference side Altrincham became his next port of call but he faced the one and only dismissal of his distinguished career at the Moss Lane outfit.
His second longest spell to date at any one club then followed as he took the reins at League of Wales side Conwy United, whom he took into Europe via the UEFA Intertoto Cup. A further season at Bangor followed, before taking up the reins at Belle Vue.
He gained his first domestic trophy in 2002/3 bringing the League Cup to Belle Vue for the first time.
He then led Rhyl to an amazing four trophies in 2003/4 - the league championship, League Cup, Welsh Cup and North Wales Coast Challenge Cup.
In the next three seasons he ensured European qualification for the Lilywhites, who finished runners-up twice and third on two occasions.
In the 2005/6 Uefa Cup, Rhyl became one a select band of Welsh clubs to progress to the second stage of European competition, beating Atlantas on away goals with a 3-2 win in Lithuania.
More Euro success looked on the cards in the 2007/8 Uefa Cup after a 3-1 win over Haka at Belle Vue, but a 2-0 defeat in Finland spelled exit on away goals.
Hulse received several manager of the month awards and, when he parted company with Rhyl, one of the League's most experienced and successful managers had presided over the most fruitful period in the club's history.

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25 April 2017

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