For the past two months I’ve reported on the latest signings across North Wales football.
We reached the 300 mark this week, so I thought it an opportune time to evaluate and choose what I consider the top 20 signings so far.
These selections are not just based on the player and their ability, but also what value their transfer represents.
For instance, a player of proven quality dropping down a league or two, has to represent great business.
By the same token, a higher level club taking a punt on a lower league player could also be seen as a master stroke.
These, as always, are just opinions….
20 SAM JONES (Bangor City to Caernarfon Town)
Dynamic young striker who enhanced his reputation as part of Ynys Môn’s Inter-Island Games gold medal winning squad, Jones finishing joint-top scorer for the champions with three goals.
Broke into Bangor City’s first team last season and made a big impression in the Huws Gray Alliance. Now a chance to shine at Welsh Premier level arrives for this 19-year-old with Caernarfon Town.
19 TOMOS CLARKE (Holyhead Hotspur to Conwy Borough)
A member of the Ynys Môn Island Games football squad, Clarke was joint top-marksman for Holyhead Hotspur in the Huws Gray Alliance last season.
The versatile operator has previously featured for Oldham Athletic, Colwyn Bay, Porthmadog and Glantraeth.
He is a dominant presence who is comfortable in defence or midfield and is sure be a great addition to Conwy Borough for the coming season.
18 CASEY BOYLAN (Bodedern Athletic to CPD Y Fali)
Y Fali are delighted to have the talented Boylan back in the ranks.
The goal-getting midfielder has played a major part in Bodedern’s rise up the pyramid in recent seasons and that experience will make him a player to be feared in the Anglesey League.
17 ALAW DAVIES-SMITH (Rhyl to Corwen)
Corwen Ladies have received a massive boost ahead of the 2019-20 season with the signing of Alaw Davies-Smith as player-coach.
Alaw, the Grassroots North Wales Women’s Player of the Season for 2017-18, joins Corwen from Rhyl, where she has established herself as one of the best right-backs in the Welsh Premier Women’s League.
16 LEWIS CLAMP (Chirk AAA to Rhostyllen)
One of the key players in Rhostyllen’s rise to prominence in recent years has returned to the club.
Prolific goal-getter Clamp finished last season at Chirk, but the 27-year-old is now back where he made his name.
Class player who can always be relied upon to score goals,
15 ASA HAMILTON (Airbus to Rhyl)
Big, bustling striker with an impressive goal-getting record in their second-tier of Welsh football.
The 27-year-old Hamilton was joint top goalscorer last season for Airbus, the 2018-19 Huws Gray Alliance championship and cup double winners.
Prior to joining the Wingmakers at the start of last season, Hamilton had played for Guilsfield, Penycae, Porthmadog and Buckley Town in the HGA.
14 LASSANA MENDES (to Bala Town)
The Lakesiders’ fifth signing of the summer transfer window is 26-year-old midfielder Mendes, who spent last season at Colwyn Bay.
Named Supporters and Managers Player of the Year whilst at the Bay, Lassana has recently been on trial at Crewe Alexandra.
Representing Spanish second division clubs Cadiz, CD Roquetas and PV EJido whilst in Spain, Mendes arrived in England where he has played for both Radcliffe Borough and Stalybridge Celtic before moving to Colwyn Bay in September 2017.
13 BARRY TORRENCE (Rhyl to FC Queen’s Park)
Prolific marksman Torrence has returned to his spiritual home after a successful period playing for Rhyl FC in the Huws Gray Alliance.
Torrence soon became a fans’ favourite at Rhyl with his skill and determination up front, but now returns to the club where he first made his name and won the Welsh National League Premier Division title in 2016-17.
12 LIAM MORRIS (Llangefni Town to Conwy Borough)
Top-scorer for Welsh Alliance champions Llangefni Town last season with 22 goals, Morris has joined Tier 2 North club Conwy Borough for the 2019-20 campaign.
Striker Morris made big waves this summer in the Inter-Island Games for Ynys Môn, where he scored three goals in the tournament, including a stunning equaliser in the final, where the hosts defeated Guernsey 2-1.
11 CONNER KENDRICK (Cefn Albion to Penycae)
Prolific goalscorer returns to Penycae after a glorious spell at Cefn Albion, where he scored 10 goals in last season’s run to FAW Trophy glory.
Other former clubs for this 24-year-old include Rhydymwyn. Has already made big impression during pre-season in front of goal for Penycae.
10 FFION OWEN (Caernarfon Town to Amlwch Town)
One of Anglesey’s finest-ever women players ends a long spell at Caernarfon to join the Amlwch Town revolution.
A member of the Ynys Môn squad which reached the final of the Inter-Island Games, Owen, 23, is a dynamic, hard-working midfielder with a tremendous shot.
9 LOUIS ROBLES (San Roque de Lepe to Bala Town)
The 22-year-old Robles is a razor-sharp centre-forward that has landed from Spanish side San Roque de Lepe.
Starting out at Liverpool aged nine, he spent eight years there before a move to Wigan Athletic.
Two loan spells followed at Macclesfield and then Gloucester City prior to a venture to the US to represent Limestone Saints in college football where he was named Freshman of the Year.
Louis had a short spell at Bangor City, went to Spain to play for Atletico Baleares and then switched to San Roque de Lepe.
After a season overseas, Robles joined League 2 outfit Grimsby Town before a return to San Roque.
8 CALLUM ROBERTS (Newtown to Connah’s Quay Nomads)
Defender Roberts, 20, plied his trade at Newtown during 2018/19, making 22 appearances, having joined The Robins in June 2018 after a successful loan period for the second half of 2017/18.
Roberts has also previously played at TNS and Shrewsbury Town. He has really impressed for the Nomads in their European adventures so far.
7 MARK CONNOLLY (to Holywell Town)
After finishing last season in the Welsh Premier with relegated Llandudno, Connolly announced his retirement, but the 35-year-old has had a rethink and decided to sign up for Johnny Haseldin’s Holywell for 2019-20.
It’s a big signing for the Wellmen, with Connolly having netted 100 Welsh Premier goals in a career which included long stints at Bala Town and Rhyl, as well as shorter ones at Bangor City and Llandudno, plus a spell with Chester FC.
6 MEL McGINNESS (Holyhead Hotspur to Porthmadog)
Two days after scoring the winning goal for Ynys Môn in the Inter-Island Games final, McGinness signed for Port.
Despite Holyhead Hotspur being relegated from the Huws Gray Alliance last season, their star striker McGinness was named league player of the year.
Former Bangor City, Llangefni Town and Gaerwen front man McGinness, 29, is known for his determination and finishing ability.
5 DEAN REDMOND (Menai Bridge Tigers to Bodedern Athletic)
Great capture for Bodedern as they sign Redmond, top-scorer for last season’s Gwynedd League champions Menai Bridge Tigers with 39 goals. He was also named Gwynedd League Player of the Year.
Also formerly with Beaumaris Town and Bethesda Athletic, big front man Redmond now gets a deserved chance to test his talents in Welsh Alliance Division One. Has already looked the business for Boded in pre-season.
4 = ROB HUGHES (Connah’s Quay Nomads to Prestatyn Town)
Ultra-skillful operator returns to the club he first featured for in the Welsh Premier League back in 2013/14.
Hughes, 27, was at Rhyl for three seasons before spending 12 months in Australia playing for Goulbourn Valley Suns, where he made 25 appearances, scoring 12 goals.
Joined Nomads in January 2018 and played his part in the club’s rise to prominence before deciding on a move back to Bastion Gardens. Great bit of persuasion by Neil Gibson to entice him from a thriving club like Nomads.
4 = Meilir Williams (Penrhyndeudraeth to Blaenau Amateurs)
Blaenau Amateurs proved they mean business following their promotion to Welsh Alliance Division One by signing prolific marksman Meilir Williams from Penrhyndeudraeth at the end of May.
Williams was top goalscorer in Division One last season with 28 league goals for Penrhyn.
A former Porthmadog Academy player, Williams has also previously played for Blaenau, Porthmadog’s first team and Bala Town Under-19s.
He signed for Port towards the end of 2016/17 and scored within a minute of his debut against Conwy Borough at Y Traeth.
Williams added three more goals before that season’s completion, then played all of 2017/18 for Port, netting double figures.
His goal-getting heroics for Penrhyndeudraeth this term took his total to more than 100 in less than 90 matches for the Maes-y-Parc club.
A late addition to this top 20, Meilir was not in the original list of 300 signings which began in June, but is a more than worthy inclusion.
3 MICHAEL JOHNSTON (to Bangor 1876)
A Wales Under-17 and U-19 international, Johnston was a Tranmere Rovers reserve who joined Bangor City on loan in September 2007.
After being voted 2007-08 Player of the Season for the Welsh Cup winners, he was released from Prenton Park in April 2008 and signed a two-year deal to remain at Bangor.
Johnno went on to spend eight seasons with the Citizens, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the Welsh Premier, winning three Welsh Cup winners’ medals and a WPL title along the way.
He made 235 top-flight appearances for the club before signing for Llandudno in 2015-16.
Later spells at Caernarfon Town and Brickfield Rangers followed before Johnston landed back at Bangor City under Gary Taylor-Fletcher in February 2019.
2 MICHAEL PARKER (Connah’s Quay Nomads to Prestatyn Town)
Midfield maestro returns to the club where he has enjoyed most success.
Parker, 31, has twice won the Cymru Alliance title with Prestatyn, as well as being part of the Welsh Cup winning side of 2012-13.
He is also Town’s record Welsh Premier goalscorer with 48. Had a productive spell with Connah’s Quay Nomads in the WPL last season.
1 LES DAVIES (to Bangor 1876)
A key player in the Welsh Premier and Huws Gray Alliance right up to recent times, Davies should be head and shoulders above the rest in the Gwynedd League for newly-formed 1876.
After a short spell with Caernarfon Town early in his career, Davies first made waves as a powerful 18-year-old striker for Cymru Alliance club Glantraeth during their Welsh Cup run of 2003-04, which included a shock elimination of Bangor City.
The Citizens soon snapped him up, and he spent two seasons at Farrar Road before switching to fellow WPL club Porthmadog for the next two campaigns.
Nev Powell brought Davies back to Bangor in 2007-08 and the striker, who acquired the nickname “The Truck”, was with the Citizens for the next eight seasons, winning numerous honours including three Welsh Cups and the WPL title before signing for Connah’s Quay Nomads in August 2015.
Davies joined Bala Town in June 2017 before returning for a third spell to Bangor, now a Huws Gray Alliance club, last season under Craig Harrison.
In January 2019, Llandudno became his sixth Welsh Premier club. He left Maesdu Park this summer and agreed to join former boss Powell at Aberystwyth Town, but has had a change of mind and committed to Bangor 1876.
Veteran of almost 450 WPL appearances and 128 goals.