Caerwys look well prepared to produce a big season in the North East Wales Football League.
With joint-managers Jordan Hadaway and Ethan Jones appointed in April, the pair have been busy building a very handy looking squad over the summer.
Top signings include proven goal-getter Jon Edmonds, experienced front man Elgan Hughes and forward-minded Ryan Edge, but there are plenty of other good new recruits for other positions, with many of last season’s best performers also staying on.
Pre-season results have been very encouraging, mainly all wins, and then on Wednesday came a fabulous 5-2 victory at Bala Town Reserves in the NEWFA Challenge Cup, the aforementioned Edge with a hat-trick.
Caerwys have caught my eye more than once over the summer and I’m backing them to win the title, recreating memories of some fantastic past achievements by this great club.
Acton have to be considered as serious title contenders, given they were runners-up last season and lifted the Premier Cup, beating Flint Mountain, who were denied an extremely rare quintet in the process.
Matt Wilcox has a decent squad on call with the goals of Niall Challinor likely to be crucial again.
It’s a huge welcome back to Sychdyn after a two-year break.
Back in 2016-17, the villagers lifted the North East Wales title, but were denied promotion to the Welsh National League on ground criteria issues and folded.
Now the batteries are recharged, and the Mold area side are ready to give it another go.
There is certainly a feelgood factor around Wat’s Dyke Way, with Shaun Antrobus returning as manager after an enjoyable two years at Hawarden Rangers, and names such as club captain Mark Weir, goal-getter Tim Hughes and two key members of the 2016-17 squad, Terry Pughe and Ryan Williams, back on board.
There’s some quality new additions too, such as Ryan Davidson, a very experienced and quality campaigner. Expect Sychdyn to be right in the mix!
And the villagers have an added bonus to look forward to – an FAW Trophy trip to Bangor 1876 early on in the season!
Brand-new club Chirk Town are very interesting fresh faces to the league.
The Taverners have already shown early promise by winning the GEM Trophy competition, as well as signing the impressive Tom Freeman from Gresford.
I get a good feeling about this team and think they might do well.
Of the rest, it would be great to see last season’s bottom three Bellevue, Borras Park Albion and Bradley Park get a few wins under their belt, while Brymbo Victoria, Mold Town United and Penyffordd Lions will have more good days than bad and cannot be overlooked.
I will close on a fascinating fact…..
Of the 10 teams in the North East Wales League, SEVEN of their names are covered by the letters A to C (eight if you add CPD in front of Sychdyn).
I bet you’ll all be talking about that over your pint of Director’s tonight!
NORTH EAST WALES LEAGUE (10 teams)
Borras Park Albion
Mold Town United