Nomads youngster’s talents are really starting to shine through

Candice Nellist showed her mettle in helping Nomads knock Port Talbot out of the Welsh Cup. Picture: Jay Catton

She may have slipped under the radar a little this season but on Sunday Connah’s Quay Nomads’ top-scorer came right to the fore.

Candice Nellist’s equaliser for the Deesiders in their epic 2-1 Welsh Cup giant-killing of Port Talbot was the striker’s 14th goal this term.

That puts her joint fifth in the North Wales women’s football goalscorers table for the 2019-20 campaign.

Former Tranmere Rovers prospect Candice first appeared on the North Wales senior football scene last season with Rhyl in the Welsh Premier Women’s League.

It was a difficult campaign for the Lilywhites, which eventually led to them leaving the top flight, but the encouraging performances of their new powerful and pacy 19-year-old forward did not go unnoticed.

While her game lacked goals, Candice’s work-rate, link-play and physicality up front made her stand out.

She reminded me of a younger version of Laura Williams, the bustling former Rhyl striker with the delicate touch and lovely finishing ability.

Candice looked the part in the WPWL, she just needed to add net-finding to her repertoire.

Candice (red) in pre-season action against Wrexham. Picture: Nik Mesney, NCM Media

So it was great to see the former Wales Under-15 and North Wales squad member sign up for ambitious newcomers the Nomads last summer.

And Candice has never looked back; scoring a hat-trick on her debut at Holywell and going on to reach double figures in the goal stakes in less than a dozen matches – 14 in 11 is her record.

North Wales League Division Two can serve as a learning ground for the young mechanics student, but she has the ability to shine at a much higher level.

She began to prove that by finding the net against Welsh Premier opponents Port Talbot.

No doubt her experience of top flight football last season helped her in that sort of game.

Swansea City’s defenders will provide her with another big test in the semi-finals – provided she is selected of course! Her chances look good right now.

Candice was certainly a player who caught my eye last season, so it is great to see her talents come to fruition this term.

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