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Grassroots North Wales top 10 signings of 2019-20 – final selections

Mark Connolly (third left) celebrates another goal for Holywell. Picture: Lee Douglas

1 MARK CONNOLLY (to HOLYWELL TOWN)

Conno on the ball against Brymbo. Pic: Lee Douglas

After a glittering Welsh Premier League career which delivered more than 100 goals Mark Connolly announced he was retiring last summer.

Three weeks later, Conno was revealed as a marquee signing by Holywell Town manager Johnny Haseldin as part of his plans to rebuild the Wellmen in the third tier Welsh National League Premier Division.

The marriage worked out rather well with the former Bala Town and Rhyl star grabbing 21 goals, finishing top scorer as Holywell won the Welsh National League Premier Division title at the first attempt.

What a masterstroke by Haseldin to tempt this surely future Welsh Premier Hall of Famer out of retirement – and what an impact Conno made.

2 DYLAN SUMMERS-JONES (BANGOR CITY TO BANGOR 1876)

Dylan Summers-Jones (blue) on the charge for Bangor 1876

Having scored 45 goals in all competitions in under 30 appearances, it is pretty safe to say the signing of Dylan Summers-Jones by new boys Bangor 1876 was quite a success.

The 17-year-old featured a few times for Bangor City in the Cymru Alliance the previous season, but his experience of senior football was pretty limited when he joined fan-owned 1876 of the Gwynedd League.

The netting machine from Gaerwen never let up, banging in 31 league goals and 14 in the various cups.

3 TOM DOUGLAS (CASTROL TO RHOSTYLLEN)

Tom Douglas bagged 30 league goals in his first season at tier 3

Sensational stuff in his first season at Welsh National Premier Division level as Douglas notched 30 league goals and 34 in all for Rhostyllen.

He finished well clear at the WNL Premier goalscoring chart summit and rarely can a new arrival to the league have had so much impact.

Tom previously played for Castrol in the Chester Sunday League. His stunning goals return helped Rhostyllen finish runners-up in what was their best season yet in tier-three.

4 STEVE WHITTAKER (BODEDERN ATHLETIC TO CEMAES BAY)

Steven Whittaker (red) on the attack. Picture: Edryd Jones

Rejoined Cemaes Bay last summer and amassed 39 goals in all competitions, helping the club land their first Anglesey League title at first team level.

Whittaker is much better than Anglesey League standard, being a proven goal-getter at two rungs of the pyramid higher, but he wanted to return to Cemaes and it proved a fine move for this deadly striker.

No-one representing an Anglesey club scored more goals this season.

5 CALLUM ROBERTS (NEWTOWN TO CONNAH’S QUAY NOMADS)

Callum Roberts (right) celebrates a goal for Nomads. Pic: NCM Media

What a great season for Roberts, who was part of the first-ever Connah’s Quay Nomads team to win the Cymru Premier title.

The Deesiders doubled up by winning the Nathaniel MG Cup and secured a first-ever Champions League berth.

Surely the best attacking left-back in the league this season, Roberts plied his trade at Newtown during 2018/19 having previously played at TNS and Shrewsbury Town.

He is also a Wales C cap.

When the Cymru Premier is looking at selecting players of the season, they could do a lot, lot worse than making Roberts a contender.

6 SHAUN LOCK (MENAI BRIDGE TIGERS TO BANGOR 1876)

Shaun Lock of 1876

All raise your glasses to a double Gwynedd League title winner.

Left-back Lock landed the championship with Menai Bridge Tigers in 2018-19 and has just repeated the feat with new club Bangor 1876.

One of his best performances came in the NWCFA Junior Cup quarter-final at Llysfaen, where his long throws resulted in three goals before he scored a left-foot screamer himself to complete a 5-0 victory.

A league champion and Cwpan Gwynedd winner with Bridge last season, Lock has also had spells with Beaumaris Town, Bethesda Athletic, Gaerwen and Glantraeth, winning a Welsh Alliance League Division One champions medal with the latter in 2016-17.


7 TOM FREEMAN (GRESFORD ATHLETIC TO CHIRK TOWN)

Tom Freeman

Newly-formed Chirk Town raised a few eyebrows when they managed to sign Freeman from a club three levels higher for their debut campaign in the North East Wales League.

The Taverners were understandably delighted to get Freeman on board for the 2019-20 campaign and what a move it proved to be as the attacking midfielder scored 17 goals to finish league top marksman.

And to add icing on the cake, Town also won the North East Wales League title at the first attempt.

8 LEO SMITH (WREXHAM TO CAERNARFON TOWN)

Leo Smith (yellow) on the ball for Caernarfon. Picture: CTFC media

The gifted midfielder has produced numerous great displays for Caernarfon since his move became permanent at the start of the 2019-20 season.

Smith had a successful loan period at The Oval last term, and continued to improve, also earning himself a place in the Wales C squad.

He enjoyed an encouraging 2016/17 debut season at Wrexham, signing a pro contract and winning Young Player of the Year, but only made seven appearances the following campaign.

Smith did not figure for the first team at all last term, spending time on loan at Llandudno and Caernarfon.

The management at The Oval are delighted with the progress of Smith this season in a team which finished in the WPL top six for a second season on the bounce, also making it to the Welsh Cup semi-finals.

9 JACK KENNY (CEFN DRUIDS TO PRESTATYN TOWN)

Jack Kenny (red) battles for possession. Picture: John Pickles

The capture of front man Kenny was key in Prestatyn winning a record-equalling third tier-two title.

He made a tremendous return to Bastion Gardens with 17 goals in all competitions including the winner in the Welsh Cup quarter-final against Flint Town United.

Having split last season between spells at Connah’s Quay Nomads and Cefn Druids, Kenny had previously played in the Welsh Premier at both Rhyl and Prestatyn Town.

He was also a key member of Prestatyn’s 2016/17 Cymru Alliance title-winning side. Like everyone else at the club, he hopes to return to the Cymru Premier next season.

10 LOUIS ROBLES (SAN ROQUE de LEPE TO BALA TOWN)

The magnificent Robles

One of the best players to appear for Bala in the Welsh Premier League, this gifted attacker did so much to help the Lakesiders qualify for Europe yet again.

A magnificent addition to the Cymru Premier this season with his dynamic front play.

Robles joined in the summer from Spanish side San Roque de Lepe, his career having featured many stops after he started out at Liverpool aged nine.

He joined Wigan Athletic when he was 16 before two loan spells followed at Macclesfield and then Gloucester City prior to a move 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 and then moved to Spain to play for Atletico Baleares and then San Roque de Lepe.

After a season overseas, Robles switched to League 2 outfit Grimsby Town before a return to San Roque de Lepe.

This season he netted 16 goals for Bala.

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