Caernarfon Town’s exciting summer signing Asa Hamilton is a man very much on a mission.
Despite having bags of potential, the 28-year-old striker feels he has never had a fair crack of the whip where the Cymru Premier League is concerned.
Apart from a handful of substitute appearances for Airbus in the national league 10 seasons back, Hamilton has spent almost all of his career playing in the tier-two Cymru Alliance (now the Cymru North).
Now a big opportunity has come up for the much-travelled front man to show his mettle at the top level under Huw Griffiths at Caernarfon.
Hamilton admits he is raring to go again after a spell where he says he fell out of love with football.
Although he was joint-top scorer with Airbus when they won the Cymru Alliance in 2018-19, Hamilton did not have the happiest of times at the club.
Then last season he signed for Rhyl, but due to personal difficulties left the club just two months into the campaign.
Now his appetite is truly back as he prepares for the 2020-21 season with Caernarfon – his 11th club.
“To be honest I’d started to fall out of love with football last season after what happened, and Airbus the season before, but ever since I spoke to Huw (Griffiths), I’ve got that complete buzz back and I haven’t had that for a while,” he told club chairman Paul Evans in an interview for Caernarfon Town media.
“I have to prove a few people wrong as well. I played in the Welsh Premier a long time ago, but since then whenever I’ve gone pre-season with Welsh Prem teams it’s never worked out for some reason or another.
“I won the (Cymru Alliance) league with Airbus, but me and the gaffer didn’t get on so I left.
“I’ve always just missed out on playing Welsh Prem, so this personally for me is my opportunity to show everyone what I can do. I love to prove people wrong.”
Asa began his career with Airbus Youth, then had spells with Buckley Town and Lex XI before returning to the Wingmakers in 2010/11, where he made six substitute appearances towards the end of the Welsh Premier season.
He then moved on to Ruthin Town, Llandudno, Penycae, Rhayader Town, Porthmadog and Buckley again, before signing for Guilsfield in 2017/18 where he scored an impressive 17 goals.
The following season he returned to Airbus, where his 13 goals helped Steve O’Shaughnessy’s side win the Cymru Alliance title by a street.
There was much excitement at Rhyl when Hamilton arrived at Belle Vue in summer last year, but after scoring four goals early in the season, his stay at the club came to an abrupt halt.
A chance to revive his career at Caernarfon is probably just what the doctor ordered and he admits he almost joined the club three years ago, but Guilsfield manager John Leonard persuaded him to stay at Clos Mytton.
“I’ve always wondered a little bit, I wish I’d have went, obviously you (Caernarfon) won the league that year, I got on with the fans so well, every time I played against them. It’s always something I look back on and say I should have went.”
Asa said on this occasion his friend Joe Williams, who plays for Caernarfon, sounded him out recently about signing for the Canaries.
“I was determined to take my time this season, not rush anything like last time.
“Then Huw called me, we spoke for about half an hour and it was a no-brainer for me. There was no way I was going to wait and even think about other clubs. I’m over the moon (to join Caernarfon) to be fair.
“I’ve played for Porthmadog, so I know a lot of lads from Port have gone there (to Caernarfon). It’ll be easier than going to a club where I don’t know anyone.”
One of North Wales football’s most colourful characters, robust striker Asa admits he cannot wait to meet the famous Cofi Army – Caernarfon Town’s amazing fan base.
“It’s probably one of the main things behind me joining the club,” he said.
“Watching the fans on the video, when the wall fell down – that’s what I want to be part of; I want to score a winning goal, jump in and go mad.”
He added, light-heartedly: “I’m a bit of a lunatic to be honest, everybody knows I’m a bit of a lunatic. Probably the biggest buzz of all in joining Caernarfon is the thought of having all them backing me.”
Asa Hamilton’s career path (subject to confirmation – only limited information on appearances and goals)
2009/10: Buckley Town
2009/10: Lex XI
2010/11: Airbus UK Broughton (WPL)
2011/12: Ruthin Town
2015/16: Rhayader Town
2015/16: Porthmadog – 16 appearances (2 as sub) – 6 goals
2016/17: Buckley Town
2017/18: Guilsfield – 17 goals
2018/19: Airbus UK Broughton – 13 goals
2019/20: Rhyl – 4 goals
2020/21: Caernarfon Town