Happy birthday to North Wales great Nathan Craig – 29 today

Nathan Craig in his Caernarfon days. Picture: Paul Evans

One of North Wales football’s true greats is 29 today.

Nathan Craig currently plays for Flint Town United in the Cymru Premier, but is best known for his many successful years with Caernarfon Town, as well as being an ex-professional for Everton and Torquay United.

A dynamic attacking left-back or midfielder with a penchant for scoring spectacular goals from set-pieces, Nathan joined Everton aged 12 and progressed through the ranks, becoming a reserves regular and full-time pro.

He made his competitive first-team debut versus BATE Borisov of Belarus on December 17, 2009 in the UEFA Europa League.

After being released by Everton in summer 2011, he joined hometown club Caernarfon Town, making 17 appearances and scoring five goals for a team then in the Welsh Alliance.

Nathan again turned professional at Torquay United in 2012 and went on to make 47 appearances for the Plainmoor outfit.

Following the club’s relegation to the Conference in May 2014, Nathan, along with seven other team-mates, was placed on the transfer list.
In June 2014, following the player’s request, his contract was mutually terminated.

He went on loan to Dorchester Town before returning to Caernarfon to take up the new post of Football in the Community Director and re-signing for the club.

Nathan (left) and former Caernarfon team-mate Darren Thomas celebrate another success. Picture: Caernarfon Town FC

In 2014/15, he netted three goals in 19 games for the Canaries, then in 2015/16 notched 16 in 35 as Town won the Huws Gray Alliance title.

The 2016/17 campaign brought 19 goals in 37 matches, then in 2017-18, as the Cofis scooped the HGA crown again, the former international scored 21 times in 34 outings.

Town were back in the Welsh Premier in 2018-19 and Craig bagged 14 goals and made the Team of the Season subs bench. He reached 200 appearances during the Canaries for the season.

In all, Nathan has made 201 first-team appearances for Caernarfon and scored 83 goals – a remarkable return for a left-back/wing-back.

Before leaving The Oval, he had also been head of the club’s Football in the Community project since 2015.

Nathan joined Flint this season. Picture: Flint Town United FC

Nathan has earned 11 caps for Wales Under-17’s, nine for the Under-19’s and four at under-21 level.

He made a goalscoring debut for the U-17 side on 27 August 2007 during a 2-1 victory over Belgium after replacing Matthew Hurdman as a first-half substitute.

His first outing for the Wales Under-21 side was against Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 2009.

This season, Nathan produced the perfect start for new club Flint when he scored the winner on his debut against Newtown on September 12.

It was the Silkmen’s first game since their promotion to the Cymru Premier following a 22-year absence.

Happy birthday Nathan – have a great day.

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