Early 2021 signings in North Wales football

Ben Burrows (Flint Town United to Gresford Athletic)

Burrows is back at Gresford after a stint with Welsh Premier League newcomers Flint Town United.

The central defender previously played for the Colliers on loan in the 2017/18 season and again during 2018/19.

Despite still being only 22, Ben has plenty of experience in the JD Cymru Leagues, specifically Cymru Premier and Cymru North.

He started his career at Wrexham in their U18s squad, but signed for WPL club Cefn Druids in 2017/18.

After finishing that season on loan at Gresford and cementing himself as a solid member of the defence, he put pen to paper for Rhyl for the 2018-19 term.

There he worked with current Gresford manager Eddie Maurice-Jones. He stayed at the club up until they dissolved at the end of the 2019/20 season.

Ben moved onto Flint Town United, who had recently been promoted to the JD Cymru Premier, and made five appearances for the club before re-signing for Gresford on Saturday.

Cai Owen (Caernarfon Town to Colwyn Bay)

Owen is returning to the Bay after his short spell with Caernarfon Town.

The Seagulls signed Owen from Rhyl last January, but he moved to Welsh Premier club Caernarfon in October, with Bay having not had a game in eight months, in order to get some football under his belt.

He made just two substitute appearances for the Canaries and now looks forward to a new Cymru North campaign with the Bay, which will hopefully start in the not-too-distant future.

Cai first progressed through Bangor City’s Academy, making his senior debut at 16 under Neville Powell, before moving to Llandudno.

He then joined Rhyl on loan in August 2018 before making a permanent move in the October. Then came that first switch to Colwyn Bay in January 2020.

Jack Dunn (Warrington Town to Prestatyn Town)

Forward Dunn joins Prestatyn from Northern Premier League Premier Division club Warrington Town.

The 26 year old former Liverpool Academy player lands at Bastion Gardens after stints at Tranmere Rovers, Morecambe and Cheltenham Town among others.

Prestatyn manager Ryan Turner said: “I’m delighted to add someone with Jack’s quality to this squad and can’t wait to work with him once lockdown is over.”

Ilan Hughes (Aberystwyth Town to Colwyn Bay)

Midfielder Hughes arrives at Llanelian Road 12 months after he joined Welsh Premier club Aberystwyth Town from Ruthin.

Aber made enquiries about Hughes after Ruthin’s impressive display against them in a 2-1 Welsh Cup defeat in December 2019.

Ilan came through the under 16’s at Ruthin, then played for the Colts and then the reserves before making his first team debut at the age of 20. He was first team captain at 24.

Now after a taste of top-flight football with the blacks and greens, Hughes has moved to Cymru North outfit the Bay.

Callum Humphreys (Widnes to Buckley Town)

The versatile Humphreys returns for his second stint with Buckley, joining from Northern Premier League Division One North West outfit Widnes.

Town head coach Dan Moore is delighted, saying: “He’s a leader in his performances and personality. He’s strong in both boxes and he’ll be an important player for us.”

George Mannion (Ashton Athletic to Colwyn Bay)

Mannion is back at the Bay following a stint at North West Counties side Ashton Athletic.

The 24-year-old wide player, who has been with Chester, Northwich Vics, Prescot Cables and Glossop North End, as well as having a spell playing in Australia, signed for the Bay for a second time in September.

However, a month later he joined Ashton to gain some game time as there was no sign at that time of the Cymru North campaign getting under way.

Lee Beattie (Prestatyn Sports to Prestatyn Town)

Striker Beattie is back at the club where he became a worldwide internet sensation six years ago.

Beattie, 32, has re-signed for Prestatyn Town after a brief spell at neighbours Prestatyn Sports.

On April 19, 2015, Beattie scored with a mesmerising acrobatic volley from outside the box in Prestatyn’s 3-1 defeat to Bangor City at Bastion Gardens.

Many predicted he was a surefire nomination for the Puskas Award, but sadly he was not listed among the contenders.

Asa Hamilton (Caernarfon Town to Buckley Town)

Asa Hamilton in his Airbus days. Picture: Andrew Lincoln

Well-travelled striker Asa Hamilton has returned to former club Buckley for a second time.

Hamilton, 28, began the 2020-21 season with Welsh Premier Caernarfon Town, making a single start and seven appearances as a sub.

Bucks were Hamilton’s first senior club in 2009-10 and he was back at The Globe in 2016-17.

A proven goalscorer at Cymru North level, he will look to maintain his fine record with the Trotters.

Asa began his career with Airbus Youth, then had spells with Buckley 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 a halt.

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