Flint Town United manager Neil Gibson certainly stamped his mark on the club in a busy January transfer window.
The former Prestatyn Town boss, who took over at the Essity Stadium in December with the mission of keeping the Silkmen in the Cymru Premier League, has brought in no less than 13 new faces in the past few days.
They are: Tom Weir, Evan Gumbs, Eddie Clarke, Mitch Duggan, Jordan Buckley, Josh Amis, Jon Rushton (loan), Ryan Woods, Elijah Beatrice, Ross Weaver, Dan Roberts, Callum Roberts and Jake Hampson.
Speaking to the Flint Town United website, Gibbo firstly discussed the five players who have arrived from Warrington Town.
“I would like to thank Paul Carden and everyone at Warrington FC, for their help and cooperation in enabling the lads to join us at Flint in such a quick and professional manner,” he said.
“I believe we have signed five very exciting young players who are hungry to play football and help us at Flint Town achieve our goals between now and the end of the season.
“Eddie Clarke, Evan Gumbs and Mitch Duggan are exciting talents who I’ve watched closely progress through the ranks at Tranmere to the first team.
“At their age I firmly believe they have the potential to get back to playing in the Football League, and we hope to help develop them more and give them the platform to showcase their abilities week in, week out.
“Eddie is a very exciting left sided player with fantastic pace and fitness levels who will undoubtedly offer us a different dynamic and is a perfect fit for the style of play I want to implement at Flint.
“Evan is a fantastic character and leader on the pitch, somebody who has a desire to defend that is missing in a lot of modern day centre backs, he’s comfortable in possession and will be a great addition to our team.
“Mitch is a player who exudes energy and enthusiasm, a very neat and tidy technical player, with a desire to work out of possession, his qualities will align perfectly to our style of play.
“Jordan Buckley is a forward player with an abundance of pace and energy, he is a good finisher and will bring goals to our group.
“Josh Amis is a striker who has already established a very strong reputation in the English system, I believe his qualities of holding the ball up and giving a platform to play from will enable him to transition swiftly into our way of playing.
“He has a good scoring record and will bring a goal threat to the group.”
Gibson, who managed Prestatyn Town for eight seasons in the Welsh Premier, as well as winning the Welsh Cup, NWCFA Challenge Cup and earning a victory at the first attempt in Europe, has pushed new club Flint up to ninth in the 12-team top flight.
In the two matches since his arrival at the Essity, the Silkmen lost narrowly at home to Cefn Druids, but then sealed a 3-0 success against Aberystwyth.
The recent influx of players has included no less than three new goalkeepers, with veteran John Danby leaving the club, along with Nathan Craig, who has returned to Caernarfon Town.
Gibson told the Flint website: “All the three goalkeepers that have been signed, have worked with me previously in the last four years, so I am well aware of what they are capable of, and, more importantly, they know what I am looking for, and what I expect from my players.
“Jon Rushton is a very experienced player in Welsh Premier circles, and he’s played in Europe and has experienced the intensity of important football matches whilst at Connah’s Quay, so his experience will bring an added edge to the competition for goal keeping places. He’s a very good shot stopper, who deals well with crosses. I must also thank Bala Town and, in particular, Colin Caton for their help in getting the loan deal for Jon sorted.
“Ryan Woods has shown a fantastic attitude and desire to improve his game in the time I have worked with him, and I believe he fully deserves his opportunity to play WPL football. He commands his 18 yard box and offers a presence which brings confidence to the defenders around him.
“Elijah Beattie is a young promising goalkeeper who also has the right kind of attitude and he works exceptionally hard and has a strong desire to improve his game.
“He’s another very good shot stopper, and is comfortable playing out with the ball at his feet. He exudes confidence well beyond his age, and if he keeps working hard at his game, should have a bright future ahead of him.”
Gibson has also renewed acquaintances with former Prestatyn players Dan Roberts, Callum Roberts and Ross Weaver.
“Dan Roberts is a player I have worked closely with in the last two years. I witnessed a massive development in him during the period of working with him at my previous club, and he is very comfortable at either right back or centre back and has many attributes that will allow him to have a good career in football.
“His work ethic, attitude and fitness are exceptional, all qualities that have enabled him to fit into the style of play I employ. He’s very comfortable on the ball and has a desire to defend with good positional awareness.
“Ross Weaver is a player I know extremely well, and I am really pleased we have been able to secure his services at Flint Town FC. I’d like to thank Johnny Haseldin at Holywell for making the transfer happen so smoothly.
“Ross is an infectious character who has a real desire to push himself to the limits to improve every training session and in every game he wants to be the best he can be. He expects the same off everyone else, which creates a great environment within the group.
“He’s comfortable in possession and works extremely hard out of possession to win tackles, press the ball and regain possession. Ross has a great pedigree, having being a professional at Wrexham, and then playing for me for five seasons has gained some good WPL experience. I’m sure he will be an asset to the club for many years.
“Callum Roberts is a player who impressed me last season, both when I saw him play in the under 19’s for Rhyl, and then through a sustained period in the Rhyl first team in tier 2.
“He is a box to box midfielder, who is comfortable in possession and works hard out of possession. He possesses a great desire to improve and at 18 I see him having a long career in WPL ahead if he continues his development at the same pace.”
And finally, to exciting prospects Jake Hampson and Tom Weir.
“Jake is a footballer I really like, so when the opportunity to bring him back to the club became available we jumped at the chance,” added Gibbo.
“Having progressed through our Academy into the first team before securing a move to Chester, Jake obviously knows the club well and it’s both reassuring and heartening that he chose to re-join his local club despite interest from elsewhere.
“His desire, energy, enthusiasm and work rate are some of the many credentials that impressed me when I have watched him play.
“Tom Weir is a player I have watched over the last few years. He was at Connah’s Quay when I was there, and I followed his path over the next 18 months.
“I’m really pleased to get him to come to Flint and start working with him again. He’s a local, young forward player who can play attacking midfield or centre forward, and he’s strong, quick and has an eye for goal.
“I think the potential within Tom’s attributes added to his desire to work hard and improve, will help him develop into a good WPL player for years to come.”
The manager concluded: “So, to sum up, we have brought in quite a few new faces, and with the current crop of lads already at the club, competition for places will be fierce, which in turn will drive up performance levels in training and matches.
“When the season resumes, games are sure to be coming thick and fast, so I’m fully expecting that everyone will have their part to play in helping the club achieve its aims.”