Nathan Craig joins CPD Porthmadog

Graphic: CPD Porthmadog

Former Everton and Wales Under-21 player Nathan Craig has joined CPD Porthmadog.

He is one of three new signings announced by Port manager Craig Papirnyk today.

Midfielder Stuart Rogers and centre-half James Morgan have also landed at the Traeth club, who will play in tier 3 Ardal North West this season.

On securing the signature of Craig, who returned to Caernarfon Town from Flint Town United last December, but did not make a further appearance for the Canaries, Papirnyk said: “Nathan has decided that Port is the place where he wants to play his football next season

“Nathan doesn’t need an introduction but I cannot wait to see him playing for us, he believes in what we are rebuilding here and I am pleased that he wants to be part of it.

“I am really excited about working with him and can’t wait to see him in this team for the season ahead. He will bring experience and quality to this young side, and along with Stu both will be a presence for us this coming season.”

Craig, 29, is a dynamic attacking left-back or midfielder with a penchant for scoring spectacular goals from set-pieces.

He joined Everton aged 12 and progressed through the ranks, becoming a reserves regular and full-time pro.

The Caernarfon lad 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 switched to hometown club Caernarfon Town, 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.

In 2015/16, he notched 16 goals in 35 outings 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 games.

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 for the Canaries during the season.

In all, Nathan made 217 first-team appearances for Caernarfon and scored 87 goals – a remarkable return for a left-back/wing-back.

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

In 2020-21, Nathan produced the perfect start for new club Flint when he scored the winner on his debut against Newtown on September 12.

However, in December 2020, he left Cae-y-Castell due to work commitments which involve him now running his own soccer school.

Stuart Rogers is a familiar face at the Traeth having represented Port in the past, but also as a competitor for Guilsfield,

Papirnyk added: “Stu has a wealth of experience along with real quality. I am delighted that Stu has come back, he believes in the project we have and he will certainly strengthen our midfield for the challenges ahead.”

James Morgan is a young centre half who can also play right back or centre midfield.

Papirnyk said: “He is a quality player and one I am really looking forward to managing for years to come. I believe he will get stronger and stronger with us and will impress the Port faithful when they see him.”

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