It has been such a busy summer at Caernarfon Town so far it is hard to keep up with everything!
But we’ll give it a go.
In a nutshell, the Canaries have made some fantastic signings in the shape of former Wrexham and Wales defender Steve Evans, ex-Football League midfielder Dion Donohue, miracle man Danny Gosset, the versatile Iwan Cartwright, skillful attacking ace Rob Hughes and goalkeeper Jakub Ojrzynski on a season-long loan from Liverpool.
Among those to pen new deals include Darren Thomas, Mike Hayes and Sion Bradley.
A few have left The Oval – long-serving defenders Gaz Edwards and Joe Williams, Nathan Craig has moved to Porthmadog, Jack Kenny and Telor Williams have signed for Flint Town United, while talented youngsters Max Cleworth and Jake Bickerstaff have returned to Wrexham AFC following successful loan spells with the Canaries last term.
Caernarfon have played some friendlies and have certainly not been short of goals.
They recently met a Tranmere Rovers Select in the inaugural match for John King Shield, named in honour of the legendary former manager of both clubs.
Caernarfon won 6-0, Mike Hayes (2), Darren Thomas, Steve Evans, Gruff John and Noah Edwards sharing the goals against a talented young Rovers outfit.
Town have also beaten Llangefni 6-0 and Radcliffe 5-4, but were narrowly defeated 2-1 by Holywell.
That’s a brief summing up of summer goings on at the Cymru Premier club so far.
Grassroots North Wales has previously profiled in depth new faces Donohue, Gosset and Hughes, so let’s have a look at the latest recruits.
Former Wrexham and Wales defender Evans is now 42, but still super-fit and more than capable of doing a solid job at the back for Huw Griffiths’ side.
Evans undoubtedly rates as one of the finest defenders to play in the Welsh Premier League.
In two spells with The New Saints, he played in 216 league matches, scoring 37 goals, and won numerous medals with the club.
He was inducted into the Cymru Premier Hall of Fame in 2013.
Steve began his career with Crewe Alexandra and West Bromwich Albion. He first joined Cymru Premier side TNS in the summer of 1999 and featured in the title-winning team of 1999-2000.
Following an injury he moved to Oswestry Town to make six appearances before returning to TNS and playing in the championship-lifting sides of 2005 and 2006.
He won the Welsh Premier player of the season award for 2004-2005 and made nine appearances for the Welsh semi-professional side.
Steve played two games against the then-European champions Liverpool in the summer of 2005. The Reds won the tie 6-0 on aggregate, but Saints were far from disgraced.
In June 2006, Steve was picked up by Wrexham, where he signed a two-year deal.
He impressed Wales manager John Toshack and made his international debut in a friendly against Liechtenstein in November 2006.
In September 2008, with Wrexham relegated to the Football Conference, Evans became the first non-league player to represent Wales for 76 years as a second-half substitute in a 2–1 defeat away to Russia in a World Cup qualifier.
Returning to TNS from Wrexham – where he made 87 competitive appearances – in 2009, Steve held the position of club captain and won two further WPL titles.
In 2014-15, he had a spell on loan at Connah’s Quay Nomads, starting 25 games and scoring five goals.
Steve had until recently been first team assistant-manager at The New Saints, where he has been heavily involved in developing youth talent in recent years, but now he has donned the boots again as a Caernarfon Town player.
The big centre half has played in recent friendlies for the Cofis and has impressed manager Griffiths.
Huw said: “He has a lot of experience and I am sure that everyone who has seen our friendlies so far will know what he offers us. He will help the youngsters in our squad and will make sure that what we as a management team want from the players will happen on the pitch.
“People have been asking me who we’d be able to bring in to replace Gareth Edwards and whilst Steve is older than Gaz, he is also a former Welsh international and this type of player doesn’t become available often.”
Steve is looking forward to the challenge:
“It’s great to back in football and at a great club like Caernarfon,” he said. “I’ve played and coached against the team many times and I think everyone knows about the Cofi Army, the best following in the league by far.
“Huw’s building a good squad and I’m hoping to bring my experience to it and help the young player along. I’m really looking forward to the challenge!”
The versatile Cartwright, 24, can operate in defence and midfield and played under Huw Griffiths for two and a half years at Cefn Druids.
Iwan started his career at Wrexham before moving on to Nuneaton and Hednesford. He joined Newtown in the summer of 2017 before Huw signed him for Druids in January 2018, where he has featured ever since.
Exciting new signing joins Caernarfon on a season long-loan from Liverpool Football Club.
The 18-year-old goalkeeper joined the Reds from Legia Warsaw in Poland two years ago and last season played 10 times for the Under 18’s, on seven occasions for the Under 23’s and also took his place on the bench for the first team’s fixture with Sheffield United.
The move remains subject to international clearance but all parties are confident that this will be cleared before the start of the new campaign, when Caernarfon visit Ruthin in the Nathaniel MG Cup on Friday, 6th August.
Caernarfon Town are in action today (Saturday, July 31) in a friendly against Telford United (kick-off 3 pm at The Oval).