Feature: 55 pre-season transfers covering North Wales tiers 2 and 3

Jonny Taylor (left) with Rhyl 1879 manager Gareth Thomas

* Special thanks to the clubs who provide photos and player information

1 Jonny Taylor (Llay Welfare to CPD Y Rhyl 1879)

Experienced striker who netted 30 goals in all competitions for Llay Welfare last season.

Other former clubs include Wrexham, Burnley, Shrewsbury Town, Bradford Park Avenue, Flint Town United, Buckley Town, Mold Alexandra, Gresford Athletic and Cefn Druids.

A former Wales Under-15 and U-16 international, his senior career highlight would have to be representing Druids in the Europa League v FK Trakai of Lithuania in July 2018.

Jonny’s biggest strengths as a striker are scoring goals and holding the ball up.

He is a massive Wrexham AFC fan.

2 Cian Evans (Caernarfon Town to Llangefni Town)

Promising young striker Cian Evans lands at Ardal North West club Llangefni Town from Caernarfon Town.

The 19-year-old, who made five Cymru Premier appearances for the Cofis last season, impressed in the Cymru Premier Development League, scoring 21 goals in 20 matches. Cian has also represented Wales Colleges.

3 Lewis Williams (Greenfield to Saltney Town)

Formerly with the Flint Town United Academy, exciting youngster Williams joins Saltney from Greenfield, for whom he netted 12 goals in the then North East Wales Premier Division side’s tier 4 title-winning season.

4 Telor Williams (Nantlle Vale to Llandudno)

Left-back or left-wing back Williams returns to Llandudno from tier 3 Nantlle Vale, whom he joined in January 2022 after starting last season at Cymru Premier outfit Flint Town United.

Before that he represented Caernarfon Town and Tudno in the CPL and had a spell with Porthmadog in 2019-20.

A Wales Under-18 international, he has also had trials for English Premier League club Leicester City.

On his latest move, Williams, who is 21 on July 3, said: “I’m delighted to be signing for Llandudno this season.

“I know that Sean (Eardley) and the squad will help me develop and therefore I’m looking forward to getting going. As a left-sided player I’m hoping to bring energy and assists into the team.”

5 Jack Orbell (Llanfair United to Chirk AAA)

Chirk have completed their fourth close season signing with the capture of striker Orbell from Llanfair United.

His signing for the Colliers follows the arrival from Gresford of Corey Smart and Sam Molyneux, plus Ed Baker via Berriew.

Last season’s Ardal North East champions Chirk will compete in the Cymru North in 2022-23.

6 Elliot Lloyd (Brickfield Rangers to Holywell Town)

A ball-playing central defender who signs for Holywell from Brickfield, having previously played his entire career for Prestatyn Town.

He featured for the Seasiders in the Cymru Premier and Cymru Alliance before unfortunately being injured for the whole 2019-20 season.

Lloyd, 23, has been described as an athletic centre half whose distribution and positional sense is fantastic, and he has true leadership skills.

7 Morgan Murray (Conwy Borough to Holywell Town)

Young, talented and ambitious attacking midfielder who impressed for Conwy Borough in the Cymru North last season, having signed for the Morfa club from Llandudno.

Prior to that, he had a spell with Prestatyn Town.

Murray scored against Holywell in a 3-2 win at Halkyn Road for the Tangerines during 2021-22, so Wellmen boss Johnny Haseldin has a good idea of the kind of player he is bringing on board.

8 Jake Hampson (Cefn Druids to Holywell Town)

Wing-back who broke into Flint Town United’s first team via the club’s academy at the age of 16 in the 2018/19 season, making 32 appearances and scoring three goals.

From there he had some time at Chester FC before rejoining Flint on loan at the end of 2020-21.

Last season, the 19-year-old represented Cefn Druids in the Cymru Premier League.

Is known for displaying great desire and possesses tremendous energy, enthusiasm and work rate – all qualities which will impress Johnny Haseldin.

9 Aron Hughes-Jones (Llandudno to Holyhead Hotspur)

Attacker Aron Hughes-Jones rejoins Hotspur from Llandudno.

This will be Aron’s second spell at the New Stadium after he initially arrived on loan from Flint Town United in the 2018/19 season.

He then joined Llandudno for the 2020-21 campaign, which ended up cancelled because of the pandemic. The player remained at Maesdu Park last term.

Hughes-Jones previously spent two years with The New Saints on their scholarship system, which included a spell on loan at Caersws.

Earlier, he had emerged through the youth ranks as an Academy player at Wrexham and featured in the Wales Under-18 Academy squad.

10 Jack Walsh (to Holyhead Hotspur)

The former Bangor City and Conwy Borough midfielder, aged 19, will try his luck with Hotspur in the 2022-23 campaign.

11 Will Ashley (Denbigh Town to Conwy Borough)

Tenacious and strong midfielder who can also operate at centre-half.

Will played for Denbigh Town last season and has previously worn the colours of Llandyrnog, having also gained Cymru Alliance experience with Prestatyn Town and Ruthin Town.

He will give any team team balance. Extremely disciplined, he is very effective sitting in front of the back four, giving the team a platform to start attacks from deep.

12 Jamie Roberts (to Conwy Borough)

Much-travelled player who began his career with Glantraeth Juniors and went on to represent Wales at youth and college level.

He was also with the gap Connah’s Quay Academy for three years.

Roberts, 24, had impressive spells at Caernarfon Town, Holyhead Hotspur and Conwy Borough before later stints with Glantraeth and Llangefni Town.

He now rejoins Conwy, where he knows assistant-manager Cory Williams well.

Cory said: “I played at Caernarfon with him. On his day you can’t get near him. We needed a creative player who could make things happen. He ticked all the boxes. He’s just moved back to the area following a few seasons out and it’s great to have him on board.”

13 James Phillips (Llangefni Town to Conwy Borough)

After leaving relegated Llangefni Town, Phillips gets another chance to shine in the Cymru North at Y Morfa.

Borough assistant-manager Cory Williams said: “I’ve known James since my time at Caernarfon and he is a superb right back. Has a great delivery, quick and defensively solid. Great addition.”

14 Huw Shaw (Llanfairpwll to Conwy Borough)

It’s a big step up for Shaw, from tier 5 Llanfairpwll to T2 Conwy Borough, but he is more than capable of adjusting to the higher standard.

Huw made the news last season when he rescued a point for Llanfairpwll by running upfield and converting a late penalty against Waunfawr.

Boro assistant-boss Cory Williams said: “Huw was previously with the club a few years ago so we know about him and what he brings. Reliable, good with his feet and a good shot stopper.”

15 Robbie Williams (Gresford Athletic to Guilsfield)

Goalkeeper Williams has left the Colliers for fellow Cymru North club Guilsfield.

Williams joined Gresford Athletic in the 2021/22 summer transfer window.

During his one season at the club, the 20-year-old made 27 appearances in all competitions, keeping 10 clean sheets.

He was named Gresford Athletic Young Player of the Season for 2021/22.

Williams has also played for Wrexham, Llay United Juniors, The New Saints, Chirk AAA, Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant and Oswestry Town.

16 Jacob Barratt (Denbigh Town to Gresford Athletic)

Dazzling talent who had an excellent 2021/22 season for Denbigh Town in Ardal North West.

His progress has earned him a chance to shine in Tier 2 with Gresford Athletic.

This is signing number five for the Colliers in the 2022/23 summer transfer window.

Attacking operator Barratt first played for The New Saints in their academy in 2014, before signing for Colwyn Bay in 2016.

A season at Bay led to a move to Connah’s Quay Nomads in 2017/18, where he progressed through their academy, making his way into a number of Cymru Premier match-day squads.

The 21-year-old signed for Denbigh Town in 2019, moving into men’s football and influencing games at a young age.

He made 29 appearances in all competitions for Denbigh in 2021/22, scoring 13 goals and providing five assists, helping the club finishing third in Ardal North West.

Gresford Athletic manager Eddie Maurice-Jones says Jacob’s attributes will be beneficial to the way the team plays.

“Jacob has been brilliant since joining up with the squad. His technical ability and precise passing will be a huge benefit that fits our style of play. He is hard-working, committed and has already settled into the group very well.”

17 Shaun Tinsley (Saltney Town to Mold Alexandra)

This talented 28-year-old is exactly the sort of attacking player that can hit the ground running for new Cymru North club Mold.

Tinsley has played for Connah’s Quay Nomads, FC Nomads of Connah’s Quay, Buckley Town, where he especially stood out, and Saltney Town, who he was a star performer for last term, playing a big part in their long Welsh Cup run.

Mold Alex manager Michael Cunningham said: “Tins is a great addition to the squad and a player I’ve been a long-term admirer of. He brings experience of the league and will fit perfectly into the squad. He brings quality across numerous positions which will be vital across the season.”

18 Will Nevitt (Rhostyllen to Mold Alexandra)

Exciting young midfield/forward player who has impressed for Tier 3 club Rhostyllen in recent times.

Alex manager Michael Cunningham believes Nevitt is a great addition to his Cymru North squad.

“Will is a really exciting player whose work-rate and desire really impressed us last season. A young, hungry player who I believe will continue to improve over the course of the season.”

19 Haci Ozlu (Brickfield Rangers to Mold Alexandra)

Joins Alex from Brickfield Rangers, where last season he hit 19 league goals and provided nine assists in the Ardal North West.

Mold chief Michael Cunningham said: “Really excited to get Haci on board with us for the coming season.

He really impressed us across the two games he played against us last season and has shown he has a real eye for goal and is a player determined to prove himself at tier 2 level.”

SIGNINGS SPOTLIGHT – CORWEN FC

20 Delwyn Jones (Bala Town to Corwen)

After spells at Llanuwchllyn and Bala Town, Delwyn returns to Corwen, where it is hoped he can regain his scoring touch.

21 Gruff Evans (Bala Town to Corwen)

Former Bala Town Academy Under 19’s forward Gruff Evans brings pace, work rate and an eye for goal.

Specialising as a winger, Corwen will be hoping his assets will benefit them in attack.

22 Kieran Smith (Cefn Druids to Corwen)

Former Cefn Druids centre back lands at Corwen.

Kieran, known as Kiz, joins following two years in the Cymru Premier and will be an influential signing for Corwen this season.

23 Morgan Daykin (TNS to Corwen)

Nineteen-year-old midfielder who made his debut for The New Saints against Glentoran in last season’s UEFA Europa Conference League first qualifying round and was a regular feature in the match-day squad throughout the domestic campaign.

He joined Guilsfield on loan in January 2022, making 12 Cymru North appearances for the club and scoring in a 2-1 loss to Holywell Town.

A central-midfielder, he made his Cymru Premier debut as a substitute for Cefn Druids against TNS in 2019-20.

24 Matt Pleavin (CPD Gronant to Corwen)

Featured for Rhyl All Stars and Llanelwy Athletic last season, but now set to test himself in Tier 3 with Corwen in 2022-23.

Highly respected for his all-round sporting skills, especially in boxing and athletics.

25 Iwan Jones (Blaenau Amateurs to Dolgellau AA)

Last season saw Iwan captain Blaenau Ffestiniog Amateurs in Ardal North West.

He plays in centre midfield, offering valuable experience, tenacity, technique and quality on the ball.

This season brings an opportunity to make his mark for Dolgellau in tier 3 Ardal North East.

Iwan said: “I’m glad to be signing for the club and I’m looking forward to the new challenge. Hopefully I can contribute to the team and have a successful season. Can’t wait to get started playing.”

SIGNINGS SPOTLIGHT – PENYCAE FC

26 James Smith (Llandudno to Penycae)

Central defender James Smith lands at The Riverside from Llandudno.

James featured in seven first team matches for Tudno last season before his time got cut due to university commitments.

Prior to his move to Maesdu Park, he played for Cymru Premier outfit Connah’s Quay Nomads up to under-19 level.

Although James continues to study at Liverpool University, he has committed to the current season and is excited at the prospect of representing Penycae in tier 3 Ardal North East.

Penycae manager Dan Richards said: “A good chat with James assured me he wanted to come to Penycae and that he was committed to what we are trying to achieve this season.

“Although James is still a young player, he’s got some great experience working firstly under Gaz Richards at Connah’s Quay and then Sean Eardley at Llandudno.

“I have no doubt he’ll fit straight into the group and be a great coup for Penycae Football Club.”

27 Kiran Russell (Cefn Mawr Rangers to Penycae)

Central defender, aged 21, joins The Riverside after transferring from Tier 4 outfit Cefn Mawr Rangers, where he played a pivotal part in their league cup success last season.

Prior to that he played in the WNL with both Brymbo and Brickfield Rangers.

Penycae manager Dan Richards: “Over the moon to complete this signing; we aimed to bring in a dominant central defender to strengthen what we already have within the squad, and I’m now confident we have achieved that.

Kiran’s ambitions match mine and that’s to get Penycae Football Club to where it should be.”

28 Evan Davies (Cefn Albion to Penycae)

Penycae are excited to announce the signing of full-back Evan Davies.

“Derm” joins the Cae after transferring from local Ardal North East competitors Cefn Albion.

A delighted manager Dan Richards said: “Derm expressed an interest to join us at Penycae. Since he’s come down he’s really worked hard and he’s determined to push for a place.

His commitment and attitude to training has been second to none – will be great to see more of him in the upcoming friendly fixtures.”

29 Matt Onissiphorou (Cefn Mawr Rangers to Penycae)

This 26-year-old full-back transfers from Cefn Mawr Rangers, where he played previously under current Cae manager Dan Richards, who said: “Great for us to get Matty O completed – he’s been great for me over the last couple of seasons, we have a great relationship and he understands the way I work.

“Matt’s attitude and commitment is among the best I’ve worked with and I’m sure he’ll step up the the challenge and relish playing at Penycae.”

Matt added: “A difficult decision to leave Rangers but feels like the time is right to step up and start a new challenge with Penycae.

“I have been really impressed with the training levels over the past few weeks, looking forward to getting to know the lads, playing and having a successful season.”

30 Jack Brindley (Brymbo to Penycae)

Central midfielder Jack joins after transferring from Brymbo.

He originally played for Penycae within the youth system before making it to the first team and playing in the WNL at just 16 years old.

Jack then moved on to pursue a new challenge at Cymru Premier outfit Flint Town United before switching to Brymbo in January 2022 for more regular first team game time and some invaluable T3 experience under some very difficult circumstances.

Penycae boss Dan Richards: “After speaking with Jack, he expressed a desire to come back to play for Penycae in order to join our challenge this season and start enjoying his football again.

“Jack has really impressed all our coaches in pre-season training sessions and sets great standard among the group. He’s a player that I’m sure will play a key part this season and someone I’m excited to work with.”

31 Kurt Isaac (Cefn Mawr Rangers to Penycae)

Front man Isaac, 27, joins The Riverside after transferring from Cefn Mawr Rangers, whom he helped lift the North East Wales League Premier Division Cup last season.

“Fantastic for us to sign Kurt up for this season,” said Cae chief Dan Richards. “He’s a very versatile player who can play anywhere across the forward positions and even operate in a midfield role too.

“Having work with Kurt before we have a very good relationship and I can trust him with any role or instruction set to him. His quality and versatility will prove a great asset to us this season.”

32 Ben Buley (Holywell Town to Penycae)

Ben joins Penycae after a spell at Holywell Town, where the central midfielder wasn’t able to fully commit due to university commitments.

He originally played in the Penycae youth system until the age of 16 before moving on to pursue a new challenge at Cymru Premier outfit Connah’s Quay Nomads where he captained their U-18’s.

Although Ben continues studying at Loughborough University, he has committed to the current season.

Manager Dan Richards: “I first spoke with Ben back in January to try and bring him to Penycae but unfortunately the timings weren’t quite right, so it’s great that we now have him on board with us.

“You can see his quality after just a couple of training sessions, I’m really looking forward to seeing more of Ben over the coming weeks and I’m sure he’ll be pushing for a place in the starting 11 come the first game of the season.”

33 Hari Gould (Cefn Mawr Rangers to Penycae)

Central midfielder Gould is another to join Penycae from Cefn Mawr Rangers, where he captained the club to Premier Division Cup success last season.

Hari has previous T3 experience playing at Chirk AAA and Lex.

Penycae manager Dan Richards: “Delighted to bring Hari to Penycae.

Having worked with him previously for many years I have no doubt he will improve our squad and be a huge asset to the club. He was eager to join Penycae and believed in our vision and plans of how we will take the club forward.”

Hari said: “Firstly I’d like to thank everyone at Cefn Mawr Rangers, especially Bob and Sarah who have been great. They’ve always been good to me, I wish them all the best.

“It was good for me to finish winning the league cup and a difficult decision to leave but after speaking to Dan he’s got me excited for the new challenge with Penycae. I am also looking forward to playing with some old mates and I am here to win.”

34 Josh Millington (Cefn Albion to Penycae)

Central midfielder transfers over from Cefn Albion to rejoin Penycae.

Riverside manager Dan Richards: “It’s a huge step for the club to bring Milly back to Penycae – first and foremost he is a fantastic footballer and will no doubt improve us on the field but on top of that he knows how the club works and what it means to play for Penycae.

“I’m confident his quality and leadership will have a big impact on our younger players and will result in a successful season for the club.”

Millington added: “First of all, I’d like to thank everyone at Cefn Albion for providing great memories during my short time there. After speaking to not just the gaffa but one of my closest mates, it was hard for me to leave but i believe the time has come to return back to what I class as home.

“Everyone who knows me understands the connections i have with Penycae and with all the people who have worked tirelessly over the years to make the club what it is today.

“This makes my decision a lot easier and can’t wait to get going again. Lastly, on the field we need to improve massively and I’m confident after speaking to the Gaffer about his plans and targets that we are heading in the right direction. I’m here to compete and get Penycae back to where it needs to be on the pitch.”

35 Kian Owen (Conwy Borough to Bangor 1876)

Owen lands at Treborth from Conwy Borough, for whom he made 23 league appearances in the JD Cymru North.

He also made a further 15 appearances in tier 2 for Colwyn Bay during the 2019-20 season and was once a Bangor City player.

1876 player-manager Michael Johnston said: “It’s great to see Kian joining us, he’s a player I’ve admired for many years now. I played with him when he was 16 and he has been going from strength to strength.

“Hopefully, he’ll be a great addition to our squad and will complement what we have already plus another couple of new additions.”

36 Aaron White (Brickfield Rangers to CPD Y Rhyl 1879)

Midfielder, 22, who spent three years at Prestatyn Town before joining Brickfield Rangers in October 2020.

1879 manager Gareth Thomas said: “Delighted to get Aaron on board as he is one we have kept on eye on since taking over at Rhyl.

“He had a great season at Brickfield last year as skipper and his versatility will be great for the squad.”

37 Jack Higgins (Flint Town United to CPD Y Rhyl 1879)

Experienced forward who has Welsh Premier experience with Prestatyn Town and Flint Town United, as well as having a spell at Colwyn Bay.

Another big pre-season signing for tier 3 Ardal North West newcomers CPD Y Rhyl 1879.

Manager Gareth Thomas: “We are delighted that Higgo has joined the club, the move came out of the blue after he attended a training session to watch his mates and asked could he sign for the club despite having tier 2 options.”

38 Liam Simon (Greenfield to Denbigh Town)

Denbigh manager Dewi Llion is delighted to land defender Simon from last season’s North East Wales League Premier Division champions Greenfield.

Dewi said: “He captained Greenfield to a league title last season and has previous experience in the Cymru Alliance.

“A ball playing centre half who communicates and organises really well.”

39 Nathan Brown (Airbus to Denbigh Town)

Right winger Brown was a part of the Manchester City Academy from the ages of 12-16.

Following his release at 16, he went on to sign for Chester City where he played three years as a scholar and eventually as a pro, chipping in with a number of goals for the first team.

He joined Flint at the start of the 2019/20 season, and enjoyed an excellent campaign, then switched allegiance to Airbus, where a bad injury early last season checked his progress.

Now set for a fresh start in tier 3.

40 Ben Lockley (Conwy Borough to Denbigh Town)

Left-back, aged 20, who made 23 Cymru North appearances for Conwy Borough last season.
Formerly with Flint Town United.

41 Harry Lockley (Conwy Borough to Denbigh Town)

Twin brother of Ben Lockley. Plays at right-back and featured in more than 20 games for Conwy during 2021-22.
Also formerly of Flint.

SIGNINGS SPOTLIGHT – FLINT MOUNTAIN

42 Calyn Spencer (to Flint Mountain)

Exciting young prospect who has enjoyed spells at Christleton, Blacon Youth and Penycae.

43 Chris Li (to Flint Mountain)

Tenacious midfielder who has worn the colours of Heswall, Conwy Borough and Flint Town in past seasons.

Formerly played under new Flint Mountain manager Aden Shannon at Conwy in the tier 2 Cymru Alliance.

44 Gary Roberts (to Flint Mountain)

One of the more interesting signings of the summer so far!

This much-travelled 35-year-old could best be described as a deep-lying midfielder with tremendous passing and stunning set-piece deliveries.

Played in the Football League for Crewe Alexandra, Yeovil, Rotherham and Port Vale, with Mansfield Town Chester, Witton Albion and Runcorn among his numerous other stops.

An England international from under-16 up to U-19 level, his previous clubs in Wales are Connah’s Quay Nomads and Bangor City, who he represented in the Welsh Premier League.

45 Andy Brown (Runcorn Town to Flint Mountain)

The former Flint Town United and Cefn Druids striker joins the Mountain following a short stint at Runcorn Town.

46 Kyle Smyth (Runcorn Town to Flint Mountain)

Former Flint Town United goal-getter Smyth makes the move to Mountain from Runcorn Town and joins Richie Foulkes and Ieuan Hewitt through the door as Aden Shannon reshapes the squad ahead of the new season in the Ardal North West league.

47 Ieuan Hewitt (Airbus to Flint Mountain)

A versatile defender, Hewitt makes the switch to the Mountain from 2021-22 Cymru North champions Airbus.

He has also played for Flint Town United and Llandudno and had a spell in Australia with Bingera FC.

48 Dani McIlvogue (Llandudno U-23 to Llandudno Albion)

Second signing of the season for Albion following the arrival of Dean Seager.

Midfielder/defender with a lot of promise who makes the switch from Llandudno Under-23’s.

49 Andrew Jones (Aberffraw to Llangefni Town)

A talented defender who’s been an excellent servant for Aberffraw will no doubt step up and prove himself at the higher level.

50 Leon Doran (Holyhead Hotspur to Llanrwst United)

Having spent last season with tier 2 club Holyhead Hotspur, his second spell with the islanders, Leon is excited to rejoin his local club Llanrwst.

An aggressive, hard-working winger, he believes the aim for the Rwsters this season has to be promotion from T3 Ardal North West.

51 Matt Mullender (Llandudno to Llanrwst United)

Left-back or left wing-back Mullender is another returning to Gwydir Park for the 2022-23 campaign.

After a spell with tier 2 club Llandudno, Matt is now targeting a regular spot in a Llanrwst side which enjoyed a great first season in Ardal North West.

Matt previously won the Mawddach Cup with Llanrwst in 2018-19.

52 Sion Parry (Llanystumdwy to Nantlle Vale)

This 25-year-old goalscorer supreme returns to Nantlle Vale, whom he joined before a 2020-21 season which ended up cancelled due to Covid.

Last summer he rejoined Llanystumdwy for the 2021-22 campaign, so Nantlle will be looking forward to seeing him make a competitive debut for the club.

One of the most dynamic net-finders in North Wales football, Sion current career total stands at 332 goals from 275 appearances.

He has hit 251 in 204 games for Llanystumdwyseven in 26 (three starts) for Porthmadog65 in 39 for Porthmadog Reserves and 9 in 6 (3 starts) in Bangor 1876 colours.

53 Jed Lloyd (to Saltney Town)

Left-back who has really impressed over pre-season.

54 Leon Flatman (to Saltney Town)

Right-back and another who has really looked the part in the summer warm-ups so far.

55 Sam Edwards (Holywell Town to Saltney Town)

Right-wing. Edwards joins from Holywell Town where he scored 19 goals in 21 games (11 assists) for the Reserves in their FAW Reserve League North West title-winning season.

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