In comparison to over the border, it was a quiet end to the transfer window for Welsh Premier League clubs but The New Saints are expected to utilise the loan market to afford some of their squad players regular first-team experience.
Transfer deadline day in Wales lacks the excitement and drama of that in England. No rolling news coverage, no agents being filmed zooming into club headquarters and thankfully, no reporters being sent to loiter around training grounds for 14+ hours, awkwardly racing through live broadcasts amidst a backdrop of rowdy behaviour from excitable local teens.
Only Prestatyn Town made more than one deadline day signing as young brothers Noah and Zyaac Edwards arrived from the fringes of Airbus UK’s squad, while Carmarthen Town recruited striker Luke Prosser from Welsh League Goytre AFC and former Swansea City forward Chad Bond signed up for yet another spell with Port Talbot Town, swapping Sacramento, California for South Wales.
I spoke with several of the league’s managers on the morning of deadline day and most had already assembled squads to within the limits of their budgets.
For clarification, Welsh Premier League clubs are still able to sign free agents but any players signed must be ‘on contract’ and loans between WPL clubs are allowed from September 8th.
TNS are one such club who I expect will look to use the loan market to farm out players to gain first-team experience and the name of goalkeeper Chris Mullock immediately springs to mind.
Understudy to the ever-reliable Paul Harrison, Mullock spent last season out on loan at Newtown, where he figured heavily in what was the Robins’ best season in recent memory. Though 25, the former Cefn Druids stopper is still relatively a newcomer on the WPL goalkeeping scene but an impressive spell at Newtown would, I expect, have more than one club interested in securing his services – if a deal has not already been privately agreed.
Gibson prepared to aid Seasiders on the pitch
Following his side’s defeat to Port Talbot on the opening weekend of the season, Prestatyn Town boss Neil Gibson revealed he could soon return to playing. Gibson, speaking after seeing his Prestatyn team crash to their first defeat of the new season, confirmed that he remains registered as a player and would have no qualms about taking to the field – should he feel he can make positive contribution.
Gibson’s ability as a player should not be underestimated and it came as a surprise to me that he used himself so sparingly during last season’s disappointing league campaign in which wins for the Seasiders were far and few between.
Prestatyn’s squad features a familiar-looking core of experienced senior players but they have added to their ranks over the summer with young players who’re lacking WPL experience, but Gibson’s leadership and infectious drive in the heart of team will somewhat ease the transition of blooding younger players and a return on-the-pitch would be as good as any new signing at Bastion Gardens.