After almost 18 months, fans will fill the grandstands at JD Cymru Premier grounds across the country once again this weekend, and the action there to meet them after such a long absence promises to be better and more exciting than ever before.
The last time supporters flooded into The Rock as they will do on Friday night or other grounds across the weekend, The New Saints’ reign as perennial champions was unbroken for as long as many could remember, but since then the Connah’s Quay Nomads have won back-to-back JD Cymru Premier titles, and the shifts in the landscape of the Cymru Football top flight don’t stop there.
Andy Morrison’s Nomads have undergone significant change, not just since fans last saw them up close back in March 2020, but even in the few months of the off-season as key pillars of their team Mike Wilde and Danny Harrison have left for new challenges.
The former Manchester City captain, Morrison, has been busy in his recruitment over the summer and acquired top talents, but it’ll be very interesting to see how the loss of two top stars affects their title defence.
Anthony Limbrick firmly has hit feet under the table now at Park Hall and, at the time of writing, has The New Saints on the verge of a fantastic landmark in reaching the Playoff Rounds of European competition for the second time.
Falling short in reclaiming the Cymru Premier title for TNS from the grasp of Morrison’s Nomads juggernaut after joining the club with just a handful of games remaining last season is no shame for the Australian and he’ll be confident of having built a side to take Connah’s Quay all the way this season.
Colin Caton’s Bala Town have welcomed a former Cymru international to their ranks as Dave Edwards becomes the latest member of the legendary Euro 2016 national squad to grace the JD Cymru Premier.
His presence will add so much to a vastly experienced Lakesider squad, and fans will be as excited to see him at Maes Tegid, as he is to play in front of them. Check out the full article with Dave Edwards by clicking here.
Cymru Football legend Rhys Griffiths will be keen to continue his very impressive start to life in management as he takes Penybont to the field once again in 2021/22 after a breakout season that saw the industrious side finish fourth in the JD Cymru Premier in only their second season.
With a contingent of Mael Davies, Kane Owen and Lewis Harling amongst the brightest talents Griffiths has at his disposal, he will be confident of his side’s continued growth and progress this season, but can they break an incredibly strong top three?
One side that has proven they can do just that in recent years is Gavin Chesterfield’s Barry Town United, who were even challenging for the JD Cymru Premier title in the days Macaulay Southam-Hales was gracing the side, and more consistency this season could see them challenge that top group of teams once again after a good deal of strengthening the squad over the summer.
Caernarfon Town will be the location of many famous scenes this season, regardless of the side’s success, as the Cofi Army will be back in force at The Oval for a competitive fixture for the first time in what will seem like a lifetime to the Gwynedd club’s faithful fans.
When the Canaries fans do return to The Oval, they’ll see an incredibly talented squad expertly strengthened by Huw Griffithsover the summer, with Danny Gosset, Dion Donohue and Rob Hughes now joining Noah Edwards, Darren Thomas and Sion Bradley in helping form one of the most exciting and vibrant midfields in recent Cymru Football memory.
If that group can live up to their potential, alongside the rest of the talent in the squad, then exciting days and wonderful memories could well be on the way this year for Caernarfon Town, who will be desperate to make their way into Europe after losing out in last season’s European playoff final.
Newtown AFC finished the season in emphatic fashion, as the Robins soared to seventh place and secured their berth in the European Playoffs – which they eventually won in dramatic fashion with a 5-3 thriller at The Oval – and have strengthened an already talent-laden squad in the hopes that Chris Hughes’ side can carry that form into the new domestic season and find a top six spot by the end of Phase One.
So many teams have done very impressive business over the last many months, but Haverfordwest County will have a claim as strong as most to say they’ve done the best business, as they’ve brought in the likes of Dylan Rees and Henry Jones to strengthen an already very exciting young squad, with Wayne Jones lining his team up for a run at European football after a strong returning season last year.
Cardiff Met have stuck to what they know in looking to address their goal-scoring issues, bringing back their rapid former forward Adam Roscrow to bolster the Cyncoed club’s attack as they look to bounce back from a somewhat disappointing season, and started the season brightly with a big win in the Nathaniel MG Cup. Dr Christian Edwards will be hopeful of a better term this time around.
Aberystwyth Town will go into this new season with a somewhat more settled squad than what they may well have been used to in previous years, as Antonio Corbisiero has managed to retain most of the players from last year’s side, whilst adding the likes of JD Cymru Premier centurion Alex Darlington who will bring valuable firepower up front to delight the Park Avenue crowd.
Neil Gibson has used all his nous and experience since coming in at the Essity Stadium to transform Flint Town United into an established Cymru Premier outfit, and adding Wilde and Harrison will certainly be a big boost to those endeavours. An encouraging Phase Two last season, plus this impressive recruitment, will give Gibson and the team, a big boost ahead of a massive season for the club.
And finally, one of the oldest clubs in Wales has undergone quite the rebuild over the summer, with a new manager in Niall McGuinness and a significant overhaul of the playing squad meaning anything could happen for Cefn Druids in the coming season. The faithful at The Rock will be hoping for much improved fortunes after last season’s struggles which saw them amass just 16 points in 32 games.
There’s so much action to come this season in the JD Cymru Leagues that it is sure to leave your head spinning at times! Don’t forget to download the Cymru Football app to help you keep track of all of the action taking place across the country and be sure to support your local clubs in person, who need you with them now more than ever.
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