JD Cymru Premier
Saturday 6th March
MATCH BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
The JD Cymru Premier returns this weekend after an 11-week hiatus brought about by the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. After action was suspended in late December, the National Sport Group reinstated the JD Cymru Premier’s ‘Elite Status’ on 23rd February, which has paved the way for fixtures to resume as of this week.
First up for Aberystwyth Town following the restart is a trip to Gwynedd to take on Caernarfon Town. Although the Black & Greens’ form before the break was disappointing, there is a sense of optimism around the club following the arrival of several new faces, and the return of a few of familiar ones!
Jon Owen was first to arrive; the forward returning to Park Avenue for a second spell following 18 months at the club from January 2017, during which he appeared in the 2018 Welsh Cup Final. Academy Product and local lad Harri Horwood then re-joined following spells at Cardiff Met & Briton Ferry Llansawel and experienced centre half Ian Kearney was added to the ranks having most recently represented City of Liverpool FC, although he will be best remembered for his spell at Airbus UK Broughton where he captained the club in their European adventures.
Next up, 6”4 centre forward Dan Cockerline arrived after six months with FC United of Manchester, having previously hit 22 goals in just 26 games for AFC Liverpool in 2019/20. He was then joined by talented midfielder Harry Franklin from Evesham United, who has previous experience with Hereford and Redditch.
The Seasiders recruitment was finalised with the return of iconic striker Jamie Reed, who signs for his third spell at the club having previously appeared on loan in both 2007 and 2015. Jamie’s first home debut against The New Saints has of course gone down in club folklore, as he hit a hat-trick as Aber triumphed 5-1 against the reigning champions!
To add to the above, the club are delighted that both Connor Roberts and Louis Bradford have had their loans from The New Saints extended until the end of the season.
The new signings will hope to get their first taste of action against the Cofis, who have also made a few additions during the enforced break. The most eye-catching move is the return of set piece specialist Nathan Craig, who returns to The Oval following a short spell at Flint Town United, having previously made over 200 appearances for the club across three previous spells. Huw Griffiths has also added two youngsters to his squad on loan from Wrexham: Max Cleworth and Jake Bickerstaff.
Caernarfon made a solid start to their Cymru Premier campaign and going into the lockdown they had 22 points from 17 games and sat well placed to qualify for the Championship Conference in 5th. They had won 3 of their previous 5 games, including the reverse fixture at Park Avenue, where goals from Jack Kenny and former Seasider Darren Thomas gave them all three points.
Mike Hayes is the Cofis’ top scorer this season, with 5 goals from 14 appearances; whilst Cai Jones has 4 from 16. In addition to Darren Thomas, who had a brief spell at Park Avenue in 2015, both Jamie Crowther and Paulo Mendes have also pulled on the Black & Green. Crowther made a handful of appearances in 2017 whilst Mendes was one of Aber’s most influential players of recent years, spending two years at the club and becoming a real fans favourite during that time, before moving on to tomorrows hosts last summer.
Last season’s meeting at The Oval saw one of Aber’s most impressive performances of 2019/20, with Captain Marc Williams netting all three goals in a 3-0 win, roared on by a fantastic backing from the travelling Black & Green Army. Fans are still not permitted to attend matches in the Cymru Premier and it will not be the same without you there tomorrow, but our media team will be on hand to keep you up to date with all the action on our Twitter page @AberystwythTown.
Thank you for your fantastic continued support!