Aberystwyth Town are delighted to announce the first retentions following the culmination of the Black and Greens' 2022/23 season, with January additions Mark Cadwallader and Liam Walsh first to put pen to paper for the 2023/24 JD Cymru Premier season!
With previous spells across a number of north-Walian clubs, striker Mark most notably enjoyed six-and-a-half prolific seasons with Flint Town United before joining the Seasiders in January 2023. 'Caddy' proved his worth and made an immediate impact to the Seasiders' Phase Two campaign, with back-to-back braces against Pontypridd and Airbus UK in February - winning himself the JD Cymru Premier Player of the Month award!
Mark's tireless work off the ball and hold-up play proved as impressive as his goal-scoring, as Town went unbeaten in their final 5 games to secure safety on the final day - not forgetting Caddy's crucial equaliser against Caernarfon Town!
On his return, Mark told us:
"Firstly I would like to thank the club for asking me back for the 2023/24 season, I’m really excited to see what we can achieve.
Coming into the club with 11 games to go there was a clear plan and that was to stay up. First game I was a sub in a 3-1 home victory against Caernarfon Town - in my opinion a great performance from the boys. I was very confident already that this squad was good enough to stay in the league.
My first start for the club followed as we played my old club Flint. We got beat 5-0 and all of a sudden, things didn’t look so good. I think these games may have summed up Aber’s season to that point - maybe suffering from some inconsistency.
The next game was one of our most important in my opinion against Pontypridd. I came off the bench to give us a 3-1 lead with 5 mins to go, but we threw away the 3 points and drew the game. It was in the changing rooms after that game that I saw a group who were ready to fight for survival. There were some hard words exchanged between the 2 teams leaving the pitch, and I think it was at this moment we all knew we were in a fight. We built a lot of momentum from this, and it lead us to achieve what we did at the end of the season.
That bond that developed between the players was a big reason for me to re-sign for the club. I’m looking forward to working again with the gaffer and can't wait for some more big moments that we can celebrate with the great fanbase we have. It was clear to see how much this football club means to the committee, volunteers and local people. Again, I will give as much as I can to the club next season to achieve Top 6 and maybe more."
Manager Anthony Williams commented:
"Caddy is a proven goal scorer - evident by his fantastic contributions already to this point. His personality and willingness on the pitch gave the whole squad a lift at a vital stage of last season.
He's committed himself to us despite several offers elsewhere thanks to the closeness of the group, and he's recognised the fantastic supporters who backed us throughout the season."
Right-back Liam was another January addition who made his mark and played a crucial role in survival, featuring in every one of Town's final 12 matches, playing a full 90 on 9 occasions.
Formerly of Swindon Town and Wrexham AFC - where he made one National League appearance - Liam's first taste of Welsh football came as a youngster with Prestatyn Town during the 2014/15 season before he joined Carmarthen Town in 2017.
Liam then moved to Penybont where he was a regular contributor, remaining at the South Wales club until the end of the 2021/22 season. In his final season, Liam made 26 appearances as Penybont finished 6th and reached the JD Welsh Cup Final, narrowly losing 3-2 to The New Saints.
Liam moved on to Barry Town United following their relegation to the JD Cymru South, where he has made 12 appearances before stepping back to the JD Cymru Premier for Town's run-in.
An immediate contributor, Liam quickly became a popular and well-liked figure at the club and now returns for his first full campaign in Black and Green.
Liam told us:
“I am delighted to be staying at Aberystwyth next season. With a great group of players, fans, coaches and people behind the scenes - it was a no brainier for me! I appreciate the opportunity to play for this club and look forward to building more memories like ‘that’ final day!”
"Walshy has a winning mentality and showed his qualities as a defender through consistent performances week in week out. Toward the end of the season, he showed his qualities going forward and proved an attacking threat also. His experience and understanding of the game gave confidence to the rest of the squad.
Both signings are fantastic for the club and there will be many players across the league looking at what we're putting together who will hopefully want to join us on this journey! I believe these are exciting times for the club and its loyal supporters."
Croeso nôl i'r ddau! / Welcome back both!