Deadline day is one of the more intriguing days of the modern football calendar and here in Wales, it’s no different. Incidentally, the window for the Cymru Premier sides conveniently ties in with the start of Phase 2 allowing clubs to re-tool, ship in/ship out players with a clear sight on what they want to achieve for the remainder of the season.
So where better to start than the biggest move of the entire Welsh transfer window, which was confirmed on Thursday evening, as Barry Town completed the unlikely signing of David Cotterill. The former Wales winger has not played since a spell in India in early 2018, but if he has the appetite to play competitive football and is fit, he should be an exceptional player at Cymru Premier level and in turn, significantly boost Barry Town’s European hopes. The presence of his cousin and current club-favourite Jordan should certainly help him feel at home at Jenner Park and there is no doubt that unless something extraordinary happens before midnight Friday, Barry Town will have made the biggest move of the window. Midfielders Theo Wharton and Kyle Patten also arrive, creating another family connection with brother Robbie also on the books, giving Gavin Chesterfield a deep squad to help plot Barry Town’s bid for European football, which after this transfer window will definitely be on the club’s agenda. I’m not hearing of any other moves in the pipeline but don’t rule out the possibility of someone leaving on loan.
Defending champions and current league leaders The New Saints moved for tricky English non-league winger Billy Whitehouse on deadline day last year and although it’s been a quiet window for Saints this time around, I’m led to believe the club haven’t completely ruled out the possibility of adding a new face. Details remain sketchy but what is more likely, is a player being loaned out to a Play-Off Conference club.
Penybont have everything to play for in Phase 2 and I’ve been really impressed with the business they’ve done as they attempt to fend off relegation between now and rest of their campaign. Coming in are Ashley Evans, a midfielder who could get a game in most Cymru Premier sides, Lewis Harling, experienced Bala Town goalkeeper Ashley Morris and Eli Phipps, who joins on loan from Barry Town. Phipps should have a point to prove after being unable to nail down a regular spot at Jenner Park – and if anyone can get a forward firing at this level, it’s manager Rhys Griffiths. There’s been a handful of departures, notably Cullen Kinsella and Luke Borrelli, but I’m told all their business has now been done so don’t expect anything from them today.
Another team where I am not expecting any further developments is Caernarfon Town, the club have made it clear that there will be no further incomings or outgoings after Telor Williams arrived from Porthmadog with Cai Jones and Shaun Cavanagh leaving.
There was a lot of talk shortly before the window opened around Play-Off Conference contenders Cefn Druids based around reports of new ownership and a partnership with Portuguese top-flight outfit Portimonense. This led me to believe that Druids were going to be one of the busier sides in the window – but it just hasn’t transpired. Goalscorer Jamie Reed, rather oddly, was taken to Portugal to rubber-stamp his move to the club but as of yet there has not been the influx of Portuguese players or bold statement signings that was perhaps anticipated. Things are quiet at The Rock – does Huw Griffiths have something up his sleeve for deadline day?
I suspect Kristian O’Leary will be hoping to add to his Carmarthen Town squad with the threat of relegation looming going into Phase 2. Young Noah Daley is a raw but talented youngster who could contribute to the Old Gold attack. O’Leary has also moved for Swansea U23 midfielder Cameron Berry on loan. Will O’Leary be able to raid his former club again before the deadline?
It’s also unclear what Bala Town’s intentions are. Louis-Augustin and Oliver Shanon are been added to the squad and are two unknown quantities. The Lakesiders have a settled squad this season and Colin Caton might feel he doesn’t want to rock the boat.
Newtown are one of the clubs who I do believe have some outstanding business and should be announcing a new signing tomorrow. That will follow in the footsteps of fit-again Tom Goodwin, whose return from from a loan spell at Caersws, was confirmed Thursday night. Central defender Sam Barnes has departed after failing to regain his place in the side along with Niall Flint, who has been perhaps surprisingly been released.
Andy Morrison has given himself another Scottish project to work with as he bids to steer Connah’s Quay to an automatic European spot and even push The New Saints for the Cymru Premier. Dundee United striker Craig Curran is the latest Scot to make the move down to Deeside while the club also added goalkeeper Oliver Byrne. Winger Nathan Woolfe has been sent out on loan to Airbus. Nobody else is expected to arrive but there is talk of the Nomads loaning a player out to another Cymru Premier side before the deadline, expect further developments on that front.
Airbus UK have strengthened their survival bid by adding Nathan Woolfe on loan from the Nomads and Craig Rogers (Holywell Town) to compensate for the departure of Matthew Sargent, who returns back to Wrexham having completed his loan. The Wingmakers’ position is that they need to move some players out before they can bring more in but talks are ongoing. Furthermore, they’re linked with a goalkeeper and that deal could be tied up before midnight.
One of the more curious signings in this window was the arrival of Spanish striker Touray Sisay at Aberystwyth Town. He joins with a particularly interesting history that saw him go on trial with Hearts a year ago amidst interest from Newcastle United and Burnley based on his goalscoring exploits in the Spanish lower leagues. Should he settle in the Cymru Premier, Aber’s new number nine might just prove to be a rough diamond and could be a bit special. They’ve also added young midfielder James Rowland on loan from Shrewsbury while Adam Davies (Guilsfield), Ilan Hughes (Ruthin Town) have been recruited from the Cymru North. Departing are midfielders Ryan Edwards and Joe Phillips. With regards to further activity, I’m told Aberystwyth are not likely to make any further moves but haven’t completely ruled out making a late signing, so they could be ones worth keeping an eye on.