Caerau Ely have added a number of new faces to their first team squad over the last week as Cambrian & Clydach duo Ibby So Sani and Josh Maksimovic signed on the dotted line at Cwrt-y-Ala Road.
The 2014/2015 Welsh Football League Division One winners currently sit bottom of the Division with only a point on the board from their opening seven games with the hope that the new batch of players can help improve their fortunes.
The club is currently going through a transitional period after seeing a number of experienced players like Jamal Roberts and Curtis Hutson leave for table-toppers Goytre United, whilst Andrew Smith also departed in the summer for Pontypridd Town. Prolific lower-league forward Christopher Quick also left Ely as he rejoined Canton Liberal.
Caerau Ely’s last game was actually against Cambrian & Clydach Vale, which allowed Baah to cast an eye on the two before signing them.
The arrival of Maksimovic and So Sani adds two attacking players with some real credentials to their name as they try to impress the experienced coach.
Maskimovic is a Cambrian academy product and was part of the Cambrian side that held the Cymru Cup, as well as representing the Southern Academy System.
Last season, the young striker was also part of the side that reached the FAW Youth Cup final, as well they romped their way to the WPDL South League title, highlighting his ability to score at youth level.
The front-man also recently featured for the University of South Wales’ first team against Cardiff Metropolitan University.
“Josh Maksimovic is another player with bags of potential. He’s an U18 Welsh Schoolboy and I can’t wait to make him realise how good he can actually be.”
Ibby featured for the Wales U17s squad that won the Victory Shield back in November 2014. He moved from Cardiff City to Cambrian & Clydach earlier this season.
So Sani on the other hand has been a long-term target for Caerau Ely manager Nana Baah having known the former Bluebirds youngster since the age of eleven.
“He’s a natural striker and without a doubt one of the strongest players at his age. My hope is to get Ibby fit and full of goals so he can get back to a high level. His talents deserves to be showcased.”
As well as signing the two youngsters, last week a number of players were handed their first team debuts by Baah.
Ryan Fleming, Yannick Neba and Nathan Mathias all played a part in the narrow defeat away to Cambrian on the Saturday, but Baah was impressed with what he saw from his young debutants.
“As a club we do not have the finances to compete with most clubs and never will do our aim is to help young players regain their confidence, build their character and play higher.
This is evident with past players such as Dave Vincent, Keyon Reffell, Tyrell Webbe, Luke Cooper and many others who now play at much higher levels. I’m excited with my new signings.
Ryan Fleming is a young goal keeper who will become better and better as the time goes on. Yannick is a very strong centre half who I’ve known for years and really glad to have at the club.
He brings experience and the will to win which we haven’t had. Nathan Mathias is one of the most underrated young players. He has no fear and his work rate is one of the best I’ve seen at this level.
It will take time with these boys but their attitude and application is what myself and Craig Sampson expect from players at Caerau Ely.”