Lakesiders snap-up Chester defender Horwood as Smith departs for New Zealand 

Bala Town have signed defender Evan Horwood from National League side Chester, whilst Kieran Smith has left the club to play in New Zealand.

Both played in Stephen Fishers’ testimonial match yesterday, with one player arriving on the scene at Maes Tegid and another saying his goodbyes.

The Lakesiders have added to their back-line with an experienced name arriving at the club in Evan Horwood. The Chester defender was available on a free transfer having departed from the Deva Stadium last week despite being offered a new deal at the Vanarama National League side.

Horwood who began his career at Sheffield United through the youth team has played for a number of Football League sides over the years and made 123 appearances for Hartlepool United between 2010 and 2013.

The 31 year-old made 24 appearances in all competitions after joining from League Two champions Northampton Town last season as The Blues finished 19th out of 24th.

Horwod can play both as a centre-back and as a left-back as Bala look to replace outgoing defender Mark Connolly who joined Rhyl last week.

Manger Colin Caton spoke to the Bala Town official website on the signing of Evan and added what he can add to the Welsh Cup winners.

“I’m absolutely over the moon to have secured the services of Evan Horwood. Having been approached by Evan about his interest in going part time a while ago, we were instantly interested. He is a top class player who can play anywhere down the left and centre midfield. He is a good personality that will fit in well with the rest of the squad.”

The central defender will interestingly take the shirt number of the departing Kieran Smith who is moving to New Zealand for a year to explore new opportunities.

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Smith has followed in the footsteps of many have taken in the Welsh Premier League by moving to Australia and New Zealand. He joins former Bala team mate Robert Pearson at Tasman United.

The Chester born forward spent four-years with Bala Town having joined from Chester Nomads back in the summer of 2013.

Kieran made over 100 appearances for Bala, where he scored 29 goals for the club, including the deciding goal in Bala Town’s first ever Welsh Cup victory against The New Saints back in April.

The move though could be a temporary one with the forward scheduled to come back to Maes Tegid in the 2018/2019 season when his year in New Zealand comes to an end.

(Featured Image: Naomi Jones of Bala Town FC)

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