North Wales football expert Dean Jones previews new Cymru Alliance season
The Cymru Alliance season is upon us and now is the time to hear the views of North Wales football journalist Dean Jones ahead of the new season
One side that many will play close attention to is Airbus UK who were relegated from the Premier League last season bur have since recruited well and look a strong outfit for Wales’ second tier.
They look very strong and I have tipped them in a recent article I have done, although they will have to gel quickly with the likes of Caernarfon Town, Flint Town United and others sure to hit the ground running.
The investment they have made in the squad is significant, and having the likes of Mark Jones and Wes Baynes will aid their cause considerably.
Providing they hit the ground running I expect them to be the frontrunners, although it is going to be highly competitive.
It’s Denbigh Town vs Holywell on the opening day of the season and both sides have high ambitions ahead of the new season with both being able to boast a strong squad.
Having covered Denbigh during their double-winning season in the Welsh Alliance under Richard Williams-Cooke, I know how hotly contested their games with the Wellmen are and I expect this one to be no different.
Both are very familiar with each other and it will be decided on which key figures turn up on the day as both sides have a number of match winners than can claim three points virtually on their own.
That being said, in my recent prediction piece I couldn’t split them and went for a 2-2 draw, but both will do very well this term.
Last season we saw Gresford Athletic upset the apple cart by claiming a third placed finish and this time round, Dean has predicted that Holyhead Hotspur could be the team to watch out for.
It is going to be very tight at the top with so many high-profile teams looking very good, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Holyhead Hotspur will surprise a few and could emerge as this season’s surprise package.
Signings such as Alex Boss and John Littlemore will aid them considerably, while mainstays Mel McGinness, Dean Garmey and Paul Pritchard have also committed their futures to the club.
Despite losing captain Rhys Roberts I think Campbell Harrison has a far stronger squad than last year and they are definitely one to keep an eye on.
I think that is the case with every side that comes into the HGA as it is now notorious for taking no prisoners and you have to be at your best from the outset.
I know Iain Bennett has brought in a lot of players who have experience at this level, and I expect Dean Seager to be crucial to their chances of staying up as on his day he can come up with goals and is a real handful.
It is a different scenario with Queens Park as they have enjoyed enormous success in recent years, and you can count on one finger the clubs that are looking forward to going there this season, so their home form will be their bread and butter this year as they look to establish themselves.
Some mouth-watering ties in the opening month of the Cymru Alliance.
I think you’ll see the cream rise to the top quite early, but anyone could literally beat anyone on any given day given the strength-in-depth within the league.
I have always considered this the most exciting division in the Welsh pyramid and this year will be no different, and you could make a strong case for eight or nine teams that could possibly win it.
I know Iwan Williams at Caernarfon has a difficult start and if they can come through their first five games with minimal damage then they are going to take some stopping too, while Rhyl could be anything given the potential they have within their squad.
Although it is early days it will be important for the title hopefuls to stamp their authority of proceedings early on, and it will be fascinating to see what unfolds throughout the season.
(Featured Image: Paul Evans of Caernarfon Town)