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The New Saints Players To Watch This Season

Evolution is key at Park Hall.

Domestic dominance has long been the bare minimum for The New Saints, and their summer activity points to the club’s ambition to make that as close to a formality as possible in the immediate future.

In came Dan Williams, a familiar face to Craig Harrison following his loan with the club last season, from Swansea City and Rory Holden from Port Vale to add EFL experience to the ranks.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old goalkeeper Reece Thompson joined from Shrewsbury Town to challenge current first choice shot stopper Connor Roberts for the number one jersey.

While regular game time will likely be difficult for the Denmark-born youngster to come by, Thompson will be bidding to shine when those rare chances in the spotlight do arise.

As for midfielder Williams, he now has a point to prove having been released by boyhood club Swansea at the age of 22.

The Wales Under-21 international has worked tirelessly in his bid to remain match fit following a spate of injuries, and there’s no doubt he can bring real quality on the ball in the middle of the park.

DragonBet make The New Saints 1/10 to win the title

Holden featured as a substitute in each of TNS’s Champions League first round qualifying defeats to Swedish champions Hacken, while he bulged the net to salvage a draw in the first leg of the Europa Conference League second round qualifying clash with Swift Hesperange.

The summer game time will prove invaluable for the Northern Irishman following the hamstring injury he sustained shortly after joining the club.

Having made 16 appearances in all competitions for League One outfit Port Vale last time out, there’s no doubting he has the credentials to aid the Saints in their quest to further add to their trophy cabinet across the coming months.

The Saints have handed professional deals to several exciting youngsters during the close season too. Could there be a dark horse to light up the Cymru Premier in 2023-24?

Owen Davies and Ryley Oakley are highly regarded by the coaching staff at Park Hall and could well make their mark on the senior team in the coming 12 to 24 months.

DragonBet make Aberystwyth Town 100/1 to win the title

Striker Davies – who had a spell on trial at Everton – took just nine minutes to make his mark on last season’s FAW Youth Cup final as he netted after coming off the bench in a 5-2 triumph over Penybont at Park Avenue.

As for midfielder Oakley, he joined Thompson in moving from Shrewsbury Town to the Welsh pyramid after impressing coaches over the summer period.

New faces, fresh talent. It all adds to the notion that The New Saints are always striving to improve.

But the mainstays of the squad do of course still have a major role to play as Harrison looks to swat aside everything and everyone in his way of the three domestic trophies on offer, one of which (the Welsh League Cup) eluded them last term.

It’s probably about time to mention Declan McManus. You didn’t honestly think we’d forgotten him, did you?

The Scot has been a scoring machine since joining from Dunfermline Athletic for £60,000 two years ago and is targeting ending the upcoming campaign as the Cymru Premier’s top scorer for a third season running, although, with more goals to his name this time around.

Experienced stars such as Ryan Brobbel, Adrian Cieslewicz, Chris Marriott and Ryan Astles will continue to be key figures under the current regime, but we’re going to plump for Danny Redmond as the key man to watch this season.

Entering his sixth year with the Saints, the former Everton and Wigan Athletic academy product’s qualities have been clear for all to see for some time, but he remains so pivotal, he simply can’t be ignored.

Goals, guile, assists, a real engine, the 32-year-old has the lot. New recruit Williams will learn a lot from operating in a central role with Redmond.

There’s an awful lot for the Saints faithful to be excited about for the year ahead, not least the off-the-field developments at the club.

Most of all, they yet again start a season with the best squad in the division.

Bring on the glory.

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