Injury worries for Lakesiders

Reporter:

Shaun Davies

DESPITE their best efforts, injuries seem to be plaguing the Lakesiders at a crucial stage of the Welsh Premier League campaign.

Bala Town boss Colin Caton could do with a full strength squad at his disposal for Friday’s key clash at Connah’s Quay.

However, a quartet of injury concerns mean this appears unlikely.

Evan Horwood, Nathan Burke, Les Davies and Anthony Stephens are all injury doubts, although Caton is hopeful the majority of them will be available this weekend.

Last season, Bala’s opening fixture was affected by injuries and Caton added: “Injuries have come in the second or third game this season!

“We have got a good squad and we can deal with it, as long as we don’t pick any more injuries up.

“But every game is so competitive and quick in the Welsh Premier League that every team is picking up injuries.”

Connah’s Quay pipped Bala to a runners-up finish last season and the game forms part of a testing opening to the campaign for the Lakesiders.

They have already faced defending champions The New Saints and Cardiff Met in their first three matches and Caton added: “It’s really tough.

“We’ve had the champions, the team in second place and a team in the top-six.

“But, we have got to play everybody.

“It’s going to be a tough game (against Connah’s Quay) and they have gone full time.

“They have changed their system a bit to go three at the back and it will be a massive test for us.”

Away from injury concerns, there has been some positive news out of Maes Tegid.

Experienced striker Lee Hunt has agreed to pen a new deal with the club.

Hunt has bagged 89 goals in his two spells with Bala Town and he will wear the number 16 shirt.

Meanwhile, Bala are also delighted that promising youngster Josh Jones has also put pen to paper.

Jones is a member of Bala’s U-19s’ squad and he has signed for the first team for the 2017-18 season. The 16-year-old is an attacking midfielder, who also plays on the right wing.

He was picked up in the close season by the Lakesiders from Wrexham and Jones will wear the number 19 shirt for Bala.

Caton said: “This is a great opportunity for Josh to be involved and train with the first team and get used to a first team environment.”

In a further development, a pair of former club captains will help the next generation of Bala Town players. Llion Roberts and Dave Thorp have joined Bala Town U-12s’ coaching staff as assistant coaches.

Academy administrative director Andy Kelly said: “Both will bring their wealth of experience to our Academy and it’s great to have them on board.

“Both Dave and Llion are ex-players, so it’s great to have some ex-players at the Academy as well.

“Both are bilingual speakers and are locals in the Bala area, so it’s great to bring many more local people into the Academy.”

Caton added: “It’s great to have Dave on board as he was a big part of the club when I first came to Bala.

“Llion is a massive catch for the Academy as he’s played at the top level in Wales and was a commanding figure for the first team for many years. It’s great to have local coaches with the club at heart.”

Email:

shaun.davies@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Free Press

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