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Saints Have It All To Do In Second Leg Of Champions League Tie

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Dafabet Welsh Premier champions The New Saints were outclassed by NK Rijeka in Croatia, but managed to come away with just a 2-0 defeat after the first leg of their second qualifying round Champions League tie by the Adriatic.

An early goal from the hosts promised a long night ahead from TNS when, in the 5th minute, Josip Misic fired in a 20-yard free-kick.

The pressure finally told on 69 minutes as Stefan Ristovski’s inch-perfect pass was turned into the net by sub Florentin Matei to double Rijeka`a lead.

Neville Powell is returning to the Welsh Premier after a one-year absence as the new manager of Aberystwyth Town.

Powell`s stature within Welsh football, his experience within the league, and the extensive contacts he has within the game marked him out as an outstanding candidate for the job.

Until his sacking as manager of Bangor City in July 2016, Powell had spent more than twenty years in the league as player and manager.

He began his playing career at Tranmere Rovers, making a goalscoring debut for the club at the age of 17 on 1 March 1981 in a match against Torquay United.

Powell left the club in 1984 having made eighty-six appearances and went on to spend eight years with Bangor, playing for the club in the first season of the Welsh Premier.

In 1993, he took over as player-manager of Connah’s Quay Nomads, where his playing career came to an end following a broken leg sustained during a game against Llansantffraid on the opening day of the 1996/97 season.

After fourteen years in charge of the Nomads, Powell took over as manager of Bangor City in 2007, replacing Steve Bleasdale.

He presided over the most successful days in the club’s history since the heady days of back-to-back title wins in the league’s early years, winning the Welsh Cup for three consecutive seasons from 2008 to 2010 and beating FC Honka in the Europa League 3–2 on aggregate in July 2010.

The feats were capped by a Welsh Premier title win in 2011, when City started the campaign with 15 consecutive wins and defeated full-timers The New Saints on the last day of the season to lift the crown.

Powell was the league’s manager of the year in 2009/10 and 2010/11.

In July 2016, news broke that Powell had been “relieved of his duties” by a Cheshire-based consortium which had taken over at City.

Cardiff Met have made two new signings ahead of the new season in Joel Edwards and Dylan Rees.

A 25-year-old defender, Edwards captained Hereford FC as they won six trophies in two seasons, as well becoming the first player to lead the Bulls to a Wembley final, but was released in May after his side lifted the Evo-Stik League South West title with six games to spare.

Edwards, who has also played for local club Westfields, came through the youth system at Hereford United when Peter Beadle was manager and returned to the reformed club in June 2015.

Rees, 20, also a defender, spent eight years with the Cardiff City academy before being awarded a professional contract in May 2015.

A regular with the Bluebirds’ under-21s, he was released and signed for Aberystwyth Town in January this year, making six appearances for the Black & Greens.

Mark Connolly has parted company with Bala Town after spending seven successful seasons at Maes Tegid.

The 33-year-old midfielder, who also played for Bangor City and Rhyl, signed for the Lakesiders in 2011 from Chester and went on to make 240 appearances for the club, scoring 76 goals.

Connolly turned out for one of his former clubs, Rhyl, in a friendly against Liverpool under-23s on Wednesday night.

Llandudno have signed Sam Ilesanmi from Vanarama National League side Tranmere Rovers.

The Liverpudlian striker, who only took-up the game in 2011, made his debut for the Prenton Park outfit in the final game of the 2016/17 season away at Maidstone United, netting the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory.

But he was one of six players released after defeat in May’s Promotion Final defeat to Forest Green Rovers meant Tranmere missed-out on a return to the Football League.


About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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