The 2020/21 JD Cymru Premier season is nearly upon us so as a bit of fun, we are going to predict the outcome of the league table!
1st (Champions) - The New Saints
The New Saints' reign as Cymru Premier champions came to an end in the 2019/20 season as Connah's Quay Nomads were crowned champions as the season ended early due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Although, we think Scott Ruscoe's men will top the table and reclaim the title this season.
The Saints lost striker Kurtis Byrne and long-serving midfielder Aeron Edwards this summer, but have replaced them with two quality additions in Louis Robles from Bala Town, and Leo Smith from Caernarfon Town. They have also strengthened their defence with the signing of central defender Ryan Astles from Southport and Kwame Boateng from Goole.
With key players such as Greg Draper, Dean Ebbe and Adrian Cieślewicz remaining at Park Hall, we expect Ruscoe's side to be lifting the trophy this season.
(League position 2019/20 - 2nd)
2nd - Connah's Quay Nomads
We predict the current champions to have another solid season, but not strong enough for them to retain their title.
The Nomads have only strengthened their side, retaining all their key players from 2020/21 such as Lewis Brass, Priestley Farquharson, Jamie Insall, Michael Wilde and Callum Morris, along with the signings of Aeron Edwards from The New Saints and Danny Davies from Cymru North champions Prestatyn Town, Andy Morrison's side could be in for another good season, but we don't think they will retain their title.
(League position 2019/20 - 1st)
3rd - Barry Town United
Although they had an embarrassing result in Europe, we predict the Linnets to have another strong league campaign.
Gavin Chesterfield's side have strengthened considerably letting go of fringe players Curtis Watkins (Carmarthen), Eli Phipps (Merthyr Town), Drew Fahiya (Pontypridd) and Joseph Baker (Llantwit Major), signing quality players such as Antigua and Barbuda international Nat Jarvis from Chippenham Town and retaining key players like former Wales international David Cotterill and Wales C striker Kayne McLaggon. Gavin Chesterfield has also recruited Penybont duo Mikey George and Curtis Jemmett-Hutson, young goalkeeper Harry Thomas-Barker from Bristol Rovers and experienced defender Curtis McDonald from Chippenham Town.
(League position 2019/20 - 3rd)
4th - Bala Town
We predict Colin Caton's side to retain their 4th place position in 2020/21.
It's been an up-and-down transfer window for the Lakesiders. The club have lost key players such as Louis Robles to TNS, Josh Tibbetts and Mike Hayes to Caernarfon Town, Nathan Burke to FC United of Manchester and long serving goalkeeper Ashley Morris but have strengthened with the signings of Will Evans from Cardiff Met, Alex Ramsay from Caernarfon Town, Nathan Peate from Cefn Druids, Llyr Morris from Ruthin Town, former Blackpool striker Raul Correia from Stockport County and experienced former Football League defender Antony Kay from Chorley.
Colin Caton has also retained the likes of Henry Jones, Lassana Mendes, Jonny Spittle and 2019/20 Cymru Premier top scorer Chris Venables. We think another European tour is in store for Bala!
(League Position 2019/20 - 4th)
5th - Aberystwyth Town
Gavin Allen has brought in a new local philosophy, with some exciting signing could this be Aber's season?
The Seasiders have been the most active side in the transfer market so far this summer. The club have lost Connor Roberts and James Rowland who have returned to The New Saints and Shrewsbury Town respectively after their loan deals came to an end, Alhagi Touray Sisay who has signed for Grimsby Town, Paulo Mendes who has joined Caernarfon Town, whilst Edmilson Pedro Vaz, Aaron Pomeyie, David Thompson and Pavel Vieira have also been released, but Gavin Allen has replaced them with quality.
The Black and Greens have recruited some big players in former Bangor City midfielder Steven Hewitt from Hume City in Australia, former Cardiff City under-23 captain Jamie Veale from Merthyr Town, Owain Jones also from Merthyr Town and young goalkeeper Matthew Turner on loan from Leeds United. They've also signed Jonathan Evans, Steff Davies and Jack Rimmer from Penrhyncoch, Sam Barnes from Widnes, Rhys Davies from Hereford, Harri Rowe from Haverfordwest, George Harry from Newtown, Gavin Jones from Ammanford and Louis Bradford on loan from The New Saints, whilst retaining key players like captain Marc Williams, promising youngster Lee Jenkins and midfielder Matthew Jones.
After 28 years in the Cymru Premier, is this finally the year Aber establish themselves as a Top 6 side?
(League position 2019/20 - 9th)
6th - Newtown
We predict the other Cymru Premier founding club to claim the last Top 6 spot.
The Robins have had a very good transfer window despite losing George Harry to Aberystwyth, Joe Kenton who moved to Stafford Rangers and Lifumpa Mwandwe who returned to Shrewsbury after his loan spell at Latham Park ended. Chris Hughes has brought in quality with clinical striker Jamie Breese joining from Caernarfon, George Hughes, Jordan Davies and Jake Phillips landing from Airbus, James O'Neill returned from Chasetown and forwards James Davies Tyrone Ofori joined from Cefn Druids and young defender Tom Davies from Shrewsbury Town.
Hughes has also managed to hold on to key players such as goalkeeper Dave Jones, defender Kieran Mills-Evans, forward Nick Rushton and experienced midfielder Sean McAllister which will surely give them a boost ahead of the upcoming campaign.
Newtown look like they are set for another solid season in the top flight!
(League position 2019/20 - 6th)
7th - Penybont
We think Penybont will have a better season, but just miss out on a Top 6 place.
Rhys Griffiths has recruited well this summer despite losing Curtis Hutson, Mikey George, James Saddler, Eli Phipps and Ashley Morris. Griffiths has brought in highly rated striker Ian Traylor from Merthyr Town, young defender Mael Davies from Cardiff Met, forward Ben Ahmun from now defunct STM Sports and striker Sam Snaith who returns to the Cymru Premier following a short stint in the United States with Coastal Carolina.
Could the Bont fight for a play-off spot in only their second season in the top flight?
(League position 2019/20 - 10th)
8th - Flint Town United
We predict a mid-table finish for newly promoted Flint, who are getting set for their first season back in the Cymru Premier after a 22-year hiatus.
Niall McGuinness has been busy in the transfer market bringing in 11 players ahead of the season. Rob Hughes has returned to Wales after a stint in Australia with North Shore United, experienced defender Wes Baynes has joined from Aberystwyth , former Caernarfon skipper Nathan Craig signs from the Cofis, Ben Lockley, Harry Lockley Mason Blackwell, Ben Burrows and Ben Nash have all joined from now defunct Rhyl FC, Conor Harwood has joined from Connah's Quay Nomads, Kai Wallis has arrived from Runcorn Town and George McCready has signed from Chester.
We think it'll be a steady season for Flint.
(League position 2019/20 - 2nd in Cymru North)
9th - Cardiff Metropolitan University
It's been a tough transfer window for the Archers
Met have lost a number of key players in Will Evans who has signed for Bala Town, Mael Davies who has moved to Penybont, Joel Evans has signed for Westfields, Dan Spencer for Bristol Manor Farm and Tim Parker has gone to Cymru South side Taff's Well.
Though, a few signings have joined in quick succession. Victory shield winner Keiron Proctor has arrived at Cyncoed along with CJ Craven from The New Saints, Jac Davies has joined the club following his release from Cardiff City and Ollie Hubert has joined from Bristol Rovers. They are also expected to announce the signing of Mathew Jones who originally agreed to join Flint Town United, but has moved to the capital in order to focus on his studies.
(League position 2019/20 - 7th)
10th - Haverfordwest County
We think newly promoted Haverfordwest County will finish one place above the drop zone this season.
Saying that, the Bluebirds have recruited well. Cameron Keetch and Corey Shephard have arrived from Cambrian and Clydach, Polish-American goalkeeper Wojciech Gajda has signed from Stal Mielec, young defender Alaric Jones has returned from relegated Carmarthen Town, Kieran Lewis has moved from Merthyr Town and highly rated young striker Danny Williams has returned to the club on loan from Cardiff City.
They have though lost a few players. Goalkeeper Kelland Absalom has moved to Merthyr Town, Harri Rowe has returned to Aberystwyth Town, Tim Hicks has joined Swansea University, Kieran Howard has joined Carmarthen Town and Gwion Howell has signed for Cymru South side Llanelli Town.
(League position 2019/20 - 2nd in Cymru South)
11th (Relegated) - Caernarfon Town
It's been a very damaging transfer window for Caernarfon Town.
The club have lost multiple key players, most notably captain Nathan Craig who has joined newly promoted Flint Town United. Goalkeeper Alec Ramsay has joined Bala Town, Jamie Breese has joined Newtown, highly-rated midfielder Leo Smith has made the move to full-time football with The New Saints, Mike Pearson and Gareth Evans have linked up with former manager Sean Eardley at Llandudno and Jamie Crowther has joined relegated Airbus UK Broughton.
There have been many arrivals at the Oval though. After a great season with Bala, Josh Tibbetts has signed for the Cofis along with former Lakesider Mike Hayes. Other arrivals include Cory Williams from Llandudno, Iddon Price, Cai Jones and Tyler French signed from relegated Porthmadog, Jack Fleming from Burscough, Asa Hamilton from Oswestry Town and Joey Jones from FC Queen's Park.
(League position 2019/20 - 5th)
12th (Relegated) - Cefn Druids
We think this could be the year the Ancients say goodbye to the top flight.
Recently taken on by Portuguese coach Bruno Lopes, there looks to be a project brewing at the Druids but we don't think they will survive the drop.
Arrivals at The Rock include Newtown duo Niall Flint and Sam Phillips, defender Ben Barratt from Buckley, Jacob Wise from promoted Holywell Town, Kieran Smith from relegated Corwen, experienced Cymru Premier striker Alex Darlington from Airbus UK Broughton along with Josh Green and Chris Azimall.
They have though lost a few key players. Ramirez Howarth has taken the step up to the Football League, joining Lincoln City. They have also lost defender Nathan Peate to Bala Town, James Davies has joined Newtown and Adam Hesp and Mike Pritchard have joined Gresford Athletic.
(League position 2019/20 - 8th)
Featured Image: Sgorio