WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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WE decorate our Welsh Premier Christmas tree with a dozen players who could shine for their clubs over the festive season.
Lee BevanWithout an away point so far this season, bottom club Carmarthen Town will need Scrooge-like defensive performances in their two games against Aberystwyth. Former Neath and Haverfordwest defender Lee Bevan could be a key man and one of his rare goals would help fill Neil Smothers' Christmas stocking.
CAREER RECORD: 82 apps + 6 sub, 5 goals
Aberystwyth Town v Carmarthen Town, Boxing Day, 2.30


Luke BowenDespite having Lee Trundle up front, it is Luke Bowen that has emerged as Neath's leading scorer this season with nine so far. The financially-troubled Gnoll outfit could use some Christmas cheer and the 23-year-old former Port Talbot, Haverfordwest and Aberystwyth striker could be the man to do it against Llanelli.
CAREER RECORD: 109 apps + 38 sub, 50 goals
Llanelli AFC v Neath FC, Tuesday, 12.30
Les DaviesEnjoying the best goal-scoring form of his career, burly Bangor frontman Les Davies already has 10 goals this season and would love to leave his mark on history with a goal in City's last game at Farrar Road after 91 years, the north Wales coast derby against Prestatyn Town.
CAREER RECORD: 214 apps + 31 sub, 70 goals
Bangor City v Prestatyn Town, Tuesday, 14.35 (all-ticket) live S4/C
Ryan EdwardsAirbus UK Broughton can still claim a top six spot, if they can beat Bala Town twice and results elsewhere go their way. Attacking wing-back Ryan Edwards, a Wales Under-23 semi-pro cap, could be a key factor in the games against the Lakesiders.
CAREER RECORD: 177 apps + 2 sub, 9 goals
Bala Town v Airbus UK Broughton, Boxing Day, 2.30
Aeron EdwardsEvery team needs midfield sparkle and Aeron Edwards provides box-to-box illumination for The New Saints. Often under-rated, his talents have been recognised by Wales Under-23 boss Terry Boyle and he will be hoping to make Newtown the Christmas turkeys.
CAREER RECORD: 114 apps + 10 sub, 10 goals
Newtown AFC v The New Saints, Boxing Day, 2.30
Neil GibsonNeil Gibson not only manages Prestatyn but has been outstanding this season in a midfield role. His steadying influence and playmaking skills are sure to be needed in the double header against Bangor City as Town seek to cement a top six spot.
CAREER RECORD: 103 apps + 5 sub, 11 goals
Bangor City v Prestatyn Town, Tuesday, 14.35 (all-ticket) live S4/C
Rhys GriffithsGolden boot winner for the past six campaigns and already well in the lead for this season's accolade with 19 goals, marksman Rhys Griffiths will be looking to outshine Neath's Lee Trundle, who has managed only two goals so far this season, as Llanelli bid to retain their position at the top of the tree.
CAREER RECORD: 282 apps + 26 sub, 232 goals
Llanelli AFC v Neath FC, Tuesday, 12.30
Lee JohnPort Talbot have had a disappointing season to date, but midfielder Lee John has been a constant presence in the Steelmen's midfield for six seasons and would love to put one if not two over on fierce rivals Afan Lido in the local derby.
CAREER RECORD: 223 apps + 17 sub, 24 goals
Port Talbot Town v Afan Lido, Boxing Day, 2.30
Mark JonesCultured former Welsh international Mark Jones is the man in charge of the gift wrapping for Bala Town and Airbus will need to be alert to his playmaking skills and his telling free-kicks over the festive season.
CAREER RECORD: 50 apps + 0 sub, 9 goals
Bala Town v Airbus UK Broughton, Boxing Day, 2.30
Shane SuttonNewtown face a massive task over Christmas and New Year with a double-header against The New Saints but, if the Robins are to cause an upset, former Shrews' midfielder Shane Sutton - one of the few survivors from last season - is likely to be at the heart of things.
CAREER RECORD: 86 apps + 5 sub, 4 goals
Newtown AFC v The New Saints, Boxing Day, 2.30
Daniel ThomasAfter a delayed start to the season, Daniel Thomas has been increasingly influential during Afan Lido's recent excellent run of form and the wingman will be out to upset his former team Port Talbot.
CAREER RECORD: 24 apps + 11 sub, 6 goals
Port Talbot Town v Afan Lido, Boxing Day, 2.30
Sean ThorntonIf Aberystwyth are to climb away from the basement, former Sunderland midfielder Sean Thornton will be a key factor. Has gradually regained match fitness since arriving at Park Avenue and will be bidding to make it a gift-less Christmas for Carmarthen Town.
CAREER RECORD: 12 apps + 0 sub, 2 goals
Aberystwyth Town v Carmarthen Town, Boxing Day, 2.30
A Merry Christmas to all the players, managers and supporters of the Welsh Premier League!

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23 September 2017

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