WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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Andy Cooke [left] joined Burnley while Mark Delaney [right] left Carmarthen Town for Cardiff City and then Aston Villa.

QUITE a few players have gone on from the Welsh Premier to play in the football league, notably Mark Delaney. The former Carmarthen Town captain moved to Cardiff City and then to Aston Villa, where he secured a regular place in the Premiership and played for Wales.

Another player to make the grade was Steve Evans, who moved from The New Saints to Wrexham in the summer of 2006 and quickly won his first full Welsh cap. He was joined a season later by Conall Murtagh from Rhyl.

One of the most enduring exports from the Welsh Premier has been Gary Roberts, who played with Bala and Denbigh before scoring 10 goals from 42 appearances for Bangor and Welshpool Town.

Roberts moved to Accrington Stanley in March 2005 and has enjoyed a successful career with Ipswich Town, Crewe, Huddersfield Town, Swindon Town and Chesterfield. 

Lee Trundle, who moved from Rhyl to Wrexham, became the Welsh Premier's most valuable export when he joined Bristol City from Swansea City for £1 million in 2007.

Chris King of The New Saints was also recruited by Accrington Stanley in 2008, while Danny Holmes, a product of the Tranmere Rovers youth system, established himself in the first team at Prenton Park in 2011/12 after spending two seasons with TNS.

Garry Roberts
Gary Roberts helped Huddersfield Town reach the Championship in May 2012.

Former Aberystwyth, Bangor City and Rhyl striker Jamie Reed reached the Football League with York City via the play-offs in 2012 having moved to the Conference side from Bangor 18 months earlier while Craig Jones moved from The New Saints to Bury in August 2012.

In 2013, gap Connah's Quay starlet Rhys Healey was snapped-up by Cardiff City and, a year later, Airbus UK Broughton's 16-year-old starlet Aaron Hassall signed as a pro with newly-promoted Premier League club Leicester City while Carmarthen marksman Christian Doidge joined League Two Dagenham & Redbridge.

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29 March 2017

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