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FOUR players have turned full-time at Connah's Quay as the Nomads start a planned transition towards professional status in a bid to challenge the domination of the Welsh Premier by The New Saints.

The club has reached an agreement to sign the quartet of Joe Heath, Jake Phillips, Declan Poole and Rhys Williams to professional contracts.

All were part of the Nomads' Europa League squad, while Williams has appeared as a substitute in recent friendly fixtures with Colwyn Bay and Airbus.

Heath, a left sided defender, started his career at Manchester United before signing for Nottingham Forest in 2005. He made his first team debut against Morecambe in August 2008 and went on to make 12 appearances during the 2008/9 season in the Championship. He then went on to play at Lincoln City, Hereford United, Chester and Runcorn Town before joining The Nomads in June 2017.

The son of former Welsh Premier manager and player Wayne Phillips, Jake also joined the Nomads in June from Cefn Druids and made his debut against HJK Helsinki as a second half substitute in Finland. 

Poole is a Chester-born midfielder who joined the Nomads in November after previous experience with Everton Under-18s, Wigan Athletic and Nantwich Town.

Goalkeeper Williams, 19, has represented Wales at Under-19 level and has previous experience with Bury, Carlisle and Colchester United.