JOE Chaplin has become the first new face of the summer at the Traeth, after Porthmadog boss Craig Papirnyk completed the signing of the talented 24 year-old striker last week.
Chaplin comes with an excellent strike record, having netted 16 times in 20 appearances for Conwy Borough last term.
“I am delighted to have signed Joe, he is highly rated and has the quality in front of goal that we need,” said Papirnyk.
“I am excited about his prospects and I’m looking forward to seeing him grow with us this season. I am certain he will get the goals that could be the difference.”
Chaplin attended University at Cardiff Met between 2011 and 2014 and played for the then Welsh Football League outfit as they won back-to-back promotions from division three to division one.
On moving back home, following the completion of his degree, he played for Glan Conwy, before joining Borough.
He signed for Llandudno in January, but he finished the season with Conwy.
Chaplin also played at Under 16s level for Llandudno, winning two North Wales Youth Coast Cups with the club. His break into the first team at Maesdu didn’t materialise as he suffered a broken ankle, and subsequently moved to the Met.
“The squad is coming together really well,” said Papirnyk. “Joe is the first new face in, but I’m hoping to add another couple of the same quality in due course.
“I am, however, confident that we have got the players at the club now to push on from last season and aim higher.
“The squad is the strongest it’s been and we have to now ensure we bring success to the club. The league is going to be difficult, but exciting times are ahead.”
Papirnyk has announced his retained list from 2016/17, with the additional news that Sion Bradley, last season’s loan signing from Bangor City, is now a Porthmadog player for the next campaign.
“I’m really pleased to announce Sion Bradley will be a Porthmadog player this season,” said Papirnyk. “It’s great news for the club and for me personally.
“I have long been an admirer of Sion, and watched him develop from a young age, to now call him our player is great.
“He came in last January, and was a huge hit, he has had no shortage of offers, but Porthmadog is where he wants to be.
“I’m looking forward to working with him for years to come. His quality will help in our search for success, I’m sure.”
He added: “All the lads are really committed, and are looking forward to this coming season. Our player presentation night was a great success, with everyone excited with the plans moving forward.
“We are in a great position and come July we will hit the ground running in preparation for what is going to be the most exciting and challenging season for us in the Cymru Alliance to date.”
Porth’s retained list already includes: Gruffydd Williams; Chris Jones; Daniel Roberts; Iddon Price; Robert Evans; Richard Harvey; Josh Banks; Steve Bratt; Ceri James; Tyler French; Meilir Williams; Gareth Jones-Evans and Cai Jones.
Porth’s pre-season begins on Saturday, 8 July at Barmouth, before taking on Llanuwchlyn at home on Tuesday, 11 July.
They travel to South Liverpool on Saturday, 15 July, and Cefn Druids away on Wednesday, 19 July, before playing Bala Town at home on Saturday, 22 July and Oswestry at home on Saturday, 29 July.
They play Pen-Y-Cae away on Saturday, 5 August, before the Pathfinders Cup against Corwen on Wednesday, 9 August.
Porthmadog will start their Cymru Alliance campaign on 12 August with a tricky match at home against Gresford Athletic, managed by Steve Halliwell. He was named Manager of the Season after they finished a highly creditable third place.
Papirnyk’s side have meanwhile been drawn against Caernarfon in the first round of the Huws Gray League Cup, to be played at the Traeth on 21 October.