NATHAN Leonard has taken the helm during the summer with the aim of maintaining the strides made in recent years.

Guilsfield enter their

The club has looked to long serving clubman Leonard to take over the management of the first team, stepping up from assistant to Danny Barton who has stood down to concentrate on solely playing.

Leonard’s main challenge since has been player retention as well as strengthening a squad which struggled for goals last season.

Defender Sam Litchfield has joined Welsh Premier side Newtown while striker Aaron Edwards departs for Huws Gray Alliance rivals Gresford Athletic.

However Leonard has successfully strengthened the Guils attacking options with two signings in Asa Hamilton and Iwan Matthews.

Hamilton arrives from Buckley Town following their relegation from the Huws Gray Alliance last season and with former Welsh Premier experience at Llandudno and Buckley Town will provide a threat this season.

Matthews has been one of the top strikers in the Spar Mid Wales League for several years and will look to make the step up from leading Llanrhaeadr’s line.

The pair join Jake Cook, Adam Jenkins and Louis Irvine in a bolstered Guils attack with old war horse Barton completing the Guils forward options.

Leonard has also brought in to young prospects from TNS with defender Connor Weetman arriving along with on-loan goalkeeper Andy Wycherley, a former England under 18s international.

“We've had a good pre season, the lads have trained very well and been committed from the start which is a credit to them,” said Leonard.

“Keeping most of the group from last year has been very important and we've certainly added great quality.

“The committee have been great in helping bring in the new lads but again we are under no illusions that we have one of the smallest budgets in the league and it's looks the most competitive league’s in years.

“Asa is a massive signing and Iwan is a great prospect,” said Leonard who backed Wycherley to shine next season with long term incumbent Dave Littleford departing for pastures new.

“It was a very hard decision to let Dave go but I couldn't turn down the opportunity of signing Andy on loan for the season,” said Leonard. “He adds huge quality to the team and will be a huge asset.

“He has great potential and just needs game time now every week to aid his development.”

Leonard has targeted a top six finish which the Guils have become accustomed.

“I'm sure though we will again punch above our weight and be in and around the top sis and we certainly want some good cup runs,” said Leonard.