RHAYADER Town have stolen a march on their Spar Mid Wales League title rivals with an exciting double capture.

Player-manager Dylan McPhee has snapped up 27-year-old winger Mattie Lewis after he left Welsh Premier side Newtown.

Lewis made 72 appearances for the Robins in a five year spell, but has spent much of the past season kicking his heels on the substitutes bench.

Also set to make the short trip to the Weirglodd is Newbridge wideman Rhys Thomas, who will link up with several ex-Bridgemen at title-chasing Rhayader.

Lewis had been with the Robins for five seasons, making 72 appearances and coming on off the bench on 30 occasions.

The Llanidloes-born winger, who played for Coventry against West Ham in the 1999 FA Youth Cup final, has represented Wales at Under-15, 16 and 18 levels.
He played for Team Bath, while studying at the University of Bath, also for Bath City, Kidderminster Harriers, Hinckley United, Evesham United, Solihull Borough and Coventry Marconi.

McPhee was delighted with the signings, which he says will help add quality to the squad.

He said: “Mattie is a quality player, who has proven himself in the Welsh Premier with Newtown. He is a Rhayader boy and I am very pleased to welcome him to the club.

“We are also hopeful Rhys will complete his transfer from Newbridge before the weekend.”

Rhayader Town have applied for promotion to the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance, with McPhee confident the double signing can swing the balance in favour of his young side.

“We are doing well in the league and I am delighted at our progress. Mattie and Rhys will give the squad a boost and add a little more quality as we approach the run in.”

Meanwhile bottom of the table Newbridge have also moved to strengthen, with player-manager Adriano Girolami making a double signing of his own.

Girolami has returned to former club Presteigne to tempt 21-year-old striker Steve Morgan to Penbont Field. Also arriving is promising teenage midfielder Ieuan Price, who has impressed for Builth Wednesdays this season.