NEWTOWN enter the new Welsh Premier season with a new look squad but facing the same old challenges.
The Robins have one of the smallest budgets in the league but have regularly upset the apple cart by fighting above their weight since Chris Hughes arrives at the club.
The Robins manager has had an active summer in the transfer market with a crop of new players arriving to fill the boots of favoured regulars, including Welsh Premier player of the season Jason Oswell and captain Shane Sutton.
With exciting young midfielder Alex Fletcher also departing Latham Park after just one season the Robins have recruited half a new squad this summer.
Striker Jamie Reed arrives from Llandudno, his 15th club in a nomadic career, while midfielder Jay Denny has joined from Halesowen Town.
Airbus UK Broughton duo Leon Clowes and James Murphy arrive from the relegated Wingmakers while Jolyon Harries adds to the Powys contingent at Latham Park with his switch from local rivals Caersws.
Defender Sam Litchfield’s move from Huws Gray Alliance side Guilsfield and the arrival of Nick Rushton from Connahs Quay Nomands completes a busy summer for the Robins.
Hughes said: “We’ve lost key players and brought a lot of players in, but we feel it has gone well.
“The individuals we’ve added are all players with points to prove.
‘These are the sorts or people we want to recruit, that’s our DNA, signing players with points to prove. We get them into our group, blend them in and then see how they get on for us but we’re probably in a transitional period at the moment given the incomings and outgoings.”
Hughes has become acquainted with the Robins being written off as relegation candidates before the season has begun.
However this summer some bookmakers have recognised Newtown as top six candidates.
Hughes said: “Outside the top four, I think it is totally up for grabs, I think anyone would be looking at fifth and sixth going into the new season and thinking they can make a run at finishing in those positions.
“I know people are writing us off, but that suits us, it brings out the best in us.
“We know it is going to be tough this year, some teams have strengthened massively, but we know our aims and objectives, we’ll be competitive, organised, fit and a tough test for everyone else.”
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