NEWTOWN Football Club have appointed two senior first team stars to coach its under 19s side in next season’s JD Welsh Premier development league.

Club captain Craig Williams and Neil Mitchell will coach the side, taking over from Gareth Watkins who stepped down at the end of last season.

Mitchell said: “Becoming the under 19s managers we feel is the next step in our coaching careers. We both want to break into senior coaching one day.

“Our vision is to try and get some of the under 19s in and around the first team in the near future and raise the profile of this age group regionally.

“A lot of potentially good players have slipped the net recently which is disappointing to see.

“As players we know what is expected of a player in the senior squad and the philosophy or the manager so we aim to install this into the under 19s squad and hope a few progress with little complicated transition.”

Williams was appointed head of youth earlier this year and his appointment alongside Mitchell further underlines the club’s commitment to utilising its current generation of locally based players to inspire the development of the next.

Chairman Howard Ellis said: “I am pleased we have our club captain and Neil taking in the management of the under 19s side in the development league.

“I am sure given time they will be competing in the top six of a competitive league and it is a great opportunity for the youngsters to work with dedicated coaches.

“They are also two examples of the opportunity to play at first team level providing you give your full commitment.”

The Robins will look to emulate the success of local rivals TNS and Aberystwyth Town whose development sides won the northern and southern development leagues last season.

Both have also developed graduates to the senior team with Newtown keen to gain ground on their Mid Wales rivals in coming seasons.

Training sessions will be held at Latham Park on Sunday, August 5 and 12 with further details available on 07545344757.

Newtown return to pre-season action on Saturday with a trip to Southern League Premier Central side Halesowen Town.

The Robins are unbeaten so far in pre-season having eased to a 3-0 win at North West Counties League side FC Oswestry Town last weekend.

Meanwhile the club looks to have completed its pre-season strengthening with the additions of Jake Cook, Sam Phillips, Damien Allen, Ben Bailey and Callum Roberts.