NEWTOWN have further strengthened ahead of the much anticipated start of the JD Cymru Premier season.

Manager Chris Hughes has welcomed the signing of striker Tyrone Ofori from league rivals Cefn Druids and defender Tom Davies who has joined the Latham Park club following his release by English League side Shrewsbury Town.

The duo complete a busy summer of comings and goings at Latham Park as Hughes spent the long period of lockdown reshaping his squad following the disappointment of last season’s curtailment.

The newlook Robins make the trip to newboys Flint Town United in the season opener on Saturday before hosting a much changed Caernarfon Town in midweek.

Both matches will be played behind closed doors with spectators banned from sports stadiums by the Welsh Government as part of ongoing social distancing measures intended to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Hughes said: “We are all looking forward to getting back on the pitch after so long.

“It has been almost six months since our last league match and while it will be strange to play with no supporters in the ground we will have to get on with it and hopefully fans will be allowed back soon.”

Hughes admitted it had been a peculiar pre-season with regulations restricting the club’s potential opposition.

“In the end we played several friendlies against other Cymru Premier clubs,” said Hughes. “It went well and each game was competitive.”

Hughes has brought in a raft of new faces since the premature end of last season.

Jamie Breese, Jordan Evans, James Davies, Jake Phillips, James O’Neill and George Hughes have been joined by 20 year old forward Ofori and teenage defender Davies.

Meanwhile midfielder Alex Fletcher, forward George Harry and versatile wide player Joe Kenton have departed Latham Park for pastures new.

Hughes said: “We are delighted to welcome Tyrone and Tom to Latham Park.

“The new lads we have already brought in over the summer have gelled well with the existing squad and we have had a good pre-season in the circumstances and are now just looking forward to playing again.

“We were impressed with Tyrone last season and he will provide more options and it is great to bring Tom to his hometown club from Shrewsbury Town.”

However the Robins are sweating on the fitness of two key players ahead of their trip to Deeside with forward Jamie Breese and captain Craig Williams both facing late fitness tests ahead of the weekend.

“We will decide on Jamie and Craig closer to the time but at the moment they are our only concerns,” said Hughes.

Newtown will travel to Flint as favourites with their hosts back in the top flight for the first time in 20 years after ending runners-up to champions Prestatyn Town in the JD Cymru North last season.

However Hughes warned his side not to be complacent against Niall McGuiness’ side who would be keen to make their mark and announce their return to the big time with a positive start against the Robins.

Hughes said: “It is a difficult start for us and we expect a tough game at Flint.

“Promoted sides are always difficult opposition and after so long away I am sure Flint will want to start their first season back in the top flight with a good result.”

Hughes insisted his side was ready for the challenge.

“We are in a good place with the squad and we know a bit about Flint so we will be making the trip with a lot of confidence.”

Newtown will have a busy start to the season as the league looks to catch up on lost time caused by lockdown restrictions and a belated start to the campaign.

Caernarfon Town will make the trip to mid Wales on Wednesday evening when ex-Newtown player Hugh Griffiths will look to make his own mark on his new side following his summer arrival from Cefn Druids.

Newtown will also embark on a long haul trip to Haverfordwest County the following weekend before entertaining Aberystwyth Town in the first mid Wales derby of what promises to be a busy season.