Category: Transfers

Josh Graham: “I believe I’m ready to make that step up”

Following confirmation of Josh Graham’s arrival, we caught up with the striker to discuss the move.

Hi Josh, welcome to Barry Town. How pleased are you to get the move done?

“Thank you for the welcome! I’m very pleased to have signed. It’s a good opportunity for me and I can’t wait to get going.”

What was it about Barry that appealed to you?

“It’s a higher standard than I’ve played at before and I believe I’m ready to make that step up. I hope being here will only make me a better player.”

Speaking to Gavin Chesterfield, how did he convince you to sign?

“He told me a lot about the club, the players and the unity in the squad and I can’t wait to be a part of that.”

Most people will know you as part of STM Sports’ side over the last few years. Tell us a bit about your time there?

“I had been at STM my whole adult life before they unfortunately folded in the summer. I’m a local boy so I always loved playing for the club, and it was great to finish on a high by reaching the Nathaniel MG Cup final last season. I moved to Taffs Well but with the Cymru South not starting, I never played a minute!”

This will be your first taste of the Cymru Premier, are you excited about that?

“Yeah I just can’t wait to get going! I believe in myself and my ability so I’m looking forward to starting training on Tuesday and testing myself.”

For supporters who might not know too much about you, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“I’m direct, quick and energetic. Hopefully I can bring some goals too!”

Finally, do you have any message for fans?

“Get behind the team and let’s hope we can get into Europe once again!”

#JoshJoins | Barry Town United secure signing of Josh Graham

Barry Town United are pleased to announce the signing of striker Josh Graham.

Graham joined JD Cymru South side Taffs Well in the summer but as the second tier are yet to start playing competitive football, he has now moved to Jenner Park to bolster our attacking options.

The 26-year-old made his name at STM Sports, helping the Cardiff-based side rise up through the divisions and reach the Cymru South in 2019.

He stood out in STM’s fairytale journey to the Nathaniel MG Cup final last season, as the club beat top-flight sides Newtown and Aberystwyth Town in a magnificent run.  

Graham netted a hat-trick against Pontypridd Town in round one, before scoring the winning goal in the semi-final against Aberystwyth.  

Gavin Chesterfield said:

“I’m looking forward to working with Josh, he is a player who has played very well over the years for STM Sports including against higher opposition. He has probably deserved the step up for a while but for one reason or another it hasn’t happened.

“I’m delighted this step up has come for him at a good age – having spoken to him he’s excited by the opportunity to test himself. Our thanks go to Lee Kendall and Taffs Well for their help in the transfer.”

#SamSigns | Sam Bowen joins Barry Town on loan from Cardiff City

Barry Town United are pleased to confirm the signing of midfielder Sam Bowen on loan from Cardiff City.

Son of former Bluebirds forward Jason, Sam has been in the Championship club’s academy since the age of six and first came to the attention of supporters four years ago when he scored from the half-way line for the Under 16s against Hull City.

He would go on to captain the Under 18 side and is now a key part of the Under 23 squad. Last season, the 19-year-old made the substitutes bench for the first team’s FA Cup fixtures against Carlisle United and Reading.

Bowen has been capped nine times by Wales Under 19s and was called up for the Under 21 squad for the first time earlier this month alongside former Barry loanees George Ratcliffe, Sion Spence and Mo Touray.

Gavin Chesterfield said:

“Sam is a player I have admired for some time after previously working with him at international level. I have seen what he is capable of first hand and I think this loan comes at a good time for Sam’s development. He will add further quality to our squad and will complement the players we already have. Thank you to Cardiff City for their continued trust in us.”

Everyone at Barry Town gives Sam a warm welcome. He will wear the number 20 shirt.

Josh Gould: “Playing in the Cymru Premier and under Gavin really excites me”

Following confirmation of Josh Gould’s arrival on loan from Swansea City, we caught up with the goalkeeper to discuss his career so far and hopes for the season ahead.

Hi Josh, welcome to Barry Town. How does it feel to get the move done?

“It’s good to get the paperwork done and get the move across the line. I’m looking forward to getting going.”

What was it about Barry that appealed to you?

“I’ve played at Jenner Park before a couple of times and I know Barry is a really good club. It’s run really well and always been an attractive option, with it not being too far from Swansea either. Playing in the Cymru Premier and under Gavin really excites me. I’ve heard a lot about him and his thoughts and ideas in the game.”

Having spoken to Gavin Chesterfield, how did he convince you to sign?

“He said that he’d seen me play when I was at Taffs Well and that he was interested in signing me all the way back then, so that was a good start to the conversation. I believe our philosophies of how we want to play the game link up so I’m really looking forward to playing under him. He sounds like a great guy and the environment he’s created here is great.”

Tell me a little bit more about your career so far. Am I right in saying you didn’t get into football until quite late?

“Yeah I was a bit of a late bloomer to be honest! I played rugby until I was 16 and then just randomly tried my hand in goal with my local team. Then things started to take off when I was about 18 and I went to Cardiff Met University. I played there for a couple of years and then headed to Taffs Well in my final year to get some games and ended up having a good season. That’s when I signed for Swansea, and this is now my third season with them.”

You’re joining us from Swansea, where you were named on the bench for a few Championship games at the end of last season. What was that like?

“It was a great experience. I got moved into the first team in January so I had been travelling to games as third choice and been involved for a few months. It was great to learn off Martyn Margetson and Steve Cooper, who were really supportive and I’ve got a great relationship with both of them.

“When Freddie [Woodman] got injured at the back end of the season, it was kind of an easy step up to the bench because I’d got used to the squad. It was just a shame that the fans weren’t there so I couldn’t share it with them.”

Having played academy football for the last two years, do you feel you’re ready for that step up to senior football?

“Definitely. I’ve played in non-league before so I kind of know what it will be like. I know a lot about the Cymru Premier, I do keep tabs on it on social media. I’ve got a lot of mates who play in the league so I’ve been to see a few games. I’ve done all my technical coaching at Swansea, now I’m ready to show everyone what I’ve learnt.”

You have played against Barry in pre-season before. What have you made of the club?

“I thought they were really strong. Like I say, I’m quite nosy on Twitter so I follow the line-ups! There’s been a couple of good signings this year so I really believe we can get European football again, but I said to Gavin that there’s no reason why we can’t be winning the league.”

What are you hopes and ambitions for your time with us?

“With the club having qualified for Europe in the last two seasons, that will be the minimum requirement for me. Like I say, I personally believe, looking at the squad and knowing the league, there’s no reason why we can’t challenge for the title.”

Finally do you have any message for the fans?

“Obviously it’s a difficult time at the moment so I hope everyone is keeping in good spirits. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the fans when we are able to. Whenever I have played here they’ve always been pretty loud and supportive of their players so it’ll be nice to be on the right side of that!”

#GoingForGould | Josh Gould signs on loan from Swansea City

Barry Town United are delighted to announce the signing of goalkeeper Josh Gould on loan from Swansea City.

Born in Taunton, Somerset, 6ft 4in Gould was a keen rugby player as a youngster and did not pick up a pair of gloves until the age of 16. However since then, he has gone from strength to strength and joined the Swans in August 2018 after a successful trial. This followed spells at Bridgewater Town, Cardiff Met and Taffs Well.

Now 23 years old, Gould was a regular in the Professional U23 Development League last season and ended the campaign by being named as a substitute in the senior team for five Championship fixtures – including both of Swansea’s play-off games against Brentford.

Having previously played against us in a pre-season friendly, Josh now moves to Jenner Park for his first taste of Cymru Premier football.

Having secured the signing of Gould, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“It’s great to welcome Josh to the club and we thank Swansea for their trust. I believe we have a culture which professional clubs trust when it comes to assisting the professional development of their players.

“I first admired Josh some four seasons ago and since then he has benefited from some exceptional coaching and experiences at Swansea and I’m naturally delighted to welcome him as part of our squad. He brings a high level of technical ability but also offers a strong presence and adds further strength to our squad for the season ahead.”

Curtis McDonald: “It’s a new challenge and I’m looking forward to it”

Following confirmation that Curtis McDonald has signed for the club, we caught up with the defender to discuss the move.

Hi Curtis, welcome to Barry Town. How pleased are you to have got the move done?

“Yeah it’s been a long time coming. I’ve known Gav for a couple of years and we’ve spoken in numerous summers about me coming in. This year things have finally come together so I’m delighted.”

You join the club after two and a half years at Chippenham. What made you want to make the move?

“A few reasons really. For one, I’ve recently started a family. I played in the Welsh league when I was younger and I think it’s changed dramatically since then. It’s a new challenge and I’m looking forward to it.”

Having spoken to Gavin Chesterfield, how did he convince you to sign?

“It didn’t take much convincing to be honest! Gav is a great coach and you can see that some really positive things are happening at Barry at the minute. I knew a lot of the boys already and played against a lot of them too. It’s a good group and there’s positive signs for this coming season.”

You’ve played a few games in pre-season for us, how do you think they’ve gone?  

“Yeah it’s gone well. We’ve had a couple of tough games against some good opponents. I’ve enjoyed it and hopefully we can get a good start against TNS on the weekend.”

Did you know many of the boys already? You played with Jack and Nat at Chippenham and were coached by Cossy at Cardiff!

“I would have been 11 or 12 when I first met Mike! As you say I’ve played with Nat and Jack over the last couple of years, and then the likes of Coops, Clayton, Keyon and Kayne I’ve played with too – probably about half the team!”

It will be your first taste of the Cymru Premier in 13 years, are you looking forward to that?

“Like I say, it will be a bit alien for me because I think the league has completely changed from when I was here before. There’s a few faces that are still around though, so it will be nice to bump into a few old heads.”

For fans who might not know too much about you, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“At 32, I’m experienced and a bit of an older head in the team. I’ll bring a bit of calmness to the defence too.”

Finally do you have any message for the fans?

“I hope to see you all soon when this pandemic is over and we can get fans back in the ground. The boys still realise you’re behind us we’ll do everything we can to make you happy.”

#CroesoCurtis | Curtis McDonald joins Barry Town United

Barry Town United are delighted to confirm the signing of experienced defender Curtis McDonald, who has played in the side for a number of pre-season fixtures.

The 32-year-old moves to Jenner Park following a two and a half year spell at National League South side Chippenham Town, where he played alongside current Barry players Nat Jarvis and Jack Compton.

Cardiff born, McDonald came through the Cardiff City academy and made one appearance for the first team as a substitute on the final day of 2005-06 Championship season against Coventry City. Following his release by the Bluebirds in 2007, he became an established performer in the English non-league system, playing for sides such as Forest Green Rovers, Newport County and Brackley Town. His move to Barry will be the first time McDonald has played in the Welsh pyramid since a short spell at Carmarthen Town in 2007. 

The defender was capped 12 times at youth level by Wales in the early part of his career, including appearances for the under 21s alongside our very own David Cotterill.

Commenting on the signing, Gavin Chesterfield said:

“I’m pleased to welcome Curtis to the club as he is a player I’ve admired for a long time. He brings a good level of experience and adds further leadership to the group. Whilst we’ve been working towards agreeing a deal he has shown a desire and willingness to be with us throughout pre-season and that has impressed me. He’s integrated seamlessly into the group and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

#HiHarry | Harry Thomas-Barker joins on initial short-term deal

Barry Town United are pleased to confirm the signing of goalkeeper Harry Thomas-Barker on an initial short-term deal.

The 18-year-old joins the club after leaving Bristol Rovers earlier this summer, having been a regular for the Gas’ Under-18 side. He also spent time out on loan at Cadbury Heath and Frome Town.

Thomas-Barker has featured in friendlies against Connah’s Quay Nomads and The New Saints in the last few weeks, and now becomes part of our squad for the UEFA Europa League campaign.

Mikey George: “It feels really good to be back with my hometown club”

Following the confirmation that Mikey George would be returning to Jenner Park, we caught up with the midfielder to get his thoughts on the move.

Hi Mikey, welcome back to Barry. What made you want to return to the club?

“I was really disappointed to leave the club last summer, and wanted to come back straight away. But in a way, going away and getting more experience under my belt has grown my confidence and I think it’s given Gav more confidence in me as well. It feels really good to be back with my hometown club, it really does.

“To be honest Gav is the main reason why I’m coming back because he made me the player that I am today. In terms of my technical ability, my fitness, my weight of pass, how to read the game – that’s all down to Gav. He taught me the ins and outs of the league. I take my hat off to him as a coach because he’s absolutely fantastic.”

How do you think you’ve changed in the last year since you left the club?

“The main thing is maturity. When I was coming through the Barry youth system and breaking into the first team, I was still a teenager learning the game. But now I’ve gone out and experienced men’s football, I’ve controlled what was inside of me. I understand the game better and deal with the officials better. I definitely feel more confident now.”

You were at Penybont last season and Llanelli on loan the year before, how good was it to be playing regular top-flight football?

“It was a fantastic experience. Playing against some of the best players in the league was great. I played a more defensive role at Penybont which I hadn’t done before, so I feel I can now offer more in the midfield. I’m a more well-rounded player for sure.”

Being from Barry, how does it feel to play for your hometown club?

“It was always a dream of mine since I was a kid. I’ve been watching Barry for years and always wanted to play for them. So it feels amazing.”

Does it make it easier coming back to a club and squad that you know?

“Obviously some players have been added, but I feel I had a good relationship with the team before, so it shouldn’t take me long to settle back in. Curtis [Hutson] has joined as well and he was a good mate of mine at Penybont. I really feel as though the dressing room will be good this year and that’s key to being successful because you want to work hard for each other.”

I’m sure fans will remember you from your first spell at the club, but just as a reminder, what sort of player are you and what do you hope to bring to the team?

“Fans will remember me as the little terrier on the pitch that always tries to win the ball back and has loads of energy, and that hasn’t changed. But I’m also more relaxed now and will offer more for the team.”

What are your ambitions for the new season?

“I obviously want to try and start as many games as I can. But for the team, I honestly believe we can go far in the Europa League and I genuinely think we can win the league. With the squad that we have, it’s young, fresh and there’s depth there too. There’s also lots of experience too. With that combination, I’m confident this year, I really am.”

Finally, any message for the fans?

“Just to let you know that I’m back and ready to go straight away! I’ve got loads of energy, and hopefully you can see I’m a more versatile player now with a better passing range. I’ve got fire inside me and I hope to see you all as soon as possible.”

#MikeyAdded | Barry Town United complete the signing of Mikey George

Barry Town United are delighted to announce that Mikey George has agreed terms to join the club for a second spell.

Born in Barry, George left Jenner Park last year and spent the 2019/20 campaign at Penybont, making 23 appearances in the club’s debut season in the Cymru Premier.

The versatile player joined Barry from Cambrian and Clydach four years ago, initially becoming part of the Development Team squad. He would make his senior debut in the 7-1 win over Haverfordwest County in the Nathaniel MG Cup in November 2016, coming on as a late substitute for Jordan Cotterill. Upon the club’s promotion to the top-flight the following year, George made three Welsh Premier League appearances which earned him his first senior team contract in the summer of 2018.

That same season as part of his plan for development, Mikey was loaned to fellow Welsh Premier League club Llanelli Town where he impressed making 19 appearances. Mikey now returns to his hometown club following another successful season in the top flight.

Having completed the signing, Gavin Chesterfield commented:

“I’m delighted to bring Mikey back to the club. He knows what we are about and how we work. Being honest I didn’t want to lose him last season but to his and Penybont’s, Mikey has matured as a player and his all action style and versatility will bring much to our squad. I’m genuinely excited to be working with him again and have no doubt be will emerge as one of the Cymru Premier League’s young talents.”