Friday, March 09, 2012

Saints sign former Wales Under-21 defender

THE New Saints made a late swoop on Wednesday morning to capture former Wales Under-21 international Simon Spender.
After rejecting a new contract with his current club Barrow AFC, the 25-year-old was set to sign a lucrative long-term deal with Airbus UK Broughton, but the opportunity to return to full-time football proved irresistible to the Mold-born defender.
"TNS have been the best side in Wales over the past 10 years and, having discussed the club's plans for the future, I am sure that success will continue," said Spender, who was being chased by a number of clubs in the English pyramid.
"They have a pitch which encourages attractive passing football and I look forward to being part of that and training on a full-time basis once again."
A product of the Wrexham FC youth system, Spender made 110 appearances for the Racecourse outfit as the first-choice right-back but, after missing three months of the 2008/9 season with a broken elbow, joined Barrow on-loan in March 2009.
He was not offered a contract by the Reds at the end of the season and signed a permanent two-year deal with the Cumbrian outfit who were hopeful of retaining his services for another season.
The arrival of Spender, who can also operate in the centre of defence, marks the departure from TNS of Danny Holmes, who has not been offered terms for next season.
Holmes signed for TNS from Tranmere Rovers two years ago and had made 57 Welsh Premier appearances, scoring three goals.
Spender is the second major defensive signing of the summer for TNS director of football Mike Davies, who yesterday sealed the signature of 20-year-old former Derby County reserve and Stafford Rangers centre-half Jermaine Johnson.
Managing director Mike Harris says: "These signings illustrate our commitment to regaining the league title next season and continuing to bring the best players to the club."
Photo: Saints' director of football Mike Davies with new signing Simon Spender.

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