Shropshire Star

TNS hunt for ‘next Bale’ with upgrade

Proud chairman of The New Saints Mike Harris wants the club to develop the next generation of Gareth Bales after the awarding of a category A academy status.


The Oswestry club’s youth set-up received the top ranking from FA Wales and Harris insists it highlights TNS’ position as leaders on and off the pitch in the Welsh game.

TNS academy graduate Ben Clark has been nominated for Cymru Premier young player of the season and, further back, striker Scott Quigley has since been National League top scorer with Barrow.

Harris said: “This is a truly outstanding achievement and recognition for the football club, reaffirming our position as the leaders in Welsh football both on and off the pitch.

“We are committed to bringing through players that will not only excel for TNS but have a great impact on the Welsh national team.

“I want to see players from our football club representing the country for many years ahead, capitalising on the hotbed of footballing talent in Wales. The investment in the playing facilities will enable us to attract the next generations of Gareth Bales.

“I’d like to congratulate Chris (sergeant, head of coaching) and all of his staff for their efforts in ensuring we can offer the very best academy provision in Welsh football.

“Producing talent in Wales is at the heart of our DNA and receiving this recognition provides an outstanding opportunity for the club to continue doing just that.

“Our commitment to providing opportunities for young players in Wales will not only benefit the football club but increase our impact in the local community.”

TNS’ full-time Park Hall-based academy, which runs from under-7s to under-16s before scholarship, has been awarded the top status for two years. Saints under-18s recently retained the FAW Youth Cup with a 5-2 win over Penybont and under-12s to under-16s sides have enjoyed successful campaigns.