The second signing, ahead of the 2020/2021 season is an in-house one, so to speak, as Lewis Rees puts pen-to-paper on his first professional contract with The New Saints FC.
Born and bred in Knighton – in the traditional historic county of Radnorshire – Lewis still resides in the small market town that sits alongside the border with England.
Having spent seven years with Shrewsbury Town, within a couple of weeks of leaving Montgomery Waters Meadow he had switched to The New Saints FC’s Academy.
Joining the club as a fourteen-year-old in the summer of 2016, Lewis progressed impressively through the system, to the point where he made his first-team debut last season, in the 4-0 JD Welsh Cup victory against Aberystwyth Town FC.
Following that game, we interviewed him and you can watch that below.
There will be a more in-depth chat in due course but for now here are the thoughts of the club’s second summer signing:
“I am very happy to have signed my first professional contract with TNS; this is something I’ve dreamt of my whole life and worked for since I was a young boy. I’m very pleased to have the belief of Scott (Ruscoe) and the club and hopefully show everyone what I can do. I can’t wait to get started and add to the quality that the team already has.”
Having been at Park Hall for four years, there is no-one at the club who would know Lewis better than Academy Manager, Jason Brindley, who shares his thoughts;
“Lewis Rees has been with The New Saints FC for a number of years now, progressing first through the Academy into the scholarship, and now into our first-team.
Lewis has a great attitude and is often found in the gym before or after training, doing extra work. That’s massive in my opinion, doing as much as you can. Benefits have paid off, as Lewis has grown a lot physically in the past couple of years. That comes from putting the work in.
We are delighted that Lewis has earned this opportunity; he knows the real hard work starts now, but he has the right mindset to take on the challenge and continue to develop.
It’s great to see players progress through the pathway at the football club, given the opportunity.
I’m looking forward to watching Lewis continue to develop within our club and he knows he will always have the support of myself and other coaches that have helped him to this stage.”
In addition, in reference to the Academy overall, Jason shared the following:
” We’re really starting to see the benefit of the individual player development due to the high level of our training curriculum and fixture programme.
Players are getting the opportunity to progress into our first team; as well as seeing an individual join a CAT 1 English Academy, a number of players have signed for English teams and also lots of boys have been trialling at clubs including Everton, Liverpool and Manchester United.
It’s good to see the progression at the club and the opportunities provided.
I’m looking forward to when we return, with new additions to our existing programme.”
Lead image: Lewis Rees on his debut against Aberystwyth Town in January 2020. Courtesy of Brian Jones.