Hednesford Town boss Rob Smith has declared himself as being ‘over the moon’ with the capture of Wayne Riley from Welsh Premier League side Airbus UK, with The Pitmen beating off strong competition from a number of leading lights in the Skrill North and Skrill Premier for his signature.
The signing is subject to International Clearance which the club is pressing both the FA and the FAW to confirm as soon as possible.
The ex-Northwich Victoria man comes highly regarded, having been prolific during his time at The Vics, clocking up over 150 appearances and scoring 17 goals in a season two years in a row, as well as scoring the opening goal in a televised FA Cup First Round tie against Charlton Athletic in 2009.
Discussing the signing, Smith stated how delighted he was that another quality player has bought into the ethos and ambition of Hednesford Town.
‘I am absolutely over the moon, Wayne was a name on our list in the summer but he wanted to play in Europe for Airbus which was fully understandable.He had top clubs very interested in him and obviously football wise and financially he would have had better offers, but he knows some of our lads and they have helped sell what we are all about here.I genuinely feel he fancied the challenge with us and I’ve said before that once you are with this group they are very infectious and you just want more of it. I hope it sends out a message that we can attract good players to this club and it shows we have ambition.’
The Hednesford manager, now in his third full season at the Club, also noted that the positional flexibility of Riley and his strong character can only add to an already positive squad dynamic.
‘Wayne is flexible, he can play up front, wide, or in midfield and he also fits the bill perfectly with regard to fitting in as he is young, hungry for success and a character in the dressing room which is what you need with this bunch.I’m sure he will be a big success at Key Park.’
Hednesford have also signed striker Robbie Thompson-Brown, who was previously on the books of Stratford Town, Kidderminster Harriers and Nuneaton Town.
In regard to his summer transfer business as a whole, Smith was keen to stress that he is pleased with the signings he has made and believes that keeping his squad together from last season was equally as important.
‘I have signed Robbie Thompson-Brown, Kris Taylor, Nick Rogan, Charlie Anagho-Ntamark and Wayne Riley so five is more than enough. I knew we wouldn’t be signing loads of new players because the key was keeping and securing some of the current squad, notably Jamey Osborne, who I believe is one of the brightest talents in non league football.’
Smith’s optimism will be put to the test in his team’s opening game of the season a week on Saturday when they travel to Stalybridge Celtic, KO 3pm.