As the countdown to the start of the new season gets ever closer, there has been lots of frantic activity over the last week, in completing the signings of several new players.
First up, we welcome back Jake Hampson to the Essity. Jake originally came through the Flint Academy system and broke into the 1st team, before moving to Chester. When their fixtures were suspended, due to the pandemic, he returned for a loan spell to Flint before then signing for Cefn Druids at the start of last season. As most Flint supporters will be aware, Jake is a dynamic presence on the right wing, and can be an instant game changer.
Goalkeeper Dawid Szczepaniak has also joined us from Wrexham, where he made one senior appearance. Following Josh Tibbetts’ decision to return to Caernarfon, sourcing another goalkeeper became a top priority for manager Lee Fowler, and he is delighted to land someone of Dawid’s calibre. Polish born Dawid is still only 22 and has tremendous potential.
Another exciting addition to the squad is centre back Bobby Beaumont-Broadhead, who joins from Caernarfon. Bobby is a former captain of Welsh Schools U18 side. He began his career with Wrexham, before signing a pro-contract with Sunderland and joining their U23 side. On his release from Tyneside he subsequently joined Caernarfon Town in September 2021. making 21 appearances for the Cofis last season.
We also welcome Jayden Major. Manchester born Jayden is an attacking midfielder, who displays bags of energy and is a tireless runner. He primarily operates on the left hand side of the pitch. Jayden started his footballing career with Liverpool Youth before moving to Burnley U18’s. He joined Stockport in October 2021, before moving on loan to FC United of Manchester for a short loan spell.
Also joining is Okera Simmonds, a promising wide attacker with blistering pace. He was on the books at Liverpool as a youngster, also featuring for England Under-16’s. Okera spent time at Blackburn Rovers and Accrington Stanley, before joining Worcester Raiders. He then moved to Chester in January 2022, spending the latter half of last season at the Deva Stadium.
Finally, for now, we can announce the arrival of Elie Akobeto to boost our striking options. Born in Paris, Elie has dual French and Benin citizenship. He came through Bolton U18’s before joining Hyde FC. Following spells with Loughborough, Mansfield and Grimsby, he moved to the States to play for Atlanta and 1904 FC in San Diego. On his return to the UK, he went to Scotland, where he has played for East Stirling and Gretna, leaving the border club in July this year having joined them for the latter half of the season. Elie is a centre forward and has appeared for Benin U20’s.
We wish all of our latest arrivals every success in their careers with Flint. Some of them are subject to international clearance, and so the race is on to try and get them available for our first match of the season, which is next Tuesday at Colwyn Bay in the Nathaniel MG Cup Round 2.