THE Seagulls have signed ex-Rochdale defender/midfielder Josh Brizell after losing 2-1 to a late goal in their latest pre-season friendly against Bangor City 2-1 (July 21).
The 25-year-old Brizell, who has done well as a trialist in Bay’s pre-season games so far, was captain of the youth team and reserves at Rochdale before breaking into the first team and since then has had spells at Telford (where he unluckily broke his wrist in pre-season), Hyde (where he was club captain), Glossop North End and Marine.
With a number of players unavailable, and Sam Barnes having to pull out after the warm-up as a precaution after feeling a tweak in his groin, Colwyn Bay were a goal down inside 45 seconds against Bangor when Braydon Shaw, signed from Accrington Stanley for an undisclosed fee, scored from a George Harry’s pass into the area.
But the Bay were level a minute late through Astley Mulholland’s sharp finish from Kyle Jacobs’ pass and both sides had chances to take the lead in an open and entertaining first half.
Jaimie Rainford (twice), Astley Hulholland (twice) and Danny Andrews were all narrowly off target for Bay and Dan Collins headed wide from a corner.
Shaw was always a threat for City, however, and after hitting the bar with a header he played in Sam Henry for the 77th minute goal that won the match.
Jack Hindle got a run out in the second half and put in a couple of good runs. More importantly he felt no reaction to his recent groin injury, which is good news going forward.
Gaz Grant also took part in the warm-up and the manager is hopeful the centre back will be fit enough to have a game in a couple of weeks after not kicking a ball for nearly three months due to a knee injury.
The Colwyn Bay squad on the night was: Matt Cooper, Kyle Jacobs, Shaun Holden, Josh Brizell, Anthony Griffith (c), Dan Collins, Astley Mulholland, Luke Horrocks, Jamie Rainford, Will Booth, Danny Andrews, Jack Hindle, Mike Pino, Tom Rutter. Unused sub: Kris Leigh.
Although manager Phill Hadland knew several players would be unavailable due to holidays and had originally left a blank weekend, he agreed to Bangor’s request for a Friday game as he felt it was too good an opportunity to give other lads a test against a side much more advanced in their preparations for the new season and who have already been in competitive action in the Europa league qualifiers.
“You learn much more by playing a game like this rather than a training session,” he added.
“The opening pre-season games have been more about experimenting with formations and giving as many lads a possible some game time. The last three games is when we will start fine tuning the side in readiness for the first league game. We will be fine for that and overall I think the squad is in better shape than this time last year.”
Colwyn Bay’s next game is at home to Connah’s Quay Nomads on Tuesday (July 25th, 7:45pm kick-off)
TOP PICTURE: Astley Mulholland (left) scored Colwyn Bay’s goal against Bangor City.