Pritchard Brothers ship in

New Melville signings Mike (left in the photo above) and Craig Pritchard have arrived from Wales and are itching to play in the home Chatham Cup derby against Claudelands Rovers on Saturday (2pm).

Both players were registered on May 16 within the Comet system, meaning they have cleared the 10-day transfer minimum required deadline for cup matches.

A combination of departures, injuries, and troubling league table position prompted Melville to beef up the squad mid-season. The brothers heard of the opening through Josh Davies – Craig had played with him and Mike had known him for many years – and put their hands up.

Both are highly regarded attacking players in their native North Wales.

Mike, 27, was with Rhyl FC, in the Cumbria Alliance League, where he earned a reputation as a crafty, creative player, preferring to play as striker, “or in the hole”.

“This was a new challenge, a different sort of opportunity,” he said of his decision to accept Melville’s offer.

“We both decided at the same time, it was a no-brainer for us.”

Two years ago he was part of the Cefn Druids squad which qualified for the Europa League.

Craig, a 22-year-old plasterer has come from Colwyn Bay is at his best on the wing, or in the No 10 role with his quick feet and cultured passing. He has also represented Wales in futsall.

“It was just a matter of experience to come out and play in a different country,” he said. “I’d heard good things about Melville, and the New Zealand lifestyle.”

Both brothers cite their father, Allan Pritchard, a noted player, as a major influence, while their late mother, Helena, played for Wales.

The have been impressed with what they have seen so far, and described the Gower Park No 1 pitch as being like Wembley.

# Patrons planning on attending the Chatham Cup tie are advised to allow plenty of time to find a park, etc, with a good crowd expected.

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