HAVING put the “A Spotlight On” articles on hold for awhile, I have decided that now will be a good time to bring it back with a Welsh Premier League/Welsh lower leagues twist.
In the past, I have focused on the likes of Sadio Mane (following his move to Liverpool) and Alvaro Negredo. This time around, I’m going to be focusing on Welsh League players as well as Premier League players just to mix things up a little. First in the series is The New Saints’ Adrian Cieslewicz. Enjoy!
Age: 26 years old.
Current Club: The New Saints
Former Clubs: Manchester City, Wrexham, Kidderminster Harriers.
Did you know?: Adrian came up against his brother, Lukasz, when TNS faced B36 Torshavn (Faroe Islands) in a Champions League first qualifying round match back in 2015.
FANS of the Welsh Premier League will by now be more than familiar with TNS’ Adrian Cieslewicz, as he has established a reputation as one of the most creative midfielders in Wales’ top flight.
The 26-year-old was once a trainee at Manchester City before he went on to spend five years with National League side Wrexham, where he became a favourite amongst many of their fans. During his time at the Racecourse, he scored 16 goals from 90 appearances including the now famous winner in the 2013 FA Trophy final.
He left Wrexham in January 2014 and joined Kidderminster Harriers, but was released at the end of an unsuccessful season. After another brief spell with B36 Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, he signed for The New Saints in August 2014.
For the Saints, he has become a pivotal player and one of the most exciting players in the WPL on his day. His movement, pace and ability to get past a defender puts him a class above the rest at times.
The Polish winger has scored 32 times in 76 appearances for the club and his best season came last year, when he netted 12 times in 17 matches despite struggling with injury. His tally speaks for itself as his goal haul is pretty impressive for a player who spends most of the match out wide.
Cieslewicz’s performances last season did not go unnoticed either, as after helping TNS win their sixth successive Welsh Premier League title, he was named in the Team of the Season at the end of the campaign, highlighting his importance to both the club and the league itself.
His ability to create goals as well as score them makes him a threat to any side, particularly when TNS play their quick counter-attacking football.
This season, despite a relatively slow start from the champions, Cieslewicz will be looking to be one of their main men once again and I think he will do just that, using his experience of having played in other leagues across Britain.
His, at times, fiery temper and his trademark headband, as well as his mazy dribbling, have made him something of a cult hero in the WPL and I’m sure most fans would agree that he is one of the best players currently playing in the top flight.
He may have left Wrexham under slightly controversial circumstances but his time at Park Avenue, in which he has won the title in every season he’s been there so far, has seen him flourish into a great player.
Playing around the likes of Jon Routledge, Ryan Brobbel and Jamie Mullan has certainly helped to improve his game and I think that we’ll see him continue to shine for however long he stays with the champions.