CEFN Druids Football Club have revealed ambitious plans for a fitness centre and hotel complex at The Rock as part of a potential investment of up to £500,000.

The Welsh Premier outfit hope an injection of cash from local businessmen Jamie Digwood and Des Williams will transform their fortunes off the pitch while on it develop local talent through a thriving academy to help lay down a challenge to “full-time” clubs such as TNS and Connah’s Quay.

The Ancients’ manager Huw Griffiths has been installed as the club’s sporting director to help spearhead the project, while assistant manager Jayson Starkey has also taken on a full-time role, combining his role with the club’s academy with that of Commercial Manager.

Mr Williams, who owns Wrexham-based Global Travel Worldwide, says Wales’ oldest football club is looking to forge links with clubs in Spain and Portugal, where his business partner, the owner of sports tour firm Complete Sports Solutions, is resident.

He says the “take-over” of the club by two major sponsors is a community venture and neither plan on taking a profit or dividend for at least five years.

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Cefn Druids in action

“We are budgeting for a “mid-range” six-figure investment in the club in a bid to get into the top six in the Welsh Premier with a view to playing regular European football,” said Mr Williams.

“We are planning for the academy and want to have at least four players coming into the first team. This is about development in the community and recruiting from Wales.”

The businessman is in talks with a brewery about taking on board a nearby pub while plans for the hotel and centre are in the pipeline.

“It’s an intensive plan and we are absolutely going for it,” he added.

The duo put their proposal to club chairman John Hughes - who has been given the role overseeing scouting and recruitment - and the deal has been rubber-stamped by the Druids board.

As part of the redevelopment at The Rock in Rhosymedre the current ground capacity of 2,500 will be boosted by expanding the existing 500-seat stand in line with UEFA regulations so Druids can host European games.

Cefn Druids currently sit in seventh place in the table, but the investors hope their investment will help Huw Griffiths improve his squad.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the community in Cefn Mawr and Rhosymedre, but the plan is also to take Cefn Druids full-time,” said Mr Griffiths.

“We want to be going full-time and the chance of loaning players from clubs abroad is very exciting.

“This is about making the club financially secure. We’ve struggled to compete with Welsh Premier teams. But it is about a community model for development. Jamie is a former player of the club and worked at Wrexham’s Academy

“And Des and his family have been suppliers to us before, so they are both familiar faces.”