FC OSWESTRY Town were left with a thin squad over the weekend as they are still awaiting international clearance for players they are set to loan from Welsh Premier League side TNS.

Town suffered a 3-0 defeat on Saturday to Stockport Town before picking up a point in an entertaining 5-5 draw against New Mills on Monday.

The North West Counties League side have tried bringing in a number of loan players to boost their options, but the moves are being held up as they await the go-ahead from the Welsh FA.

They are also close to bringing in former player Louis Moss.

Moss is awaiting clearance from the Australian FA before the Barbados international can rejoin his old club.

Chairman Ian Jones has admitted it has taken far longer than usual for the Welsh FA to approve the clearances, leaving the squad lower on numbers than they would have liked at this point in the season.

He said: “We’re not too sure what’s going on. Usually you can apply for international clearance on the Monday and it’s all done by the Friday, but we’re not too sure why it’s taking so long.

“We understand that because some of the players we’re bringing in are under the age of 18, there are different rules that mean it can take slightly longer to get clearance for them because of safeguarding issues. But it has taken even longer than we expected.”

Ian admits it is confusing for the procedure to drag on as long as it has, and they have not been given any indication by the Welsh FA why it might be happening.

“It’s something we’ve had to do several times with players being at a club which is based right on the border, but it’s not taken this long in the past.

“Our secretary has had a tough time trying to keep up to date with where the Welsh FA are at in terms of the clearances – they’ve been difficult to get hold of.”

Town had two fixtures in the space of three days over the bank-holiday weekend, something Ian believes was made even more difficult without having the new signings available to play.

“Our game on Saturday was made even more difficult by the fact we didn’t have the luxury of picking from another four or five top players who are being held up by the situation.

“Stockport Town, who we faced on Saturday, had a few lads who have come from Stockport County to play for them for the season – we’re hoping to be able to do something similar.

“We are waiting on the Australian FA for international clearance for former player Louis Moss, and there are a few youngsters from TNS we are bringing in on loan, with one TNS player coming in from the first-team squad.

“In the league we’re competing in, it’s common to see sides bringing in players on loan from clubs in their area who are a bit higher up the pyramid.”

FA Wales were unavailable for comment at the time the Advertizer went to press.

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