CONOR Washington has described his brief stay at Newport County AFC as the best time of his life and backed his old teammates to win promotion again this season.
The 21-year-old striker from Cambridgeshire completed his dream move to League One Peterborough United yesterday in a deal that could eventually net the Exiles more than £500,000.
Washington, who arrived at Rodney Parade from lowly St Ives Town for a fee of around £5,000 in October 2012, was a key part of County’s promotion from the Conference last season.
And, while he’s delighted to have signed a three and a half year deal with Posh, he’s also gutted to be missing out on what he’s certain will be another promotion party with Justin Edinburgh’s men come May.
“I’m pleased that it’s all sorted out but I had to think long and hard about leaving Newport,” said Washington, County’s joint top scorer this season with seven goals.
“It has been the best 18 months of my life and I have so much respect for the gaffer, all the lads and most importantly the fans.
“Newport is the club that plucked me from non-league and gave me a chance to play in the Football League and I’ll always be grateful for that.
“The first season was hard for me but the gaffer stuck by me and so did the fans and the lads are just brilliant.
“I’ve made so many unbelievable friends in my time in Newport,” he added. “The team spirit is brilliant and I have no doubt that they can go up through the play-offs again.”
Washington is excited by the prospect of joining Darren Ferguson’s League One promotion chasers where he will come up against former County teammates Lee Evans at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Alex Gilbey at Colchester United.
“It is a fantastic move for me,” he said. “Not only because it is back home but because of Peterborough’s reputation for developing players.
“The gaffer (Justin Edinburgh) understood it was the right move for me and didn’t want to stand in my way, which is brilliant.
“I’ve only been a pro for 18 months so there’s a long way to go but I’m ambitious and it’s another step on the ladder for me.
“It’s Gilbey and Colchester on Saturday so I can’t wait for that and to come up against Evo as well.
“It’s a chance to possibly be playing in the Championship next season and it was too good to turn down.”
England Under-19 international front man Shaun Jeffers has moved the other way from London Road as part of the deal.
He could make his County debut at Southend United on Friday after last night’s home clash with Plymouth Argyle was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.