Kevin Feely could join new arrivals but Exiles' Darcy Blake hopes fade
NEWPORT County AFC manager Justin Edinburgh unveiled his first signings of the summer at Rodney Parade yesterday and could soon add Kevin Feely to his squad for next season.
The Exiles boss has snapped up free agents Darren Jones and Yan Klukowski and the Argus understands that Feely could be persuaded to sign on as well.
But Wales international Darcy Blake is unlikely to be wearing a County shirt next season.
Newport-born central defender Jones, who turns 31 in August, has agreed a one-year deal to return to County nine years after his last spell at the club after rejecting a new contract at League Two rivals AFC Wimbledon.
Midfielder Klukowski, aged 27, has signed a two-year contract with the Exiles after turning down a lucrative new deal with Forest Green Rovers.
“I’m delighted to have secured two of our targets for the summer already,” said Edinburgh.
“Both turned down new contracts with their former clubs and it’s not about finance with them it’s about them buying into what we are trying to do here.
“Hopefully we’ll have a couple more as well but we were able to keep the nucleus of the side and I believe with the continuity we’ve got here we should have another exciting season ahead of us.
“The aim is to better ourselves again and keep developing as a Football League club.”
Mike Flynn and Byron Anthony are expected to agree new contracts this week with Flynn also taking on a coaching role with the club’s academy.
“I’m speaking with both Michael and Byron,” said Edinburgh. “Michael is a bit different because we’re combining playing with coaching but that shouldn’t be a problem.
“With Byron we need to make sure that he’s going to recover how he would want to. I have no doubt he will but we need to make sure because we were hurt with far too many injuries last season.”
The club announced yesterday that Feely had decided to return to Ireland to pursue a career in Gaelic Football.
But the 21-year-old, who enjoyed an impressive loan spell with the Exiles after arriving from Charlton Athletic in March, is since understood to have had a change of heart.
The club believe that he could agree a permanent deal following the end of his contract with the Addicks.
But Edinburgh’s hopes of signing Blake appear to be over with the 25-year-old from New Tredegar looking to return to play at a higher level after eight appearances for County.
“I spoke to Darcy’s representatives and unfortunately I don’t think we’re going to be able to come to a compromise,” said Edinburgh.
“We needed to improve the deal that he came here in March and we understood that but it looks like Darcy is looking at other avenues now.”
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