NEWPORT County’s Mike Flynn admits he has turned down financial security for a shot at leaving a lasting legacy at his hometown club.
The midfielder, who has played over 400 games in the Football League, is expected to be confirmed next week as Newport County AFC’s Development Coach, while at the same time continuing with his duties as a first team player.
It’s a far cry from earlier last season when manager Justin Edinburgh declared publically his intention to release Flynn.
The 33-year old vowed to try and prove the boss wrong and admits he turned down two concrete offers to move on and remain in the Football League.
Instead, Flynn will take a pay-cut and sacrifice his one day off a week in order to begin an exciting new chapter.
“The whole situation last season was unfortunate, the clauses in the contracts about automatic renewals forced the manager to speak about it and it didn’t look good for me,” Flynn explained.
“I felt I had played my best football for County up until Christmas and then I had a bad game and was out the side.
“It was a no-brainer for me to remove the clause and make myself available, but I still thought my time at County had come to an end.
“If I am honest, I am not sure I’d have got this second chance if we hadn’t had a bad run in terms of results.
“It gave me another opportunity to impress the manager and he was a big, big person for coming out and saying he’d changed his mind on me and maybe had made the wrong decision.
“You don’t get too much honesty like that in football and it only added in my mind that I wanted to stay.
“Another club had promised me that whatever Newport offered me, they would beat it and try and give me coaching opportunities.
“But it’s not about the money for me. It’s about being part of something special with the club I love.”
Flynn has already met with County’s first and second year scholars and has re-scheduled their training programme to ensure he’s available to run the sessions, including on the first team’s day off.
However, at 33-years old and having been a star turn for the Exiles at times last term, Flynn insists he’s far from finished as a player.
Indeed, he’s already planning not just for this season, but for next.
“I know some people, because Newport is a very cynical town, think I’m just going to be happy being this bit-part player picking up his wages and concentrating more on youth coaching than playing, but that isn’t me,” he said.
“As soon as I agreed to stay, about two days after the season ended, my pre-season started.
“I’ve been working really, really hard this summer and I feel as fit as I have done since I was 25 or 26 and that’s the truth.
“I expect to be quite hands on with the academy during pre-season, because I’m not going to need to do as much fitness work as some of the other first team players.
“And I’m not going to be content to be on the periphery.
“I still think I’ve got a lot to give the team and I’m not thinking about this season being my last.
“I’m hoping I’ll be able to earn another contract for next season.”
Don’t miss next week’s Argus Sport as Flynn outlines his blueprint for the Newport County Academy.