Mr Versatile finally finds his position... as replacement for Pipe

Gloucester City versus Newport County (pre-season friendly) SPEED Newport County's Robbie Willmott takes up play (8396858)

Gloucester City versus Newport County (pre-season friendly) FINE BALANCE Newport County's Robbie Willmott (8396840)

First published in Sport

NEWPORT County have finally named their replacement for right back David Pipe... left winger Robbie Willmott.

The Argus can reveal that Willmott, 24, who joined the Exiles from Cambridge as a left-sided attacking player, has confirmed to manager Justin Edinburgh his desire to be converted into a full back.

And Edinburgh has been so impressed with Willmott so far in pre-season he’s almost certain to start the ex-Luton man in a back four on August 9 when Wycombe travel to Rodney Parade for the big kick-off in League Two.

Ryan Jackson misses the season opener through suspension and Willmott has convinced Edinburgh he’s the man to deputise, ending the bosses’ desire to sign a replacement for Pipe for the right back slot.

Edinburgh confirmed: “Robbie asked me over the summer about becoming a full back, in terms of that being his first choice position and he did very well for us last season as a wing back.

“So we decided to have a look at Robbie playing as an orthodox right back and I’ve been really encouraged by what I’ve seen.

“We know about Robbie’s attacking strengths and he has great energy which suits being a full back as well.

“He’s not the finished article defensively, but we feel we can work on that.”

Willmott is now hopeful he can follow the likes of Atlético Madrid’s Juanfran in converting from flying winger to Mr Dependable at the back.

“I think right back is the one, that can be my position and I’ve definitely had a few in my time here,” Willmott confirmed.

“I feel really comfortable there, like it’s the position where I can play my best football and I’ve had a word with the gaffer and explained to him that that is where I’d like to play.

“The gaffer was a good fullback himself and he feels I can do a good job there and I have been surprised how natural it feels.

“It’s felt like an easy transition, I don’t mind the running and hard work and the defensive side, the boys are helping me.

“I’ve got Darren Jones, Ismail Yakubu and Lenny behind me all shouting and making sure I’m not switching off and they are a big help as well.

“It’s a big difference, I’ve learned a lot from playing wing-back last season and now I want to make the full back position my own, on the right or the left.”

Comments (4)

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7:55am Sat 26 Jul 14

Rodneyboy says...

Disappointed personally at this.I think Robbie should be left as an attacking wide man and Ryan Jackson developed in the right back position.Hope Justin proves but who else have we got as an attacking wide option?
Disappointed personally at this.I think Robbie should be left as an attacking wide man and Ryan Jackson developed in the right back position.Hope Justin proves but who else have we got as an attacking wide option? Rodneyboy
  • Score: 2

10:13am Sat 26 Jul 14

bodffordd says...

It's fantastic that a player with flair like Robbie wants to be at the back. I believe this shows the character of the guy, most players want the limelight, and that usually comes to the wingers, and strikers. Robbie will no doubt become a better stronger and more versatile player by moving back, but moving back in the County style of play, will also mean going forward. All the best to Robbie who will prove this is a good move, for him and us, it will be like having a new player.
It's fantastic that a player with flair like Robbie wants to be at the back. I believe this shows the character of the guy, most players want the limelight, and that usually comes to the wingers, and strikers. Robbie will no doubt become a better stronger and more versatile player by moving back, but moving back in the County style of play, will also mean going forward. All the best to Robbie who will prove this is a good move, for him and us, it will be like having a new player. bodffordd
  • Score: 3

11:35am Sat 26 Jul 14

b3talover says...

We could always play some strikers there. I mean we have enough. Thank God JE managed to secure the service of a dedicated RB. WHEN RJ gets injured the slide will be complete. County for the drop. Guaranteed.
We could always play some strikers there. I mean we have enough. Thank God JE managed to secure the service of a dedicated RB. WHEN RJ gets injured the slide will be complete. County for the drop. Guaranteed. b3talover
  • Score: -11

10:37am Sun 27 Jul 14

kernowkid says...

Replacement for Pipe? There's only one David Pipe! First half of last season with Pipe the team were on fire, second half of the season with Pipe being phased out for so-called "contractual reasons"...only just hung on and survived! Don't understand why a player who had county blood running through his veins could be treated so badly. County need some "blood and guts" players and leaders on the pitch if they are to mount a challenge and not just aim to survive in the football league.
Replacement for Pipe? There's only one David Pipe! First half of last season with Pipe the team were on fire, second half of the season with Pipe being phased out for so-called "contractual reasons"...only just hung on and survived! Don't understand why a player who had county blood running through his veins could be treated so badly. County need some "blood and guts" players and leaders on the pitch if they are to mount a challenge and not just aim to survive in the football league. kernowkid
  • Score: 1

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