ROBBIE Willmott is “over the moon” to be back at Newport County AFC, two years after he was released by former Exiles boss Terry Butcher.
The versatile Willmott, who turned 27 on Monday, has returned to Rodney Parade following spells in non-league football with Ebbsfleet United, Bishop’s Stortford and Chelmsford City.
A part of the County side that won promotion to League Two in 2013, Willmott jumped at the chance to “come home”, insisting he never wanted to leave in the first place.
Willmott was working as a maintenance man for Tesco when he heard that current manager Mike Flynn wanted him to re-join the Exiles following his side’s great escape from relegation.
“As soon as the move was put to me I discussed it with my family and that was it, I said yes,” said Willmott, who has signed a two-year deal. “It feels amazing to come back, I’m over the moon.
“The club wasn’t just good to me before, it was good to my family, it made them feel very welcome.
“It’s like I’ve come home. I feel like I’m at home when I’m here, and playing at Rodney Parade is such a homely feeling for me.
“I’ve got such a great respect for the manager and the cub that I’m now able to come back and do a proper job for them. I love this club so much.”
Reflecting on his departure under Butcher, he added: “I didn’t want to leave the last time.
“The manager wanted a change but I love this club that much that I would have taken a pay cut to stay here, I wanted to stay that much.
“It was emotional. I thought I would get another year but it didn’t work out and it was really hard to leave.”
Willmott was actually going to quit the game last summer before deciding to play on at Chelmsford – and what a decision it proved to be.
He was named players’ player of the year and player of the year after helping the Essex outfit to the National League South play-offs.
And now that he is back, Willmott wants to do what-ever he can to help the Exiles.
“I can play in a number of positions and know what the club and fans expect so that makes it easier for me,” he said.
“I love the club and will give everything to get it going in the right direction.
“I think the momentum the club has with the players signing, the manager and people behind the scenes means we can go up.
“It can go anywhere it wants to go, it has got such great potential and a great fan base.
“I think I missed the supporters most after I left before, walking out and hearing your name being sung by fans you respect so much is such a great feeling.
“Dropping into non-league was a tough decision but now I’m back I hope I can strike up another bond with the fans and push this club up.”