Justin Edinburgh wields the axe on trio

South Wales Argus: Justin Edinburgh wields the axe on trio Justin Edinburgh wields the axe on trio

NEWPORT County AFC boss Justin Edinburgh yesterday told three members of his squad to find new clubs.

Goalkeeper Alan Julian, winger Ben Swallow and midfielder Scott Donnelly join Jake Harris, Will Evans, Michael Boateng and Joe Perry in leaving Rodney Parade. Midfielder Jake Thomson has also been released.

The former Tottenham defender has now spoken to every player in his first team squad and has agreed fresh terms with all but defender Ismail Yakubu and strikers Rhys Griffiths and Aaron O’Connor.

That means Lenny Pidgeley, David Pipe, Andrew Hughes Andy Sandell, Tony James, Byron Anthony, Lee Minshull, Mike Flynn, Danny Crow, Christian Jolley, Robbie Willmott and Conor Washington are secured for next term.

It is understood the Exiles are confident Yakubu will opt to remain at the club, but O’Connor is in demand and has received an offer from another suitor.

However, boss Edinburgh is hoping his relationship with the player will prove enough to keep last season’s top scorer for at least another season and Griffiths should also stay on a l continued from back page short-term deal. Boss Edinburgh was delighted to have achieved so much in just 48 hours since Wednesday’s open top bus parade through the city.

“To have all but two (O’Connor and Yakubu) in the bag at this stage is a real boost to us,” he said.

“It clearly shows that we have a group who are very together and keen to keep progressing and moving this club forward.

“I believe this to be a special group of players and I feel there is more to come from them.

“The way we performed in the three play-off games shows that they have the drive and the desire to succeed in the most testing times and I think there is more to come from this group.”

Edinburgh also admitted the three released players had been extremely unlucky.

“Alan Julian just had such an unfortunate time with us from minute one,” said the manager.

“He was injured in pre-season and then we had to go and get Lenny Pidgeley to cover his injury.

“He’s too good a goalkeeper to be an automatic number two.

“Ben Swallow has also been unlucky with injuries and he needs regular football at his age (23), which I am not sure I can offer him.

“It’s the same with Scott. He’s done very well for us but can I see him starting a lot of games next season? If I’m honest, probably not.”

The Exiles will leave next week for a team-building/bonding holiday to Portugal and Edinburgh is hopeful that the Yakubu and O’Connor situations will be settled by then one way or the other.

However, irrespective of those negotiations, Edinburgh is already working on bringing some fresh blood into his ranks.

He met an agent yesterday to discuss two potential transfer targets and is also trying to complete a deal to take a midfielder on a Bosman free transfer.

“We have an excellent opportunity to really push this club on now,” said Edinburgh.

“We’ve had a week of revelry and celebration, but the hard work begins now.”

The Argus can also confirm director of football Tim Harris is working on securing County a permanent training base for next term.

Comments (9)

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10:10am Sat 11 May 13

County Till I Die says...

Not unexpected on the release front but Scott Donnelly is very unlucky. This manager has a ruthless streak that I like. Shows an ambition and determination to never stand still and maintain the process of improvement. We already knew that success in football comes in this way. No room for sentiment but again unlucky Scott, you played your part in our success and have now become a victim of it. Good luck, you're too good a footballer to be without a club for long.
Not unexpected on the release front but Scott Donnelly is very unlucky. This manager has a ruthless streak that I like. Shows an ambition and determination to never stand still and maintain the process of improvement. We already knew that success in football comes in this way. No room for sentiment but again unlucky Scott, you played your part in our success and have now become a victim of it. Good luck, you're too good a footballer to be without a club for long. County Till I Die
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Sat 11 May 13

NakedDancer says...

Agreed. All the players played their parts in the promotion success but Donnelly did particular well. He will be a great signing for his next club.
Agreed. All the players played their parts in the promotion success but Donnelly did particular well. He will be a great signing for his next club. NakedDancer
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Sat 11 May 13

jetspotter says...

At the age he is and with a somewhat chequered professional career behind him I would have thought that Aaron would have been happy to sign a new contract with County. He has done well for us, is obviously appreciated by the manager and the fans and is part of an exciting future with an ambitious forward thinking club.You only have to look at the Deano situation to realise that the grass is seldom greener on the other side ! Come on Aaron sign that contract !!
At the age he is and with a somewhat chequered professional career behind him I would have thought that Aaron would have been happy to sign a new contract with County. He has done well for us, is obviously appreciated by the manager and the fans and is part of an exciting future with an ambitious forward thinking club.You only have to look at the Deano situation to realise that the grass is seldom greener on the other side ! Come on Aaron sign that contract !! jetspotter
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2:42pm Sat 11 May 13

NakedDancer says...

Yes - it would be a massive gamble for O'Connor to leave a club, fans and manager that appreciate his strengths rather than focus on his weaknesses as his previous clubs have.
Yes - it would be a massive gamble for O'Connor to leave a club, fans and manager that appreciate his strengths rather than focus on his weaknesses as his previous clubs have. NakedDancer
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Sat 11 May 13

larneman says...

Good luck Scot and Ben. Wherever you go you will be always remembered by County fans. Personally I would have kept you on but that's me. I'm sure we will hear more about you and I'm sure you will succeed wherever you go. Thanks for everything you have done for County.
Good luck Scot and Ben. Wherever you go you will be always remembered by County fans. Personally I would have kept you on but that's me. I'm sure we will hear more about you and I'm sure you will succeed wherever you go. Thanks for everything you have done for County. larneman
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Sat 11 May 13

Slider02 says...

Scot and Ben did well - so i wish them well where ever they go next season
Scot and Ben did well - so i wish them well where ever they go next season Slider02
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Sat 11 May 13

emlynkide says...

NakedDancer wrote:
Yes - it would be a massive gamble for O'Connor to leave a club, fans and manager that appreciate his strengths rather than focus on his weaknesses as his previous clubs have.
yes keep your airon and sign.
[quote][p][bold]NakedDancer[/bold] wrote: Yes - it would be a massive gamble for O'Connor to leave a club, fans and manager that appreciate his strengths rather than focus on his weaknesses as his previous clubs have.[/p][/quote]yes keep your airon and sign. emlynkide
  • Score: 0

8:41am Sun 12 May 13

llandaff says...

Come on Aaron now is not the time to play games.
You are good yes, but you will be even better next season in league 2 playing in County colours!!!
Please don't desert the manager and fans who kept the faith.
Sign up, you know you want to!
Come on Aaron now is not the time to play games. You are good yes, but you will be even better next season in league 2 playing in County colours!!! Please don't desert the manager and fans who kept the faith. Sign up, you know you want to! llandaff
  • Score: 0

9:20pm Sun 12 May 13

sooty001 says...

Sad to hear about Scot & Ben but that,s football, J E has the bottle to let them go he must have someone better lined up, I don,t think Aaron want,s to mess around for to long because sometimes better the devil you know and the grass is not always greener on the other side. And I would back J E whatever he decided.
Sad to hear about Scot & Ben but that,s football, J E has the bottle to let them go he must have someone better lined up, I don,t think Aaron want,s to mess around for to long because sometimes better the devil you know and the grass is not always greener on the other side. And I would back J E whatever he decided. sooty001
  • Score: 0

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