NEWPORT County’s newest recruit Elliot Parish is hoping to have a similar effect at the Exiles as his close friend Karl Darlow.
In an exclusive interview with Argus Sport, Parish explains how a call to the Darlow family helped convince the Bristol City stopper to switch Ashton Gate for Rodney Parade.
The 23-year old, who has played 26 games in all competitions for the Robins this season, joins the Exiles on a 28-day emergency loan to cover the double-injury to Newport’s goalkeepers Lenny Pidgeley and Jamie Stephens.
It’s a move that came about due to the friendship between City boss Steve Cotterill and County’s director of Football Tim Harris, just as Darlow’s did in 2012, Cotterill then the manager of Nottingham Forest.
And Parish is hopeful he can follow in Darlow’s footsteps and make his mark at Newport.
“Karl is a good friend of mine and obviously he was a very big hit at Newport, hopefully I can do the same,” he said.
“The gaffer (Steve Cotterill) told me about how well Karl did at Newport and I know he really enjoyed the experience.
“I first heard about Newport’s interest on Friday and one of the first things we did was my dad rang Karl’s dad.
“He talked very highly of Newport, said Karl loved his time here and that was great to hear.”
Parish, who began his career at Aston Villa and also played for Cardiff City (without playing for the first team) is making the daily trip over the Severn Bridge for one reason only.
“I need to be playing games,” he explained.
“I have played 26 times this season but I’ve been knocked out of the team recently.
“Some players would probably prefer to be in a higher division, even if it means being on the bench and collecting your wages, but that just isn’t for me.
“I am very glad to have the opportunity to get some games.”
Parish confesses he’s endured a frustrating first week at Rodney Parade, with yet another game being postponed because of the weather.
“It’s been frustrating for all the boys, everyone is desperate to play,” he explained.
“But despite that, I am enjoying myself here because it’s a good dressing room. I’ve been made to feel very welcome.”
And Parish believes Newport have the quality to push for promotion this season.
“You would rather have points than games in hand at this stage of the season, but as they are only one place outside the play-offs, you’d have to say Newport are definite contenders,” he said.
“There is no reason with the quality I’ve seen in training why they can’t push for promotion.”
Bristol City manager Cotterill believes Parish can be a big hit for Newport and is glad he was able to facilitate the move.
“I’m really pleased for Elliott. Had he stayed here, he would have only played in under-21 games,” he said.
“But now he will have the opportunity to play regular first team football and joining Newport keeps him in the Football League.”
Justin Edinburgh has already lauded his capture.
“Really, Elliot is a level beyond that which you could reasonably expect to sign on an emergency loan, he’s a top goalkeeper,” he said.
“We are exceptionally grateful to Bristol City and their manager Steve Cotterill for allowing us to do the deal and I have to thank Tim Harris, because he’s got a strong friendship with Steve that made this possible.
“Elliot is keen to play games – and he’ll certainly get a chance with us playing so many – and he’s delighted to be here and we are equally delighted to have him.”
Meanwhile young striker Aaron Holloway has signed on non-contract terms with the club after impressing in training over the past few weeks.
With the paperwork completed, the club is now waiting on the international clearance for the former Wales under-17 and under-19 international.
Holloway grew up in Cardiff before signing with the Bristol City Academy and progressing to earn a full time contract before reaching an agreement to be released by the Robins last month.
He turns 21 next week and is hopeful of breaking into the squad as soon as possible.