NEWPORT County are offering new deals to the bulk of their squad, including midfielder Mike Flynn, the Argus can reveal.
Only defenders Harry Worley and David Pipe, midfielder Ryan Burge and striker Aaron Holloway have been released by the Exiles as manager Justin Edinburgh sets about fine-tuning his squad.
However, although County fans will be jubilant at boss Edinburgh performing a U-turn on Flynn, question marks remain on another hometown hero, defender Byron Anthony.
Anthony had further surgery on his leg injury - having sustained a double fracture back in August in the Capital One Cup win at Premier League chasing Brighton - last Wednesday, and will meet with Justin Edinburgh this week. Any decision on his future is likely to involve consultation with Newport physio Adam Roche, though it is understood there is goodwill on all sides to finding an agreement.
County also list Wales international Darcy Blake and Mike Flynn as ‘in negotiations,’ in their embargoed briefing to the media, though the Argus understands both players will definitely be offered new terms.
Blake’s future is very much in his own hands as he lays out his criteria to County and ponders other offers and it is understood discussions with Flynn will centre not on the issue of staying or leaving, but what role he’ll assume, with the possibility of a dual player/coach role. The Argus has had it confirmed by a couple of sources that Flynn will indeed be an Exile next season.
However, County have also officially agreed that a slew of players will be staying next term.
Deals are now in place for Ryan Jackson and Jamie Stephens, who join Andrew Hughes, Adam Chapman, Aaron O’Connor, Robbie Willmott, Shaun Jeffers, Christian Jolley, Rene Howe and Joe Parker in being confirmed for Rodney Parade next term.
County have also offered deals to goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley, defenders Ismail Yakubu and Andy Sandell, midfielder Lee Minshull and strikers Chris Zebroski and Danny Crow.
Defender/coach Tony James won’t be offered a renewal of his current agreement, but has been retained by the club as strength and conditioning coach.
The news that Flynn is staying at the club will come as a huge relief to supporters.
Boss Edinburgh previously revealed both Flynn and Pipe would be leaving the club, but a series of excellent performances and Flynn’s “brilliant attitude,” according to Edinburgh, prompted a rethink.
It was abundantly clear in County’s 2-1 win over Rochdale on Saturday that Flynn is still a key performer for Newport and the fan response to him has seemingly proved impossible for Edinburgh to ignore.
The releases of Burge and Worley won’t come as any surprise as both have been peripheral figures in 2014.
Worley has figured only twice since February and Burge, a regular around the turn of the year, simply hasn’t established himself at the Exiles.
He’s had an uneasy relationship with Edinburgh and hasn’t played for a month despite being fit, though some of that time he was absent on compassionate leave.
Edinburgh has stated he is targeting six or seven summer signings to round out his squad for the 2014/15 season.
Retained players: Andrew Hughes, Adam Chapman, Aaron O'Connor, Robbie Wilmott, Shaun Jeffers, Ryan Jackson, Christian Jolley, Jamie Stephens, Joe Parker and Rene Howe.
Offered contracts: Lenny Pidgeley, Max Porter, Ismail Yakubu, Lee Minshull, Chris Zebroski, Andy Sandell, Danny Crow.
Released: David Pipe, Ryan Burge, Harry Worley.
Returned to parent clubs: Tom Naylor, Kevin Feely, Ian McLoughlin.
In talks: Mike Flynn, Byron Anthony, Darcy Blake.