SOMETIME this week I expect Newport County to announce the signing of Darren Jones and contract renewals for Byron Anthony and Mike Flynn and I couldn't be more delighted.

There is a connection to all three players, namely that they are all from Newport, born and bred and that is a very, very good thing.

I've seen Newport County sides down the years whose fans sang anti-English songs at footballing outposts, while at the same time there was the hilarious irony that all 11 County players on the pitch were English.

No more. Justin Edinburgh is keen on a local core and I think it has a double benefit.

Footballers who have the same passion for a club as supporters are few and far between and that's why hometown players are rightly so popular, they understand you because they are you. These players went to school with those stood on the terraces at Rodney Parade.

It also sends the right message in terms of how you see your future.

Football League success can come down to pounds and pennies just like the upper echelons of the Premier League and focus will and should increasingly be on developing young talent.

And what better message to send young players in South Wales than having home grown players in your ranks?

Flynn is a product of the County academy and Jones and Anthony have both gravitated to their hometown club. County have also been successful in the past in enticing players who have been discarded at youth level and developing them with both Andrew Hughes and Lee Evans prime examples.

There should be a pride in playing for your local club and if Newport can make it so that kids in the city dream of playing for the County rather than Cardiff City, the dividends would be massive.

On a final note, and still with the County youth system in mind, it's only right to pay tribute to Glyn Jones,

Glyn has given County decades of service and he's had some major successes down the years with some real talent coming through the County Academy.

He's given an entire lifetime to football as a former player and much of his time in the game has been to County's benefit.

He deserves nothing but appreciation and has been a key figure for the club since their reincarnation.