IT’S never nice to say goodbye to fans’ favourites and the loss of Gary Warren and Sam Foley is even sadder as it marks the end of an era at Spytty Park.
That’s not a typo, because it’s the Dean Holdsworth team that won the Conference South title at Spytty Park that is now fully disbanded as the Exiles usher in a new era at Rodney Parade.
There are two things that I want to say about that and the first is to merely be ebullient in praise for the departing duo, plus another key cog of the Holdsworth side who has also departed.
Simply put, Gary Warren and Sam Foley have both been enormously important players for Newport and have both served the club with distinction.
It should also be acknowledged what a wonderful servant Glyn Thompson was to the club. He too is one of the best Newport have had since reformation.
There were about five Sam Foleys in his three years with the Exiles, such is the talent of a player who didn’t know until his mid 20s where his best position is.
There was ‘number 10’ Foley, the guy who, in tandem with Craig Reid, scored goals (including the two that won Newport promotion) and played in the hole.
There was ‘number 9’ Foley who banged in a hat-trick as a targetman at, of all places, Fleetwood, and he also starred for County in a winger’s role and as a central midfielder. At Wembley as a Claude Makelele type.
Sam is a player with superb potential and League One Yeovil is a great move for him.
Ditto captain fantastic Warren who is off to the Scottish Premier League to join Terry Butcher’s Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Warren’s contribution since joining from Team Bath has been immense and it’s amazing to think he’s now a SPL player despite only turning pro a year ago.
Warren’s bravery, leadership and knack of scoring goals makes him an ideal captain and both he and Foley contributed massively to Newport remaining a Conference club this term.
Both players leave with nothing but good wishes from County and that’s lovely to see.
You can’t make money every time a player leaves.
But what of that side?
Gary Warren has gone to the SPL and Paul Bignot to the Championship. Craig Reid and Sam Foley are both League One players now and Danny Rose will be in League Two. Jamie Collins went to Aldershot and now could win the Conference with moneybags Forest Green and Charlie Henry, but for injury, could’ve been a big hit at Luton.
County have proved themselves as a launching pad to bigger things and in terms of attracting new recruits, that isn’t to be sniffed at.
So good luck Sam, good luck skipper and good luck to Glyn Thompson.
Thanks for the memories.