ROBBIE Willmott believes his future is Black and Amber after celebrating a new deal 18-month deal with the Exiles by scoring in Saturday’s thrilling 3-3 draw at Accrington.
Willmott, County’s Mr Versatile, put in another eye-catching display, this time at left wing-back as Newport came back from the abyss to snatch a draw.
Willmott, still only 23, put the Exiles ahead with a fine freekick, his fifth of the season and then provided the pinpoint cross that allowed Lee Minshull to score a dramatic equaliser in added on time.
Signed from Cambridge United, where he was a peripheral figure in a mid-table Conference outfit a year ago, for a nominal fee and as a right winger, Willmott’s rise at Newport has been incredible.
This season alone he’s played on both wings, as a central midfielder, in the number 10 role, as a left wing-back and a left back, featuring in 31 of Newport’s 33 games in all competitions.
Only Conor Washington has played more (32 from 33) and Willmott is delighted with life at Rodney Parade.
And in a change from the stereotypical story of a player banging on a manager’s door to demand improved terms, Willmott revealed his new contract came totally out of the blue.
“It is probably the best way to celebrate signing a new deal, scoring a goal, even if it was a fortunate one because somebody bottled it in the wall,” he said.
“I don’t mind, as long as they go in and I’m delighted to celebrate a new deal.
“I was buzzing, the gaffer called me in and said I had done really well and they wanted to reward me.
“It took a bit of time, as all deals do, but I was delighted to sign it the night before the Accrington game.
“It’s been a great move for me, coming here from Cambridge and I’m really happy to commit my future to the club.”
Willmott admits he’s relished becoming a key cog for County.
“I am surprised to play so much and in so many positions, to be honest,” he said.
“I am pretty surprised, shocked, that I probably play my best football at wing-back, but I have always said I will play anywhere the gaffer wants me to do a job for the team.”
Manager Justin Edinburgh heaped praise on the ex-Luton man.
“No one would have probably expected that Robbie and Conor (Washington) would’ve played virtually every game, but it’s a reflection on how well they’ve been playing,” he said.
“Robbie has been very dependable for us, he has played about 30 games. He has been excellent and in a variety of different positions.
“We want to build for the long term and Robbie is a key part in that.”