NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh today receives a ringing endorsement from one of the greatest players in the history of the Premier League, France international David Ginola.
The 1999 double footballer of the year was a teammate of Edinburgh’s at Tottenham and admits the pair formed a close bond in N17.
Ginola was a darling of White Hart Lane whereas Edinburgh was a more understated performer, but the pair formed a partnership on the left flank in the campaign in which Ginola won the Carling Cup and every individual honour going.
Ginola has been in Newport this week as he is doing one of the much-heralded UEFA A license courses at Dragon Park, the state-of-the-art Football Association of Wales facility at the International Sports Village.
And the exploits of Newport County are being recognised in the corridors of power at the FAW with other Premier League stars such as former Spur Michael Brown and ex-Chelsea defender Frank Sinclair, now manager of Colwyn Bay, also keen to praise the work Edinburgh has done at Rodney Parade.
Edinburgh has taken the Exiles from the bottom of the Conference to a debut season in the Football League, via Wembley (twice) and Ginola for one isn’t surprised.
Speaking exclusively to Argus Sport, who spent an afternoon observing the coaching course, Ginola explained: “Justin Edinburgh, there is a good man, a good player and now a good manager.
“We had some good times with Justin, he always had to track back and get the ball for me and worked hard when I sometimes didn’t and he’s the kind of guy who would have a good relationship with his players.
“We enjoyed playing together and I respect the fact he’s done a brilliant job, he’s gone into management with clear ideas about what he wants to do, he gets the most out of his players, playing as a team and that’s what I want to achieve when I go into management.
“You want a family feel, for everyone at the club to be as one and at ease and everyone we speak to about Newport says that is the case with County.”
Colwyn Bay boss Sinclair, a favourite at Stamford Bridge, admits Edinburgh is a lesson to any aspiring manager.
“I’ve been at Colwyn 17 months, it’s not the Premier League, but it’s a great education for me,” Sinclair explained.
“Back in the day if you’d played in the Premier League, you’d get a Football League job, but the game is advanced of that now.
“I’m grateful to have a chance at Conference level, Ron Atkinson told me he thinks every manager should start at a lower level and I agree with that.
“Justin has done a cracking job at Newport, the club are going in the right direction and he’s a fine example of a modern coach, he’s progressing quickly but he’s learning throughout the process.”
Brown, who last season was playing Championship football with Leeds, would happily follow Edinburgh’s lead.
“It’s a hard job, finding an opportunity is hard and Justin’s going really well down at Newport,” he explained.
“Now they are established, if he ever moved higher, there would be a lot of good candidates interested in going there.”