Donnelly: I signed to win league
COUNTY v TAMWORTH (Today, KO 3pm)
NEWPORT County AFC new boy Scott Donnelly says he signed for the Exiles for one reason – because they’re heading back to the Football League.
Donnelly, a deadline day arrival from Conference South club Farnborough, is set to make his County debut against Tamworth this afternoon.
And the 25-year-old former Queens Park Rangers, Aldershot Town and Swansea City midfielder is determined to get back to the big time with his new employers.
“When my agent called to say there was interest from Newport County I didn’t have to think twice about it,” said Donnelly, who has only played a handful of games this season for the Shots, Farnborough and on loan at Southend United.
“I wanted to get it sorted as soon as possible and get back playing football again.
“I’m a keen follower of football and Newport have been doing really well this season and, like me, the club is looking to get back into the Football League.
“The team plays attractive football – there’s been a lot of goals in the Newport games – and if we win our two games in hand we can go back to the top of the table.
“I played with Andy Sandell at Aldershot and Wycombe and from what I’ve seen of the others so far there are some very good players here and we’re going to give it a really good go to get promotion this season.”
After being frustrated by the weather as last week’s match against Kidderminster Harriers was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, Donnelly can’t wait to get his first taste of the Rodney Parade atmosphere today.
“I’ve had a whole week now to get to know the lads a bit better,” he said. “We had a practice match on Tuesday and I’ve really enjoyed my first week with the club.
“I’ve had five days training to get to know how the gaffer wants to play the game and it’s been good.
I’m looking forward to making my debut now and hopefully getting a positive result.”
County manager Justin Edinburgh is not concerned that his players will be rusty after three weeks without a match due to several postponements.
“It’s not ideal. You just have to keep training hard and, as always, the players’ attitude has been first class,” said the Exiles boss.
“We’re obviously desperate to get back to playing and hopeful that we can pick up our rhythm straight away. Hopefully this rest will mean we come back raring to go.
“It does give the injured players time to recover and the new players time to bed in as well but we know that now we are going to be playing twice a week from now on. I think most players prefer that.
“It’s going to be hectic but it’s the same for most teams now and we’re relishing the challenge.
You hope that the work we did in pre-season will prepare them for that and they should be coming towards peak fitness now.”
Top scorer Aaron O’Connor (thigh) and Andrew Hughes and Max Porter (both groin) are all ruled out due to injury today as the Exiles look to get back on winning track after their weather woes.