NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh believes he has pulled off “a magnificent coup,” after signing defender Kevin Feely.
The 21-year old, who spent ten games on loan at Rodney Parade last season from Charlton Athletic, joins on a free after his contract with the Addicks expired.
He has penned a two-year deal and after convincing Feely to join, Edinburgh couldn’t hide his delight.
“I’m very happy to have got the deal done, we’ve had to be a little bit patient, for non-footballing reasons,” he said.
“We had to consider the fact we have a young boy here, coming to England and setting out on a professional career at Charlton that hadn’t gone as planned.
“It’s only natural he’s become a little bit homesick and once we got him here on loan, we turned his head a bit.
“There were still doubts in his mind and we needed to give him plenty of time and we were happy to do so.
“I think it’s a massive accomplishment to sign him, he’s a magnificent coup for the football club.
“I really feel he’s got a big, big future, he’s not played too much senior football, but in his ten games with us he got better and better.
“He had a shaky start in his first game at Torquay, we were looking in the first half and thinking ‘have we done the right thing here?’ but he improved on the day and throughout the whole spell here.
“He was our player of the month for the last month and we’ve done a lot of talking and I was glad I was able help him decide to come here.”
Edinburgh appreciates that Feely was drawn to the idea of playing Gaelic football in his native Ireland.
“It was a big draw for him, if you’re brought up in Ireland and that’s one of your sports and you’re good at it, which he is, it’s a head-turner,” he said.
“But there aren’t many who come into this club and don’t embrace it and I was always ultimately confident Kevin would want to make the choice to come here, even though it took time.
“I’m delighted he’s chosen us ahead of anything else and I think he’s going to be a top player.”