NEWPORT County AFC boss Justin Edinburgh is planning on naming a new club captain this season and has narrowed down his choice to three candidates.
The Exiles, whose pre-season preparation saw them draw 1-1 at Basingstoke Town on Tuesday night, will be in action again this weekend with Carl Zeiss Jena visiting from Germany for the clash at Spytty Park.
And by then the Exiles are likely to have a new club captain, with Edinburgh keen to reward someone with the skippers’ armband on a permanent basis.
Last term, David Pipe was Newport’s leader, but he was let go in the summer and has signed for Conference outfit Forest Green Rovers.
And neither of Pipe’s deputies last term, Byron Anthony and Max Porter, are being considered this time around due to their injury travails, Porter out for at least six weeks and Anthony on a month-to-month deal as he recovers from a broken leg.
The Argus can reveal that Edinburgh will make his choice imminently with Ismail Yakubu, Andy Sandell and Darren Jones the candidates being considered.
“It’s something I am thinking about and will make an announcement on it, I know that it’s an issue that the fans find to be important,” he said.
“Obviously Pipey is gone and Max (Porter) and Byron (Anthony) have their injury problems, but I feel we have some very strong candidates.
“Andy Sandell, Ismail Yakubu and Darren Jones, I think all three players are leaders and it’ll likely be one of those three.
“I’ll make that decision in the next couple of days and make an announcement, because I think it’s important that we show who our leader is on the pitch.”
Meanwhile, Edinburgh admitted he was unhappy with the performance of his squad at Basingstoke.
The Exiles were kept on the field after the contest and received a very public dressing down from the former Spurs defender.
“I was unhappy with the players and let them know, we need to set standards all the time,” he said.
“We used the ball fine, our possession was good even, but I thought we could’ve used the ball a lot, lot quicker.
“We were slow in our decisions and we struggled because it was our toughest run-out, credit to Basingstoke, they were a lively outfit.”
Edinburgh did, however, pick out some players for praise.
“Darren Jones I thought was excellent and it was another good game for Robbie Willmott, Mark Byrne again showed good creativity and Aaron O’Connor did well to get his goal.
“But we need improvements across the board, we need to get to a level and maintain it. Did we hit the standards we show in training at Basingstoke? Probably not and that’s why I let the players know I was unhappy.”
BLOB Newport County have announced the following fixture change on their website. “Following a request made by Accrington Stanley Football Club, our Away game originally scheduled for Saturday 28th March, 3pm kick off has been moved to Friday 27th March, 7:45pm kick off,” they wrote.