NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh believes the club have made their “most important signing of the season,” after the club returned root and branch to their home city.
As revealed in Argus Sport, County will train this season at Llanwern High School and have now severed all ties with Cardiff University, having converted Bar Amber at Spytty Park into a training base.
The new facility is impressive, featuring a physio room, changing rooms with toilets and showers, an analysis and media room, an office for manager Justin Edinburgh, an office for his staff and a chill out area for the players.
The work was undertaken by Howard Greenhaf’s Aspen Construction company and the club also received plenty of goodwill from supporters who turned up to help decorate the facility, though Edinburgh and the entire County playing staff all pitched in with paint brushes as well.
The project took around six weeks to complete and was the brainchild of County’s assistant manager Jimmy Dack. The Exiles initially wanted to build a facility at the school, but that wasn’t considered cost effective.
Speaking on what he considers a red letter day in County’s history; Edinburgh outlined the importance of the new facility.
“Everyone knows I was passionate about coming back, Newport County AFC have no business whatsoever training in Cardiff,” he said.
“I want us to have an identity and presence here in the city, I always try and sign Welsh players when I can and it’s important to me.
“We’ve had unbelievable goodwill gestures from supporters as well, we’ve had a young lad today down with us painting and it’s fantastic, it brings us all back together.
“Everyone is buying into it, we want to improve our relations with the FAW and the council and get full use of every facility available.
“For me this is the most important signing we’ve made since I’ve been at the football club, it will help us progress again and it’s a proud and important day for us.
Chairman Les Scadding commented: “We are very happy to be sitting here with this project completed, Justin, the players, Jimmy, everyone has pitched in along the way and we are thrilled with how it has turned out.
“We’ve also had a lot of help from supporters, volunteers and it’s at the heart of the club, we have a lot of history in Bar Amber.”
Howard Greenhaf, director, explained: “We wanted to make use of Bar Amber since we moved to Rodney Parade, but it was about finding a way to make that possible. Initially we looked into moving the building to the school which wasn’t cost effective, but Jimmy Dack suggested staying here and we thought it was a great idea.
“I’ve overseen the project because that’s how we operate, Les signs the players and I do the stuff off the pitch, it’s a perfect fit and this has been a real team effort.”