Parade move is Just fan-tastic, says Exiles boss Edinburgh
NEWPORT County manager Justin Edinburgh has hailed the move to Rodney Parade as a massive step forward for the club.
County reached agreement with Newport RFC and Newport Gwent Dragons for a groundshare on Thursday night and the Football Conference is expected to officially ratify the move shortly.
Edinburgh has been critical of the Spytty Park playing surface ever since he arrived at the club in October last year and says the move to the city’s historic rugby venue is great news for all concerned.
“I’m absolutely delighted by the news,” he said.
“It’s huge for this club and offers us a great opportunity.
“I don’t see a down side. There will be teething problems but this happens all over the country.
“For the club to keep progressing as we want over the next four or five years a move was a necessity.
“Players will want to play at Rodney Parade, the supporters are all behind it and will enjoy the fabulous facilities and hopefully now we can really push on. It’s exciting for everyone.”
But amid the jubilation, Edinburgh sounded a not of caution – warning fans not to get too carried away with the notion that his side will now be among the favourites for promotion next season.
“I feel the league is as open as it has been for a while because apart from Forest Green there is nobody spending a lot of money,” he said.
“There is no Fleetwood or Crawley now and we can be competitive, but people have to be realistic.
“The move to Rodney Parade gives the club the chance to evolve and the expected increase in sponsorship and the corporate side will help, but my budget is still smaller than it was last summer.
“Last year there was a lot of talk of getting promoted but the budget was not spent wisely so we won’t fall into that trap.
“But I’m optimistic and if we are around the top 10 by Christmas time we can look to push on from there.”
County director Howard Greenhaf spent yesterday morning going over the final details of the contract with Conference general manager Dennis Strudwick and he expects the deal to be rubber-stamped after the Bank Holiday weekend.
“We changed a few words here and there but they are happy with the contract,” said Greenhaf.
“As far as we’re concerned it’s a done deal. The Conference have verbally agreed to it and we expect to get that in writing on Wednesday.”
An open day is planned for supporters at Rodney Parade on Wednesday and Greenhaf also revealed that plans for pre-season friendlies are well under way.
He added: “We are working on three friendly games at Rodney Parade in July, one against a Premier League team.”