MIDFIELDER Max Porter has agreed a one-year deal to remain at Newport County.
The Exiles start pre-season training on Monday and Porter will become the 15th member of Justin Edinburgh’s squad to commit his future to the club.
The England C international, who turned 25 yesterday, was released by AFC Wimbledon at the end of his contract last month.
He made 16 appearances for County last season after joining on loan at the end of February and is a favourite of manager Justin Edinburgh from their time together at Rushden & Diamonds.
Porter is delighted to have the chance to play at Rodney Parade next season and revealed that he feels a debt of gratitude to the club, and Edinburgh in particular, for reviving his career.
“There were a few other clubs who enquired about me but I told them all I was staying at Newport County,” said the former Barnet man.
“I wasn’t really enjoying my football at Wimbledon but I’ve enjoyed the whole experience at Newport and I get on really well with the manager.
“As soon as he told me he wanted me to stay on I had no hesitation in signing a new contract. There was no doubt in my mind. I’m a loyal person and I feel I owe Justin and Newport some loyalty after they offered me regular football last season.”
Porter’s deal leaves Romone Rose and Jake Reid as the only members of the County squad from last season who have not been either released or tied to a new contract.
Exiles boss Edinburgh has seen captain Gary Warren and star man Sam Foley leave for Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Yeovil respectively.
But with new arrivals Alan Julian, Tony James, Jake Thomson, Jefferson Louis and Danny Crow, Porter is optimistic that County can challenge at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier.
“I think we can have a much more successful season this time round,” he said.
“We’ll miss Gary Warren, who was a great leader, but Tony James has come in and he’s got great experience and David Pipe is a natural to take the captain’s armband – he’s someone we all look up to.
“We’ll also miss Sam Foley’s goals from midfield but it’s up to the rest of us to make up for that.
“Justin knows good players and he’s been very smart in the way he’s used the market,” he added.
“He’s brought in players who know this level and have been successful in the past and I’m sure there are more to come.
“There are definitely goals in the team now that Danny Crow and Jefferson Louis have come in up front.
“Our form in the final third of last season showed we can be a good side and with the additions we’ve already made we have got to be aiming for the play-offs.”