NEWPORT County AFC boss Justin Edinburgh is hopeful funds can be found to allow him to add trialist Ben Swallow to the squad.
The 22-year old Welshman has impressed in pre-season and as an out-and-out pace merchant comfortable on either flank and he offers something different to the rest of the Exiles’ squad.
Having spent seven years at Cardiff as a youngster and two seasons at Bristol Rovers, the young flyer could also be a fill-in option at full back and that combined with his form has convinced Edinburgh of his worth.
Swallow was the only trialist to feature in Friday’s 3-1 defeat to League One side Yeovil Town and Edinburgh confirmed he would like the ex-York loanee to remain on Parade.
“There is interest from my end, we are speaking to Ben and I would like him to stay,” he said.
“There is definitely an opportunity for him here if we can do a deal, but we are near enough to the maximum on the budget.
“But if we can put something together for him, perhaps in the short term and then as we progress on and off the pitch we might be able to offer him something longer term.”
Edinburgh has also bolstered his ranks by appointing Ryan Mackerness as goalkeeper coach.
A familiar face around South Wales and a renowned youth coach, Mackerness also had a spell working with the senior goalkeepers at Cardiff City including Tom Heaton and David Marshall.
“Ryan Mackerness has joined the club and I am impressed with him, he’s very thorough and professional and he’s done a very good job so far,” Edinburgh explained.
“I’m pleased to have him on board, he’s had good references and has done well and will continue to do so throughout the season.”
Despite Friday’s defeat Edinburgh is content after a positive pre-season and feels the club are ready for the big kick-off at Mansfield Town on Saturday.
“We started ever so well on Friday but we found out that a League One side in front of goal when chances come their way are ruthless and that would sum the game up, we needed to defend better,” he said.
“Once we went 2-0 down it was very hard for us to respond but credit to the players for working hard. It was a last really physical week and I’m happy with how pre-season has gone.
“We won’t be thinking about any results come 3pm on Saturday, pre-season is all about preparing for that.
“It was good to get more minutes for O’Connor and Flynny and to welcome the Yak (Ismail Yakubu) back and all in all I am very happy with how pre-season has gone.”
Edinburgh is also settled on his starting line-up for Field Mill but is warning fans they’ll need to remain patient.
“I am pretty much settled on who will be starting at Mansfield, I’m pretty much sure what I’ll do if everyone is fit and ready to go,” he said.
“We have worked hard on changing our style as well as building our fitness but we have to be realistic.
“Not many teams go from scraping survival with two or three games to go to challenging for promotion in one go, but as a group we want to be much improved and I feel we are capable of doing that. We’ve come a long way, our four home games have shown the quality we can produce and where we are is a long way from the end of last season, there is no doubt about that.
Edinburgh added: “The club is improving, vital steps are being taken and hopefully our fans will respond by backing us big time.”