NEWPORT County boss Justin Edinburgh has taken his first team squad up to 20 players after revealing to the Argus a late triple capture ahead of tomorrow’s big kick-off at Mansfield.
The Exiles have tied winger Ben Swallow, midfielder Kris Fielden and fullback Mark Cooper to deals, initially for one month as Edinburgh ensures he has sufficient strength in depth for the coming campaign.
The Argus can reveal that Edinburgh expects to introduce Swallow straight into the match day squad and, had the funds been available, he’d have been offered a season long deal.
The former Cardiff and Bristol Rovers man left Rovers after a falling out with manager Paul Buckle and also left last club York due to an internal disciplinary issue.
However, Edinburgh is not a manager to judge by reputation and believes Swallow can add a new dimension to his squad.
“Ben has done ever so well in pre-season, there is no point looking at trialists if you’re not open-minded enough about them impressing you and earning a chance and that is what Ben has done.
“I think one of my strengths as a manager is that I take as I find, I don’t worry about reputation and feel I’m the kind of coach who can get the best out of players like that.
“A lot of people raised eyebrows when we signed Jefferson Louis and many wouldn’t have touched him and I think he can be a massive player for us who I can get the best out of.
“Ben is similar and we are hopeful he’ll be with us longer than a month and we can offer him a future.
“David Pipe is a great example of giving people a chance and them rewarding you on the pitch.”
Teen Fielden is a graduate of the County youth system and Cooper, aged 20, came through the ranks at Bristol Rovers and spent last season at Frome.
“They are two boys with a bright future in the game,” Edinburgh said. “We’ve not got the biggest squad and they can feature if they work hard and have that desire to make it here.
“At the moment we aren’t in a position where we can extend ourselves any further in terms of the playing budget.
“But that situation might change and if it does I’d like to be able to keep all three lads with us. If you look at Andrew Hughes and Lee Evans, that should encourage Kris and Mark that they’ll get their opportunity with us.”