MANAGER Michael Flynn would be forgiven for telling Ollie Cooper to take it easy after a bright start to life at Newport County AFC. The Exiles don't just want a few months of magic from another Swansea prospect.

The 21-year-old, born in Derby but raised in Pontyclun, signed on deadline day and made a swift debut that evening against Plymouth in the EFL Trophy.

He kept his place for the League Two draw with Leyton Orient at Rodney Parade, showing flashes of his ability with dangerous darting runs into the box.

It's early days but Cooper looks to have the talent to be a key figure in the County line-up this season, following in the footsteps of his namesake Brandon.

The defender was meant to be with the Exiles for all of 2020/21 but was such a hit that he was called back to Swansea.

Cooper joined the County team at Wembley for the League Two play-off final defeat and one wonders whether they'd have made it to the third tier if he'd played the entire campaign at Rodney Parade.

Nonetheless, the centre-back helped his former club snap up another promising Swan who wants to make the next step in their professional career.

South Wales Argus: HIT: Brandon Cooper had a superb half season in NewportHIT: Brandon Cooper had a superb half season in Newport

"I spoke to him a lot before coming here and everything he had to say about Newport – the players, staff, the club as a whole – was very positive," said Ollie.

"To see him come here and play as well as he did, then make the step up this season, that's what I want to do. I want to follow that path."

It is a move that should benefit both parties; County get a talented player on the cusp of Championship football and Cooper gets a first proper taste of senior football.

He made five appearances for the Swans but the rough and tumble of League Two is a step up.

"Leyton Orient was the first game of men's football that I've had to start and finish," said Cooper, son of former Cardiff and County midfielder Kevin.

"At this level you need to win and it's about points while growing up through the academy is about development and improving.

"This is about getting results and points on the board to get promoted or avoid relegation. It's a real test to go from academy football to must-win games.

"You want to play in front of crowds in pressure games because it shows whether you can do it or not. It's alright playing behind closed doors with nothing on it but this is where it matters."

South Wales Argus: TALENT: Ollie Cooper tracking back for CountyTALENT: Ollie Cooper tracking back for County

Yet County don't want Cooper to curb his attacking instincts because of the pressure of winning points.

Manager Flynn changed the Exiles' style of play last season and the Swansea prospect could be influential in providing more of a cutting edge in the final third.

"He just wants me to play with freedom and express myself, to get on the pitch and enjoy my football," said Cooper about his new boss.

"Ultimately one of the reasons for the decision to come to Newport was that I know they want to get the ball down to play. That suits my game whereas a lot of other clubs are very direct in their style of play.

"I like getting on the ball in pockets of space and being able to turn and drive forward. I like to pick a pass and win free-kicks to give a chance to put it in the box.

"Getting the ball on the floor and driving with it, running at players and creating chances, that's what I want to do."