SPORTING director Darren Kelly is leading Newport County AFC’s hunt for a new manager and has pledged to take his time to present the best candidates to the board.

The Exiles are hunting for a new boss for the first time since 2017 after last week’s departure by Michael Flynn.

His assistant Wayne Hatswell led the club to a 3-0 win over Scunthorpe in League Two on Saturday and will continue to call the shots against Bradford City at Rodney Parade this weekend.

County have started their recruitment drive and have already been approached by several candidates.

“A clear blueprint has been established to identify suitable candidates who are a good fit for the club,” read a County statement.

“Darren will be taking the time to identify, assess, meet, and shortlist potential candidates for the board to interview.

 “Given the strong foundation of the club, the role is attracting a lot of interest and it is important that the club takes the appropriate time in making the selection given the importance of the role.”

Kelly was appointed into the new role of sporting director in the summer and, after working with Flynn on recruitment, the former Oldham and Scarborough boss has swiftly been given a big task.

“This is an attractive role given the success and profile of the club over the previous few years,” said the Irishman.

“It is important that I undertake appropriate due diligence to ensure that the selection process arrives at correct decision in a timely manner.”

County face Arsenal U21s in the EFL Trophy after playing Bradford then travel to Exeter, host Carlisle and visit Bristol Rovers.